Paramount educational goals

Being just a ordinary person, I sadly don't look deep into the legal foundations of life.1 Thus, I've only recently found out from a blog post on Astrodicticum simplex that Article 131, paragraph 2 of the Bavarian Constitution contains these paramount educational goals:

The paramount educational goals are reverence for God, respect for religious persuasion and the dignity of man, selfcontrol, the recognition of and readiness to undertake responsibility, helpfulness, receptiveness to everything which is beautiful, good and true, as well as a sense of responsibility for the natural world and the environment.

For one thing, the priorities are a bit unsettling – third place for respect for human dignity, next to last place being open-minded about everything true. But also one important goal is missing: teaching pupils how to think.

Also interesting is how you educate pupils who don't believe in god2 in reverence for him.

If you know Germany, you may think that this is Bavaria after all, so this shouldn't come as a surprise. But a comment on Astrodicticum simplex informs that other states have similar provisions. Northrhine-Westphalia, for example, it's Article 7 of the Constitution.

Things are looking better in Brandenburg. Article 28 of the Constitution is (no offical translation, but I tried my best):

The purpose of eduction3 is to promote the development of character, thinking and acting independently, respect for the dignity, belief and convictions of others, acceptance of democracy and freedom, ambition for social justice, peaceableness4 and solidarity in the co-existence of cultures and peoples, and the responsibility for nature and environment.

Independent thinking on second place, no reverence for god, and respect for the dignity of others (in general) before respect for their belief (in particular) – this sounds definitly more sensible.


  1. And this despite Article 188 of the Bavarian Constitution, which states that “Every schoolchild shall receive a copy of this Constitution before the end of his compulsory education.” – and I indeed have such a copy lying around in my old home in the Allgäu. []
  2. Are Allah, YHWH, Krishna, etc. included? []
  3. I don't want to go into Erziehung vs. Bildung… []
  4. Is this a real word? []

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