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Kirsten Fuchs-Rechlin (2010): And it still moves….! Research for professional self-recognition of pedagogues (empirical education) [Und es bewegt sich doch ...!": Eine Untersuchung zum professionellen Selbstverständnis von Pädagoginnen und Pädagogen (Empirische Erziehungs-wissenschaft]. Waxmann Verlag LLC. [Waxmann Verlag GmbH], Munster.
Reviewed by Tunde Szanto[1]
One can get an inside view of the functioning of pedagogy and the procedure of this world during the empirical and monumental reading of Kirsten Fuchs-Rechlin. This thesis belongs to the projects supported by DFG (Deutschen Forschungsgeminschaft) i.e. German Research Association. The main topics of this work is the set-up of a successful career, the formation of it and the vocational self-recognition of students get through with their studies in pedagogy. All of the above were merged into one exploration, runner by University of Dortmund and Halle-Wittenberg between 2000 and 2003. The study, which consists of several paper, was guided by Prof. Dr. Thomas Rauschenbach and Prof. Dr. Heinz-Hermann Kruger.
The title itself could pique the interest of not just the professionals but also young adults who are on the eve of their career. Kirsten Fuchs-Rechlin, professor of Fliender Fachhochschule in Dusseldorf has published several article, study and monograph in numerous journals. Her specialties, among so many other activities, are the upbringing and training of child, infant and early childhood education and the improvement of pedagogy.
Her current dissertation’s primary goal is to get to know the background of the self- recognition of a pedagogue and its development in order to get an approximate image about the circumstances that take a major role in the influence of the directives the pedagogue commits his/herself to, during his/her work. Is the personality of a teacher already full-fledged before the beginning of his/her studies or created during it or is this character starting to found after finished studies? Kirsten Fuchs-Rechlin, author of the documentation, tries to find answers for the question above and set up theories with empirical monitoring and searching. Pedagogues were asked about their jobs to find answer for the main questions. At the time of the opening of the pedagogic problems the aim was not the criticism of the teacher’s attempt to educate, but to analyse all of the possible solutions of different situations the teacher could get into.
Accordingly, the documentation is compartmentalized into three compartments. In the first chapter, one can read about the theories, which are the base of the research, and the connections between them. After the short historical review, the chapter summarizes the outcomes of the research and the questions emerge within the conversation about the teachers who turn into professionals. This phase also mentions the theoretical concepts accepted after the 70’s, the texture theoretician investigation methods based on the studies of Sociology of Religion of Niklas Luhmann, and it takes Oevermann’s thoughts as a basis. Utilizing the theories above, Fuchs-Rechlin sets further questions up. In her opinion, the most important part of this quest is the definition and realization of „professional self-recognition”.
The task is based on other three speculations, namely statement of Bourdeau, which says that the professional self-recognition is the component of the teacher’s habit. This professional self-recognition traces the method wherewith masters are able to control or evade the tension pent-up during their job (Schutze), after this the vocational habit is evolved (Heinze).
The research is in progress and the theoretical setting of this work will be established by the thoughts in the section above.
After the importance of these theoretical concepts, document of usage of statement of Bordeau, explanation of professional pedagogic acting procedure and the discussion of the methods of how these concepts can be summarized are the next projects. The aim of this phase is to set up a base for further investigations about socialization theories which influence the vocational self-recognition development of pedagogues. The effect of socialization and the dimensions of structural socialization are in the focus.
Accordingly significant part of the thesis is about the Tillmann socialization levels and phases:
Table 1: Structure of socialization (Tillmann, 1999)
Universal                                           Vocational
economic, social, political, cultural structure
Politics of labor market
business, media, schools, universities, military, churches/religions
family,   school, college/tertiary education, training, work organizations
Interactions, functions
parent-child connection, lesson, acquaintanceship, friends, communication between same ages,
connection between professional and layman, communication with boss and colleague
experiences, point of view, knowledge, emotional minded and cognitive abilities
professional and greatest possible activities, competences, vocational self-concept
Table 2: Phases in the procedure of socialization (Tillmann, 1999)
Universal walk of life                                    Vocational walk of life
Infant ages (0-4)
Enter the kindergarten, birth of siblings
Childhood (5-12)
Beginning of school
Young ages (13-27)
Leaving school, choosing profession, entering vocational school
Leaving school, choosing profession, entering vocational school, andragogy
Adulthood (27-65)
Beginning of a career (becoming workman), set-up personal                household, marriage/divorce, family
Beginning of a career, changing workplace, unemployment, success in profession, changes of employer (boss), re-training
Old ages (65-)
The last section presents the investigational design i.e. investigational strategy. In this research 24 people participated such as pedagogue, social worker, associate professor, persons working in andragogy. The selection of them was random. Questionnaires were used which structures are included by the documentation. Other „DFG-projects” were helpful to produce this work. This projects include four parts, each of them are complete studies, Magister- works/papers, which are in connection with each other.
Fuchs-Rechlin’s work based on quantitative research scheme, in this case the questions, which are included in the topic of „professional self-recognition”, are summarized and highlighted in a quantitative way. All the results require a huge database.
Remaining part of this section in the documentation is about the assessment and the way one does this. Methods of assessment and the results are indispensable for the realization of „professional self-recognition”, just like the acquirer of theoretical basis mentioned in the first section.
At the end of the dissertation the „professional self-recognition”, we mentioned so many times before, gets into the focus. This part of the documentation recapitulate the effects of social background, procedure of study and professional experiences influence the process  of self-recognition. Answers for this question are based on the assessment of the collected dates, right after this, the next topic is on air, which has to be enough launch for a new research. The question is: In what circumstances can a pedagogic directive be professional?
To sum up, the contents of the documentation and the essentials we discussed so far, the starting-point was to find an explanation about what is crucial for a teacher to be perfectly prepared in vocational and also spiritual way. The focus is on the evolution of the pedagogue’s habit and self-recognition. One can find solution for the problem with a work, consists of a few steps. This can be started with the formation of habit of pedagogue; further running of it is the assessment of the subject’s answers and questionnaires. The research guides the seekers to a new problem and establishes another topic worth care about. This new program is all about the directives of masters and the way one can be professional in this career. In the closure, the summation of information and outcomes are visualized, one tiny little report is at the end of the documentation is about the problems emerged during the work.
Taking all the facts into consideration, my conclusion is that this German research could be the base of any investigation in our country. The documentation itself is collected, neat and coherent. I miss the subjects, who do not finished their pedagogic studies yet, from the elaborated research topic, so one could get a little bit more established image about the circumstances that form the personality of a pedagogue.
The topic itself is not the easiest one on this profession. So many of them is about the habits and techniques of pedagogues and what is necessary for a master to be successful in teaching, but only a part of them are about the teacher him/herself. All the success in education is lie in these projects because it is not enough from us, pedagogues, to teach our kids, we need to raise them too. Without the handover of a viewpoint, a teacher will never be congruent. It is important to see, we were participants in the teaching-learning circle, and now it is up to us what way we guide our students toward, what adults will they become under our influence. One needs to understand that a long learning procedure is in progress in him/her, which started at the moment he/she dedicated his/her life to this profession.
This documentation is recommended for those professionals who like to approach the research from a brand new point of view: the teacher’s point of view and for the pedagogic students who like to get a summaries about the procedures during their studies and the reasons connected to this procedures in order to do their jobs in a way more sophisticated style. The topic is relevant, it deserve the attention from researchers and laymen equally.
[1] University of Debrecen, Debrecen, Hungary. Email address: