In this article, we provide a comparative analysis of public education in Germany and the US, focusing on historical and contemporary challenges to education, Bildung, and citizenry in the modern nation state. In particular, we examine relations among nation building processes and education, transnational discourses, mutual influences, and relations regarding public education over time, and identity building and citizenship within and between federal, nation state and international levels. Comparative methods are utilized to examine policy documents as well as the literature, looking for similarities and differences among key concepts and discourses. The article concludes by pointing out that a number of contemporary developments bringing public education to a crossroads today are not entirely new and that foundations of education theory are still relevant. At the same time, we suggest new cross-national dialogues regarding the challenges bringing public education to the crossroads today.
- Public education
- United States of America
- history of public education
- public education in nation states
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