Chapter 1: The Helios School – Inclusive University School in the City of Cologne

Kersten Reich


My essay introduces the model of the Inclusive University School of Cologne, established in 2015, that intends to be a contemporary model of democratic school in the Deweyan tradition based on principles of participation and diversity under the complex life conditions of today. The text contains four components: First, I will reconstruct some elements and principles from Dewey’s Chicago Laboratory School that served as a basis for the Inclusive University School of Cologne. Secondly, I will give a comprehensive account of the inclusive concept of the Cologne school and the ways it works out in practice. Third, I will elaborate on the pedagogical program of the school formulated in ten components of inclusive learning and teaching. In a fourth step, I will give a concrete account of what “new learning” means in the context of this new school. Finally, I will discuss some main obstacles that we encountered and had to overcome in establishing the school in Cologne.

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International Research in Higher Education  ISSN 2380-9183 (Print)  ISSN 2380-9205 (Online)

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