How can I become less confrontational?


In the following, the cornerstones of confrontational pedagogy, as well as the method of anti-aggressiveness and coolness training, are only marginally dealt with. The general interested reader should refer to the relevant book publications on these topics (Kilb / Weidner / Gall 2006, Weidner / Kilb 2004, Colla / Scholz / Weidner 2001, Weidner 1993), in particular to the article by Ludwigshausen / Böhm (2008) in the "Pädagogik" magazine for the transfer of confrontational methodology into the educational context.

The present text, on the other hand, focuses on quality, research and self-critical topics:

  1. The current status: Brief information on the scope of the programs in Germany and Switzerland
  2. The quality standards for practical work in AAT / CT programs
  3. Five encouraging research results: on the quantitative and qualitative evaluation of the AAT / CT
  4. The self-critical reorientation of confrontational training programs since 2005:

The change in media work: less is more
The legal limits of the AAT / CT: the non-touch obligation
The emphasis on the socially critical perspective: the aggressive competitive culture as a negative role model.

The confrontational method of anti-aggressiveness training was introduced in Germany in 1987 - by the author, among others. Confrontation of deeds means in the educational science sense to pick up aggressive people from where they are. This point of view can be derived from thousands of one-on-one conversations that the author and the AAT / CT project leaders have had with hooligans, skin-heads, German, Turkish or Russian-German thugs all over Germany for 22 years. These young, growing and adult aggressive people love - according to their self-thematization - the confrontation, the action and the associated thrill. Accordingly, a confrontational approach facilitates communication with the test subjects for this target group, as long as a trusting professional relationship can be created. The confrontation with the act of aggression, with the strategies of justification and the suffering of sacrifice is perceived by the trained as dynamic, exciting and insightful.

Hassemer (2004; p.353), Vice President of the Federal Constitutional Court, pays tribute to this twenty-year development with the words: Upbringing "also brings with it the chance of productive change, how one works with developments such as (...)" confrontational pedagogy "or anti-aggressiveness Training can study. ”This positive evaluation results, among other things, from the fact that the AAT / CT is viewed by many juvenile judges as the last outpatient attempt, as a last resort, before imprisonment takes place. Winkler (2003: p.46) emphasizes this aspect when he writes: “The clientele of social work and social education are by no means recruited from good people who can be spared the unreasonable demands that come with civilization (...) In other words: If Socially and culturally created exclusion means to refuse even the constraints which we are not allowed to evade with our humanizations, training methods like those of Kilb and Weidner can gain weight. Maybe they are necessary (...) Treatment then always seems better than simply locking up or even abandoning it to starvation. "This is also emphasized by the editor-in-chief of ZEIT, Giovanni di Lorenzo (2008; p.1), in his political classification of the subject of youth violence:" Leftists and liberals have to come to terms with the fact that there are also young perpetrators who are so dangerous that they can only be held up for long periods of time or even expelled. Hardliners on the other hand that the idea of ​​bringing up young people is correct and that well-run homes and anti-aggression training usually help more than years of brutalization in prison. ”And the Federal Minister for Justice Zypris (parliamentary 12/08) soberly explains how true this is Anti-aggressiveness training as a component of rehabilitation programs in Germany: “The current juvenile criminal law offers a wide range of sanctions (...) The legal consequences range from educational measures to regulate the lifestyle (e.g. participation in a social training course, anti -Aggressiveness training or a perpetrator-victim compensation), (...) up to a long-term juvenile sentence. "

However, the AAT / CT and the basic considerations on confrontational pedagogy find their limits in the exclusion criteria: Not every test person should understand confrontation as an aid in questioning entrenched thought and behavioral patterns. Confrontation can - and critics rightly point this out (Herz 2005, Plewig 2008) - harm the person affected. Therefore, it is important to differentiate before starting treatment: Do not be treated confrontationally

  • aggressive people with traumatic experiences,
  • with auto-aggressive tendencies,
  • Borderline cases to psychiatry or
  • psychologically unstable conflict and relationship perpetrators (Kilb 2005).

With these people, a confrontation seems contraindicated. They are therefore not included in AAT / CT programs.