Struwwelpeter's use of imagery to subvert Germany's idea of proper pedagogy


  • Xavier Schlueter


Struwwelpeter was the first children’s books published in Germany. Its use of cartoonish imagery and gruesome punishments enacted on children resulted in discussions about how moral pedagogy was to be taught to children. Struwwelpeter utilizes the construct of black pedagogy, which is the use of repressive and harmful tactics to enforce authority in children, to subvert the idea of proper pedagogy. The popular assertion during the publication of Struwwelpeter, was that proper pedagogy could only be constructed in the minds of youth through accurate depictions of reality. Struwwelpeter subverts this notion by using a less professional art form, as well as, taking the concept of black pedagogy to undermine the ideas of popular authority. This paper proposes that the use of black pedagogy in Struwwelpeter, ironically, undermines this authority, which it traditionally supports.





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