Veröffentlicht am 05.12.23

Scientists call for moratorium on digitalisation in kindergartens and schools


Digitalisation is currently regarded as a modern solution to educational questions for all age groups in the education sector. But the effects and secondary effects of digital media on development, learning and educational processes are often scientifically unclear. In fact, there is growing scientific evidence about the enormous disadvantages and damages caused by digital media to the developmental and educational processes of children and young people. In line with the duty of caring for public educational institutions, we therefore demand a moratorium on digitalisation, particularly for the period of early education until the end of lower school (Year 6): First of all it must be possible to assess the consequences of digital technologies, before further experiments are carried out on children and young people in need of protection, with an uncertain outcome. They only have one life and one educational biography – we must not treat them carelessly.

In particular, questions of medical-psychological, educational-didactical and political-democratical implications need to be examined. The scientifically based objections include, for example, the statement presented by five professors from the Swedish Karolinska Institute. They warned against the negative effects of screen media on children’s learning and language development. The U.S. Surgeon General warns against the consequences for the general mental health of children and adolescents due to longer periods of exposition and the ever-earlier starting age for watching screen media. This corresponds with studies by the German Society for Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine and recommendations made by paediatricians and psychologists. Furthermore, in its „2023 Global Education Monitor“ UNESCO criticises the fact that current IT concepts for educational institutions do not focus on learning and educational benefits, but rather on economic interests. In addition, more and more data processing systems are being used as „artificial intelligence“ (AI) to automatize teaching and testing, in order to replace missing teachers. On the other hand the coronavirus pandemic has recently demonstrated the failure of such replacement e

xperiences. In its recommendations on „AI and Education“, the German Ethics Council therefore explicitly warns against replacing teachers with computer programmes, while UNESCO only recommends the use of AI from the age of 13.

It is therefore urgently necessary to revise this one-sided fixation on digital technology in kindergartens and schools, in order to discuss the role of IT and AI in educational institutions in an interdisciplinary and scientifically sound manner, with a focus on development, learning and educational processes. Education and teaching must focus on the well-being of disciples and the effectiveness of pedagogical action. To this end, we are calling for a moratorium and public discussion on the necessary pedagogical premises for the application of digital media in educational institutions.

Long version (10 pages, with signatures, PDF): Scientists call for moratorium on IT and AI in schools

If you would like to sign this appeal yourself, please send an email with your name, profession and location to, subject „GBW-Moratorium unterzeichnen“. We will collect your signatures and publish them as „Other supporters“.

List of current co-signatories

First signatories:

Prof Dr. Volker Bank, Chemnitz University of Technology, Chair of Vocational and Business Education, Chemnitz

Prof. Dr. Jürg Barben, Head Physician Pneumology/Allergology, Eastern Switzerland Children’s Hospital, St. Gallen

Prof. Dr. Peter Bender, University of Paderborn, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Computer Science and Mathematics, Paderborn

Prof. em. Dr. Carl Bossard, Founding Rector of the University of Teacher Education PH Zug

Dr. Jutta Breithausen, University of Wuppertal, Faculty of Human and Social Sciences, Institute for Educational Science, Wuppertal

Prof. Dr. Ute Büchter-Römer, Associate Professor at the Faculty of Human Sciences at the University of Cologne

Dr. Uwe Büsching, paediatrician and adolescent physician, Bielefeld

Prof. Dr. Thomas Damberger, Education and Educational Sciences in the Context of Digitalisation, Freie Hochschule Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Karl-Heinz Dammer, Heidelberg University of Education, Institute for Educational Science

Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Fuchs, Karl Jaspers Professor of Philosophy and Psychiatry, Psychiatric University Hospital, Heidelberg

Dr. med. Dr. h.c. Michaela Glöckler, paediatrician and adolescent physician

Prof. Dr. Johannes Grebe-Ellis, University Professor of Physics and its Didactics, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, University of Wuppertal

Prof. Dr. Bernhard Hackl, Karl-Franzens-University Graz, Institute for School Pedagogy, Department of School Pedagogy, Graz

Prof. Dr. Gaby Herchert, University of Duisburg-Essen, Faculty of Humanities, German Studies, Duisburg

Prof. Dr. habil. Edwin Hübner, teacher and media educator, holder of the Von Tessin Chair of Media Education at the Freie Hochschule Stuttgart

Prof. Dr. Norbert Hungerbühler, Department of Mathematics, ETH Centre, HG E63.1, Rämistrasse 101, CH-8092 Zurich

Dr. rer. pol. Hans-Carl Jongebloed, Kiel University, Institute of Education, Chair of Vocational and Business Education

Prof. Dr. Rainer Kaenders, Institute of Mathematics, Hausdorff Centre for Mathematics, Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn, Bonn

Dr. Beat Kissling, psychologist and educationalist/high school teacher, Zurich

Prof. em. Dr. Hans Peter Klein, Didactics of Biosciences, Goethe University Frankfurt

Prof. Dr. Jochen Krautz, University of Wuppertal, Faculty of Design and Art

Prof. em. Dr. Hans-Dieter Kübler, Professor of Social, Cultural and Media Sciences, Hamburg University of Applied Sciences

PD Dr. Axel Bernd Kunze (University of Bonn)

Prof. Dr. Volker Ladenthin, Department of Educational Science, Chair of Historical and Systematic Educational Science, Bonn

Prof. Dr. phil. Ralf Lankau, Faculty of Media, HS Offenburg

Hon. Prof. Dr. Christoph Möller, Chief Physician, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, Centre for Children and Adolescents, Hanover

Prof. Dr. Jürgen Rekus, Institute for General Pedagogy, university area at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe

Prof. Dr. Ingo Reuter, Cultural Studies, University of Paderborn

Prof. Dr. Christian Rittelmeyer, Professor of Educational Science at the Department of Education, University of Göttingen

Dr. Klaus Rodens, paediatrician and adolescent physician, Angertorstr. 6, 89129 Langenau

Prof. Dr. Dr. Frauke Rostalski, Institute for Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure Law, University of Cologne, Cologne

Dr. Klaus Scheler, physics teacher (kindergarten to age 10), formerly at the Institute for Natural Sciences, Geography and Technology, Heidelberg University of Education

Prof Dr. Thomas Sonar, Institute of Computational Mathematics, Partial Differential Equations PDE group, Braunschweig University of Technology, Braunschweig

Prof. Dr. med. Dr. phil. Manfred Spitzer, Medical Director of the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy III

Prof Dr. Gertraud Teuchert-Noodt, neurobiologist, formerly at the University of Bielefeld

Prof Dr. Christoph Türcke, Emeritus Professor of Philosophy at the Academy of Visual Arts Leipzig

Prof. Dr. Anke Wegner, Institute of German Studies, Didactics of the German Language/German as Second and Foreign Language, University of Trier

Prof. Dr. Ysette Weiss, Institute of Mathematics, Mathematics Didactics Group, Johannes Gutenberg University, Mainz

Prof. em. Dr. Dr.h.c Erich Ch.Wittmann, Maths 2000 Project, Dortmund University of Technology

Prof. Dr. Tomáš Zdražil, Professor for School Health Promotion, Freie Hochschule Stuttgart

Prof Dr. Klaus Zierer, Professor of School Education, University of Augsburg