These days, the radicalization of young people is above all viewed as a security risk. Almost all research into this phenomenon has been carried out from a legal, criminological or socio-psychological perspective with a focus on detecting and containing the risks posed by radicalization. In the light of the political developments since September 11, 2001, this is entirely understandable but perhaps not altogether wise. Research and theory development from a pedagogical perspective can also make a significant contribution towards a better understanding of radicalization processes and possibly offer new points of departure for intervention strategies. On the basis of five typical cases, the authors examine the role of educators, social workers and teachers, and the problems they face when dealing with young people with extreme ideals. This article attempts to provide insight into the pedagogical conditions for the development of extreme ideals and suggests starting points for developing effective countermeasures.