Modern languages[ edit ] The introduction of French and English as elective languages in the early twentieth century brought about the greatest change to German secondary education since the introduction of the Realschulen in the eighteenth century. Today, German gymnasia teach English, French, or Latin as a compulsory primary foreign language, while the compulsory second foreign language may be English, French, Latin, Ancient GreekSpanish or Russian. The German State of Berlinwhere secondary education normally begins in the seventh year of schooling, has some specialised gymnasia beginning with the fifth year which teach Latin or French as a primary foreign language. Teaching English as a subject, particularly, has a long history at the Gymnasium and this is demonstrated by the time-honoured practices and subject matter that are unique to the gymnasia and could be baffling to outsiders.
With this post, I wanted to highlight more specifically the differences between German high schools and U.
This list is based on my experiences at a Realschule, so people who are more familiar with the Gymnasium system will probably make different comparisons, but this is what has been striking to me and if the terms "Realschule" and "Gymnasium" mean nothing to you, reference the post linked above for more information.
Separation of church and state comes into play when it comes to public schools taking any action that could be construed as supporting religion, such as sponsoring a Christmas pageant, or a Bible club, or German gymnasium and american community college assemblies with a prayer.
Since public schools are funded by government money, and the government cannot support one religion over another, instances like these become very controversial in the U. With regards to political correctness, some schools avoid celebrating overtly religious holidays like Christmas, and instead focusing on more general themes like the "holidays" and celebrating winter.
This is a non-issue at my school here in Germany. I work at a public school, but there are crucifixes in most classrooms. Apparently there had been discussions in my school in the last few years as to whether the crosses should be taken down, but nobody really cared enough about it to protest, so the crosses remained.
Just think for a second how a discussion like that would go in the U. Usually how it goes is that students who are Catholic attend a class on Catholicism, students who are protestant Evangelisch in German, not to be confused with evangelical Christianity in the U.
I find this to be quite bizarre.
If students want to learn about their faith, that should be facilitated by the church, in my opinion, not the state government. It would make more sense to me if all students were simply required to take an ethics class.
At my school, the school day begins just before 8 a. The time it ends is not consistent because students have different classes in different orders each day of the week.
Maybe they have five classes on Wednesdays, but six on Thursdays. This has made building my work schedule quite the puzzle, especially when the class schedules change school-wide, leaving me to scramble to see how I can fit the same classes in the same three days in completely different time slots.
There is a 5 minute period between classes like we have at U. This is because teachers are the ones who change classrooms for each class, not the students. Each individual class e. When I tell my teachers that we do it differently in the U.
I tend to agree, because one thing I have noticed is that American classrooms are usually much more lively with posters, pictures decorations, etc.
A long hallway full of lockers for every student is a decidedly stereotypical American image for them. But overall I have found that there is a much more relaxed and trusting relationship between students and their teachers, particularly in the higher grades.
Most I know wear jeans and a normal mildly dressy shirt; I usually just wear jeans and a t-shirt. I think this helps set a mood in the classroom that is more social and open, as opposed in the U. As part of this more open atmosphere, teachers put up with a lot more misbehavior from students than an American teacher would.
The teacher rolls their eyes, maybe makes a comment, and then continues with the lesson. Meanwhile in the U. In my experience in the U. I have also found that teachers in Germany give their students a lot more freedom to decide what and how they would like to learn.
This attitude carries over on class trips as well. When my 10th graders took a class trip to Berlin, I can guarantee you no one knocked on their doors at 12 a.
One such stereotype is that of Germans being overly direct and pointed in their speech -- something I have definitely noticed at play during the school day. A teacher asks a question with a specific answer in mind. Whereas I feel like American teachers usually try to be more encouraging, for fear of silencing students not entirely confident in their answers.
On the same note, grading is much harsher in Germany. One prime example is the lack of a dress code. I am sure if a student was wearing something genuinely inappropriate or offensive the teachers would have no problem sending a student home, but generally, teachers accept that students can wear whatever they want and for the record, I have never see a student dress in a way that I thought was wholly inappropriate for school.
The attitude toward alcohol and students is strikingly different in Germany since the drinking age is lower. Youths can legally consume beer at age 16, meaning most of my 10th graders can already drink.
Additionally, when one of my 10th grade classes was trying to decide what their class T-shirt would look like, they decided they wanted the shirts to say "Absch l uss.
Meanwhile, such references to alcohol use among high school students would be absolutely verboten in American schools. There are some sports teams, but they are very small and receive little fanfare I actually have no idea how this works at my school, but I know there are some teams.
Students are far more likely to join a local team comprised of youth from various schools in their community and play against other similarly formed teams.The Gymnasium is intended for pupils who will go on to study at a University, technical college (Fachhochschule) or vocational institute or take part in a dual study program (theory at a university/college, practical work within .
By confirming your subscription you agree to allow German Gymnasium and D&D London to transfer and store your contact information, send you marketing emails and track interactions for email marketing and ad placement purposes. German Gymnasium is a place I will definitely visit again - a great showcase for German and Austrian wines, where you can sip your drink in a modern, buzzy atmosphere surrounded by an impressive building.4/4(47).
Differences between German and American high schools June 20, so people who are more familiar with the Gymnasium system will probably make different comparisons, but this is what has been striking to me (and if the terms "Realschule" and "Gymnasium" mean nothing to you, reference the post linked above for more .
Jul 01, · Does Germany have any community colleges like we do here in the states? A school where anyone is accepted and has a chance to get a degree? But also not everyone can get in, you need high school completion at least a GED to do college credits towards a degree.
Community colleges in Germany. Helene-Lange Gymnasium and Seattle Central Community College by Hoai Nam Nguyen Before coming to Seattle Central Community College in September, I studied at Helene-Lange Gymnasium in Fuerth, Germany.
If I were to be asked about the educational system in Germany, I would mention all the differences of my previous school as opposed to Seattle Central Community College.