Post 6: Baden-Württemberg

From methodological standpoint, this most recent examination is perhaps the most thorough and complete of my investigations into the länder of Germany. Each länder examined provides greater insight into the categories of materials that need to be examined, and this had led to, what I would regard, the most complete examination thus far. Thus, I believe that there are four ‘categories’ of materials that need to be examined in order to form the most complete image of citizenship education in these länder: High-Level Government Directives, Official Curricular Materials, Official Reference Material, and Testing Requirements. Each of these provides a different perspective on the application of citizenship education policy, from all levels of the process. High-level government directives (usually originating from the Government of the länder, states what the elected representatives want the citizenship education of the länder to be, but in very general and non-specific terms. Official Curricular Documents effectively show how these directives are translated to the average bureaucrat and teachers, and what that specifically translates as points the students need to learn. Official Mandated references materials further illustrate this point, as these materials, such as textbooks, worksheets, and classroom exercises, are what the students themselves are looking at, and what they are using to learn in and out of the classroom. Finally, exams are a critical component of understanding what the state wants the students to learn, because it is ultimately what the students are preparing for, and what the teachers are preparing the students for. Short of recording every classroom and examining how and what the teachers are saying to the students, I believe that this creates the most complete picture of what the states wants the students to learn and how the students are learning it.

The examination of Baden-Württemberg followed these categories more faithfully than the examinations of the other länder, thanks mostly to the fact that the prior examinations helped define these categories for the collection of materials from Baden-Württemberg. Starting with the High-Level Government Directives, Demokratiebildung Schule für Demokratie, Demokratie für Schule shows again that Democracy education is divided across multiple different disciplines. However, the high-level document deals with the academic concepts in a more philosophical manner, giving large, generalizable statements about the purpose and objectives of the political education, such as

“Identity-creating characteristics in the family, in groups of friends, school classes and in the workplace; Understanding of “home”; Mission statements in schools, institutions and businesses; regional, national, transnational identities; Identity as European or “citizen of the world and Citizen of the world “; Values as identification points (freedom, solidarity, justice); citizenship law”.[1]

Similarly, it gives some pointers on how to approach these topics, and what exercises to use with the students, such as

“• Discussions and debates on current and age-appropriate topics (eg social media, migration, national vs. global interests, consumer behavior, EU, European identity)

  • Tasks that involve a change of perspective (eg role-plays, simulations)
  • View and evaluate parliamentary debates
  • Analyze and comment on political texts
  • Possibilities of Civil Society Participation (eg NGOs, voluntary work, responsible consumption, plan a campaign, participate as a youth delegate or -delegated to plenary session CLRAE: participation in European Youth Event of the European Parliament)
  • Erasmus + projects, eTwinning projects”[2]

These, as noted, point only to the long-term objectives of the educational system and some general ways for teachers to think about the education of their students, but it does not tell us specifically what they are learning at each grade level, nor does it provide actual academic materials, although it does provide links to related resources.

The translation of these high-level government documents into curricular documents points once again to the division of citizenship education across multiple disciplines, including a dedicated ‘Civics’ course. Specifically, European topics are discussed in the subjects of Civics, Geography, History, and Economics, though the division between them is not consistent across grade levels, as Economics is only taught at the late high-school level (Gymnasium), and the other courses are taught extremely lightly in primary and intermediate grade levels. Civics education, both at the lower Secondary and High Secondary education levels, has a dedicated section on Europe and the European Union, e.g.

“3.1.4.2 The European Union
Pupils can find answers to the questions of what opportunities citizens have for bringing their interests into the political decision-making process in the EU, and how power is shared between the EU institutions (power and decision), as well as the individual institutions within coordinating (order and structure)

how EU decisions affect citizens’ lives and whether the EU should be expanded (interests and common good)”[3].

Further, it includes areas on the institutions and duties of the EU, along with the nature of governance. The History curriculum focuses, unsurprisingly, on the history of the EU and European Integration, as shown by this excerpt from the curriculum: “(11) characterize the development of European integration as well as opportunities and risks of the EU (EU, Enlargement, Deepening, Confederation / Federal State)”.[4] Interestingly, as compared to North Rhineland-Westphalia, the EU appears far less frequently in the Economics curriculum, where the curriculum only discussed the consequences of the EU four freedoms:

“(9) Discuss the consequences of the free movement of persons in the EU labor market….

(6) Characterize the objectives and requirements of a monetary union using the example of the euro and the heterogeneity of national economies as a challenge to the stability of a common currency

(7) the importance of monetary policy instruments of the European Central Bank for stability

of the currency area”[5].

Once again, these materials point to the EU, while discussed somewhat at lower levels of education, being a predominantly high-secondary education topic, that is designed for more educated students, about to become full citizens.

1

[6]

These curricular materials certainly point to the EU being prevalent in the education of Upper level students, and the mandated reference materials further this perception. Every textbook recommended for the Civics class which was examined had a clearly labeled section dedicated to the European Union, which included mass descriptions of every major institution, along with major manners by which citizens can become involved in European Politics (namely elections and the European Citizen’s Initiatives).

2[7]

3[8]

Interestingly, unlike many textbooks I had in primary and high school, which avoided modern topics like the plague, these textbooks addressed current issues in the EU and how the EU could address them, along with different sides and opinions on every major issue.

 

EU Enlargement and Expansion Debate

4

[9]

 

Turkish Candidacy

5

[10]

 

Along similar lines, there is a significant amount of material that has been generated by various groups for civics teachers in Germany, though for this project I only examined materials that were officially sanctioned by the government of the länder (otherwise this project would never end). Such materials came from the Landesbildungsserver, Landeszentrale fur politische bildung and the Elixar Server, which was a joint server of teaching materials created by several länder, alongside Baden-Württemberg. Materials from this server contained lessons that covered every major topic, including the History of the EU, Institutions of the EU, Contracts, Policies, EU Enlargement, Countries, Elections, Identities and Economy. Additionally, beyond just materials for the lessons, the server has access to full lesson plans (a prime example: https://www.politik-lernen.at/dl/qnrpJMJKoMNNoJqx4KJK/polis_europ_integration_2014web_inkl_umschlag.pdf).

Baden-Württemberg has thus far provided the most complete image of Citizenship education in the länder, which itself has pointed to a government which wants its students to leave mandatory education with a complete image of the European Union. The education covers all the necessary information on the EU, but also discusses all current issues for the EU and discuss the opposing opinions on the Union. However, the most interesting information to come from this examination relates to the nature of the organization of information; the materials available to teachers come from a variety of sources, including from the Government of Baden-Württemberg, private companies, non-profit organizations, other länder, and even the Austrian Government. This points to a very interrelated and interdependent educational system, where materials and educational ideas come from a variety of sources and build upon each other, leading to the different länder, and on occasions, different countries, relying on each other to teach their children, and inadvertently, harmonizing their educational content and procedures.

 

[1] Baden-Württemberg. Ministerium Für Kultus, Jugend Und Sport. Landeszentrale Für Politische Bildung Baden-Württemberg. Demokratiebildung: Schule Für Demokratie, Demokratie Für Schule. By Robert Feil. Paderborn: Bonifatius GmbH, 2019. June 2019. Accessed July 19, 2019. http://www.bildungsplaene-bw.de/site/bildungsplan/get/documents/lsbw/Bildungsplaene/LeitfadenDemokratiebildung/BP2016BW_ALLG_LFDB_20190712.pdf. 24.

[2] IBID, 45.

[3] Baden-Württemberg. Ministerium Für Kultus, Jugend Und Sport. Zusammenarbeit Mit Dem Landesinstitut Für Schulentwicklung. BILDUNGSPLAN DES GYMNASIUMS: Gemeinschaftskunde. Villingen-Schwenningen, BW: Neckar-Verlag GmbH, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://www.bildungsplaene-bw.de/site/bildungsplan/get/documents/lsbw/export-pdf/depot-pdf/ALLG/BP2016BW_ALLG_GYM_GK.pdf. 28.

[4] Baden-Württemberg. Ministerium Für Kultus, Jugend Und Sport. Zusammenarbeit Mit Dem Landesinstitut Für Schulentwicklung. BILDUNGSPLAN DES GYMNASIUMS: Geschichte. Villingen-Schwenningen, BW: Neckar-Verlag GmbH, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://www.bildungsplaene-bw.de/site/bildungsplan/get/documents/lsbw/export-pdf/depot-pdf/ALLG/BP2016BW_ALLG_GYM_G.pdf. 31.

[5] Baden-Württemberg. Ministerium Für Kultus, Jugend Und Sport. Zusammenarbeit Mit Dem Landesinstitut Für Schulentwicklung. BILDUNGSPLAN DES GYMNASIUMS: Wirtschaft. Villingen-Schwenningen, BW: Neckar-Verlag GmbH, 2019. Accessed July 24, 2019. http://www.bildungsplaene-bw.de/site/bildungsplan/get/documents/lsbw/export-pdf/depot-pdf/ALLG/BP2016BW_ALLG_GYM_WI.pdf. 21.

[6] Iglesias-Dunz, Elke, Jonas Rau, Lothar Schaechterle, Rolf Schemel, Wolfram Willfahrt, Lothar Schaechterle, and Wolfram Willfahrt. Politik Entdecken – Gymnasium Baden-Württemberg/8.-10. Schuljahr – Schülerbuch. Berlin: Cornelsen Verlag, 2018. ISBN: 978-3-06-064609-8. P. 290-291.

[7] Hecht, Dörthe, Gerfried Kübler, Erik Müller, and Hartwig Riedel. Politik & Co. Baden-Württemberg 1 – Neu. Bamberg: Buchner, C.C., 2018. ISBN: 978-3-661-71003-7. P. 298.

[8] Hecht, Dörthe, Gerfried Kübler, Erik Müller, and Hartwig Riedel. Politik & Co. Baden-Württemberg 1 – Neu. Bamberg: Buchner, C.C., 2018. ISBN: 978-3-661-71003-7. P. 308.

[9] Hecht, Dörthe, Gerfried Kübler, Erik Müller, and Hartwig Riedel. Politik & Co. Baden-Württemberg 1 – Neu. Bamberg: Buchner, C.C., 2018. ISBN: 978-3-661-71003-7. P. 312.

[10] Hecht, Dörthe, Gerfried Kübler, Erik Müller, and Hartwig Riedel. Politik & Co. Baden-Württemberg 1 – Neu. Bamberg: Buchner, C.C., 2018. ISBN: 978-3-661-71003-7. P. 315.