Reforms of the German Education System Essay

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Reforms of the German education system:
The abolition of the divided secondary school system and a prolonged integrated primary school

In Germany at present six- to ten-year-old pupils visit primary school from first to fourth form. At the age of ten an allocation takes place: the pupils are divided into four groups depending on intelligence and achievements at school. The ‘Gymnasium', which is roughly equivalent to grammar school, is visited by the best ones, and their final examination after eight years of attendance, the ‘Abitur' that more or less corresponds to A levels, allows them to go to university. The average pupils attend the so-called ‘Realschule', and the weak ones go to the ‘Hauptschule' for five respectively six years.
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But the majority of educationalists see the necessity of an early allocation as out-dated. No other country in the world sorts out its pupils as early as Germany. The individual support of pupils is also possible in very heterogeneous learning groups. The highly talented pupils can be individually encouraged as well as the pupils who have big problems with learning. The only prerequisite for this individual support is the fact that not everybody must acquire the same knowledge at school, but each pupil must obtain a knowledge, which is tailor-made for his or her personality and character. Everybody must have a good individual development of his or her capacities and learning skills. For this reason the training and further education of teachers must contain how to make distinctions between highly- and less-talented pupils in heterogeneous classes.
The divided secondary education system in Germany has a concept, which is very controversial. Ignoring heterogeneity and distinction due to the fact that they are less comfortable and an attitude which says: ‘The right pupil for the right school, and if the lesson fails, it is because of the wrong pupil' has bad consequences. Pupils who feel themselves as not being welcome at a place where the decision on their future is made, unreasonable demands on their performance and speed of learning before they can develop confidence in their abilities, end in a vicious circle of mutual expectations and ascriptions.

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