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Aja B.
  • Aja B.
  • New York, NY
  • United States

Online Community Manager, TED

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For non-US TEDizens: Can you tell us about your country's education system?

This week's special on American TV, "TED Talks Education," focuses on problems in US schools.

So here's the place for non-Americans to share: What's an issue in your country's education system that you'd like to see a TED Talk about? Who would you ask to speak? Do you have any success stories to share?

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    May 11 2013: Germany
    I have been lucky enough to be studying in the USA and Germany, there are parallels:
    The German school system is somewhat similar to the high school system in the USA. First there ist Kindergarten, then grade school (1-4) and then you can decide between 4 types of high school, depending on your grades and what kind of career you would like to choose.
    Although the Germans might be better off with their school system than a lot of other countries, I think we're lacking heavily in some areas. After fourth grade, as I said, you can choose to go on to a "Gymnasium" (after graduating there you can go on to College) or you can go to a "Realschule", where you graduate after 10th grade (then you're able to either go further to a "Gymnasium" graduate there and then go to College or you pick up a job). The other option would be a "Hauptschule" this is where the children go that do not have grades good enough to get them into a "Realschule" or a "Gymnasium". They often have the least chance of getting a proper job not speaking of going to College. I mean, is that right? To basically decide what career a child is going to have, based on grades they get when they are ten?
    I did not understand the importance of this decision.
    The fourth option would be a "Gesamtschule" a high school, that any child can attend. They are combining the subject thought in each of the other three "high school options" and wait to see how the child is developing and then see what kind of graduation might be best for them. Understandingly those schools are very popular with parents, so the classes a lot of times are very big.
    This is of course a summary of my impression. This school system is too complex to be explaining it in a comment, but feel free to ask, if there are any questions.

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