God and the German School

109 posts in this topic

 

There are many other small gory details which have been safely ignored.

I agree with you that history lessons are more about (political) indoctrination than about teaching the real story, and the common Polish/German/Russian history is a very good example for that. There are so many taboos and twisted historical facts on all sides, that the countries would need a neutral "referee" to rewrite their history books. If you are Polish, you know what I'm talking about: Katyn, the ethnic cleansing of Germans from the eastern territories, the death of millions of Poles through the hands of the Germans and Russians, the Soviet/Polish concentration camps in Zgoda, Potulice, Jaworzno and elsewhere, the rape of countless German and Polish women by Soviet soldiers, Jedwabne ... the list is endless. Every country has its own version of what happened and who is to blame, so who decides what the real truth is and what should be taught in school?

 

 

or better when? There's no curriculum saying Marshall YES, Morgenthau NO.

Abitur in 1978. At that time, history lessons were about the good west and the evil communists. Any teaching of things like the Morgenthau plan or the sacrifice of millions of Soviet soldiers for example were off limits. That seems to have changed, if I understood you correctly. Good.

 

 

Both of you sound like you're having an agenda.

What do you mean?

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I agree with you that history lessons are more about (political) indoctrination than about teaching the real story, and the common Polish/German/Russian history is a very good example for that. There are so many taboos and twisted historical facts on all sides, that the countries would need a neutral "referee" to rewrite their history books. If you are Polish, you know what I'm talking about: Katyn, the ethnic cleansing of Germans from the eastern territories, the death of millions of Poles through the hands of the Germans and Russians, the Soviet/Polish concentration camps in Zgoda, Potulice, Jaworzno and elsewhere, the rape of countless German and Polish women by Soviet soldiers, Jedwabne ... the list is endless. Every country has its own version of what happened and who is to blame, so who decides what the real truth is and what should be taught in school?

 

where did you go to school in which decade?

 

When we had asked about Katyn for example, our teacher would have said, go to the library and please present what you found out friday next week.

There's always a truth to find out, and scientific mehtods mean FINDING them out by collecting facts. That principle is and was taught, but probably only in my school.

 

edit: OK, you're around 20 years older. Things really have changed if i read what you say. The climate was: ASK, if there's no answer, we have to find a way to collect info. Morgenthau, how can that be taboo?

 

My teachers were 68er generation. I think they had a different view on German 'taboos'.

 

Problem is, you'Re 'agreeing' with a parent of a young kid soon going to school, while you did Abitur in 1978, probably in another Bundesland. That's not a good base of discussion.You'Re simply not talking about the same stuff. 45 years difference. Abi 1978 or Abi 2023?

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There's always a truth to find out

How do you find the real truth? Different sources in different countries will tell you different stories.

 

 

Morgenthau, how can that be taboo?

Because the nasty truth didn't fit into the rosy picture that was painted by our politicians about our friends in the west.

 

 

Problem is, you'Re 'agreeing' with a parent of a young kid soon going to school...

I have a young kid going to school in the USA. Do you believe political indoctrination happens only in Europe? ;)

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I have a young kid going to school in the USA. Do you believe political indoctrination only happens in Europe?

 

I will explain: Your experience is of 1978 Germany. Your teachers were basicly the teachers of the 1950s.

My school experience is of the 1990's and already vastly different than yours. I can claim that given a 'average' teacher and history classes, especially LK in Gymnasium DO NOT work that way. To call it political indoctrination is simply false.

The methods used or teached are the ones you would later use in university if you study political science or history or whatever. We were teached to ask criticl questions.

 

Now you tell that other poster, who wonders about German schools, your experience of 1978 being universal and still true. It is not contemporary anymore. I can tell you that.

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Now you tell that other poster, who wonders about German schools, your experience of 1978 being universal and still true.

If you read through the last couple of posts, you will see that Kropotkin brought up the topic of political indoctrination, and I simply agreed with him. Besides: do you stop gaining experience once you've left school?

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If you read through the last couple of posts, you will see that Kropotkin brought up the topic of political indoctrination, and I simply agreed with him.

 

Political indoctrination IN GERMAN SCHOOLS. But you made it seem that your experience still holds value, as if it was oh so obvious. You didn't directly tell that you finished school a few decades ago.

You both agree on a subject you have close to zero experience with. Not saying this out of spite, it's simply a fact. 2011 isn't 1978.

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Political indoctrination is not limited to a certain era or country. It's universal, to be found everywhere and at any given time in history. Do you really believe that history lessons in Germany are free of it? You are indoctrinated... :D

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You are indoctrinated...

 

You make it sound such a dirty process. Most people just call it education. ;)

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Political indoctrination is not limited to a certain era or country. It's universal, to be found everywhere and at any given time in history. Do you really believe that history lessons in Germany are free of it? You are indoctrinated...

 

Now tell me something about classes in Oberstufe. You act as if you knew anything about contemporary teachers in german schools. Withdrawing to universal 'wisdoms' only shows that you have no arguments left. Your first arguments were rather precise, unfortunately not based on contemporary facts.

 

How would a teacher in 12th grade react if you brought up 'taboo' topics like Katyn now? Tell me! You don't know? How come? Maybe because you left the country 30 years ago.

 

Geschichte LK, Oberstufe gives you the tools to work through indoctrination and find your own sources. Fact.

 

Btw since this is about religion. IN 5th grade we learned that before we know better we have to read the bible in a neutral way. Relate it to the people who lived in that era and try to understand what core information they wanted to spread out and which methods and parabulas, 'fillers' they used. Indoctrination... of course. Using your brain... Cain and abel not being people, but representing the persistent or nomads. Whatever. This has never been 'bible hour' reading verses, but learning about what Religion or the bible IS when you look at it. And what can you take out of it if, even if you're not practising and religious at all.

 

I doubt my school was exceptional. If you want to send your kids there... lol Görres Gymnasium, Düsseldorf, Königsallee 57. :-)

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Hi there donno,

 

I see the point you are making, but it seems the discussion leader didn't state there were alternatives to thinking God was a butterfly either, and yet you do not complain about that...

 

Some people feel very uncomfortable around an kind of religious expression, even a benign example from a child.

 

I agree that it would be wrong for a secular body to become a vehicle for the promotion of one particular belief set or lifestyle, but I don't think a child expressing a view constitutes that. I think encouraging the kids to express views is the point of the exercise.

 

If there is any issue here its to do with the kids manners (if she was as aggressive as you say), not her opinion.

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you have no arguments left.

True. It's hard to argue with a brick wall, you know... :D

 

 

 

...unfortunately not based on contemporary facts.

You mean, compared to your own 15 year old 'contemporary' facts? You're funny.

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I grew up in Canada, did all my schooling there and I was not subject to a single religion class. After reading this thread I feel like I got ripped off big time and I think it's good that German schools still have stuff like 'religion class' in their curriculum. It doesn't matter whether you are Christian or gnostic or agnostic or whatever else - religion is part of history. I was fresh out of high school when I first visited those world-class museums in Berlin, and could not appreciate a lot of things I saw..

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Working with a large base of text and sources, research, present and give your own thoughts about it. Etc.

The way oberstufe works is not that much different of historical studies. We spend most of the time presenting our own findings on text and were discussing as many subjects as you could fit in 6 hours per week. I do even remember guys holding 3 hour presentations on topics various topics about China or Turkey.

 

I really don't see the problem you guys have. Both of you sound like you'Re having an agenda.

That might be your problem.

 

To say that German history curriculum especially in sek 1 und 2 is channeled to the point of almost brainwashing is ridiculous. Simply not true. There was no question unanswered. And if there was no direct answer, ask for a presentation. Go to the library and discuss.

 

Sorry - but unless you were doing research in multiple languages from radically different sources, then perhaps your research methods were the best available, but they were not "scientific". For example, would you do research about Katyn using Polish or Russian sources? Seems doubtful. The body of available text defined the limitation of your analysis. With the internet and google translate, that could be different now. I would bet that it makes grading is quite a bit more difficult, but that most students don't bother with too many translations.

 

What is my agenda? :rolleyes:

 

For the record, i am very satisfied with the teachers my son has been lucky to have up to this point. I see some excellent educational opportunities for kids in Berlin if their parents are willing to do the research on the School Portraits page of the berlin.de site. I have the impression that this is a minority view.

 

The 68ers have a brand of left-wing nationalism that i never saw in the US and find distasteful. 68ers have little relevance in the former east Germany where i live. 68ers educated many of the parents whom i have met at the local playgrounds and have almost reactionary nationalistic tendencies despite having a high level of education and normally associating their political leanings with the Greens or SPD.

 

My son has never come home and asked about his religion, i.e. if he is Catholic, Protestant, other, etc, however, the issue of nationality came up, prompted by other kids, as early as the first class.

 

I would prefer an additional class in number theory, geology, electronics, poetry, ...

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My son has never come home and asked about his religion, i.e. if he is Catholic, Protestant, other, etc, however, the issue of nationality came up, prompted by other kids, as early as the first class.

 

Is he noticeably American or does he talk like a native?

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In the UK, as an athiest I would say the pendulum has gone too far the other way. Christians (at least most CofE) do not preach in the public realm.

 

A child has to be free to speak their truth. With age will come subtelty, but telling a young child off for expressing a deeply held truth shows no real tolerance of their belief.

 

If your child is not exposed to true believers expressing their truth how does your child have any true freedom of choice in religion?

 

Different of course if the adult is trying to indoctrinate.

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Is he noticeably American or does he talk like a native?

 

He talks like a native. He goes to a public school, but a special public "Europaschule", but not German-English.

 

In case anyone is interested:

 

http://www.berlin.de/sen/bildung/besondere_angebote/staatl_europaschule/

 

There are Germans and there are non-Germans and that division, while not absolutely strict, is apparent to some degree among the kids, but probably more so among the parents.

 

One impression i have about Germany is that there is a strong identification with nationality and by that, i don't necessarily mean nationalism. As far as I know, the teachers at this school do not encourage it.

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As the last post was 10 years ago, I'd be interested in any more recent thoughts on this, because my oldest son has just started Gymnasium and has been put in the philosophy class, rather than one of the religious classes. Like many folk in England (the vast majority in my day), I was brought up C of E and even went to a church school, but in terms of religion it very much accorded to the old joke: "are you religious? No, I'm Church of England". As such, I suppose I'm agnostic.

Over here the folk seem to take religion much more seriously: particularly here in very Catholic Eifel, but I'm aware down south it's also a big deal. The Evangelisch course has fewer pupils than philosophy, and according to older kids at the school, it's  the easiest to pass. That made my son interested (nothing to do with any preference for any or no religion). I don't really have a problem with my son changing on that basis, but if the course is dogmatic (i.e. "this is the right way, all others will burn in hell") I'd rather he avoided it. 

Any of you have recent experience as to how the religious courses are currently being taught in German schools, and if so, any views as to how it compared to a typical RE class in the UK?   

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Not dogmatic, would be our experience.

 

All of my 4 did Evangelisch. It was at least as vague and wiffly as the UK C of E stuff was in my experience.

 

There was a good whack of philosophy and ethics etc involved, but I guess individual teachers would have a different emphasis.

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Thanks for the reply @kiplette, that was what I was hoping. I was just feeling a bit worried about it because I was at a funeral here in the village a couple of weeks ago, and the vicar gave a "fire and brimstone" speech for about half an hour, which completely threw me...oh and earlier in the summer one of my youngest son's friends suggested they play "confession" with the whole hail Mary stuff chucked in. I'd hoped Evangelisch might be a bit more "religion-light", but with the Germans I'm never that sure that they do anything without claiming to be 100% certain that their way is the only right way. 

 

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