Lade Inhalt...

Promoting Excellence in the German Education System

Hausarbeit 2004 12 Seiten

Pädagogik - Schulwesen, Bildungs- u. Schulpolitik


Table of Contents:

1 Introductory Information
1.1 Foreword
1.2 Germany’s (Gifted) Education

2 Excellent Models for Excellence Education
2.1 Munich Model of Giftedness
2.2 The Systems Model of Creativity

3 Personal, Person-Centered Perspective

4 Final Thoughts


1 Introductory Information

1.1 Foreword

“Excellence” covers a wide range of meanings, the term includes intelligence, creativity, expertise, giftedness and, according to the field of study or language, it can say much more. A definition of each item varies like the high number of researchers that tried to define them. What excellence means is as interesting as the question of “how we can indicate it” and “from where it appears”. The following essay tries to find an answer for “how” and “where” by quoting models of Heller and Csikszentmihalyi, and their adjustment to the German education system.

Through my work as a social worker at a high-school in Germany (Albrecht-Altdorfer- Gymnasium, Regensburg), I experienced a highly heterogeneous group of young students. The children I worked with, were between 10 and 16 years old, attended different primary schools and reached unequal levels of knowledge. Due to the fact that my function at this school was counseling and offering recreational activities, I received the chance to see the teacher’s situation as well. They were as heterogeneous as the students, some were interested in the learner’s situation, some were not. An adequate promotion - and I do not even talk about excellence - seemed to be impossible. This is the reason why I am interested in improving this situation and this essay gives me the opportunity to accomplish my thoughts.

I decided to introduce the Munich Model of Giftedness by Heller et al. and the Systems Model of Creativity by Csikszentmihalyi et al. since these models go with Germans view of education. Not only school as an institution but also family (-background) plays an important role, last but not least because children are part-time students in Germany and people have antithetic expectances to governmental responsibilities. On the one hand parents claim for full-time schools, on the other hand they to want to get their children raised (often seen as “brainwashed”) by the ideologies of the state.

After giving an overview of the two named models in this essay, I will express my personal idea of promoting excellence in education by accepting German culture. It might be a person- centered or family-oriented perspective but works in respect to societal orientation. Concluding, this research paper is based on recent cross-cultural but primarily German literature, as well as own ideas and experiences. My personal view dominates this essay in respect to scientific models.

1.2 Germany’s (Gifted) Education

Before applying models to the German Education, we need to know some general information about this system. Children’s compulsory education begins by the age of six when they enter primary school (Grundschule). After four years according to their ability, they can choose to attend a main school (Hauptschule), an intermediate school (Realschule) or a grammar school (Gymnasium). While the last named school form encourages the students to attend the so-called tertiary level (Universities), the others are more practical oriented to prepare the students for their vocational training. Bavaria offers a further opportunity for intermediate school students. They have the possibility to attend a specialized secondary school (Fachoberschule) to reach an almost equivalent certificate like the A-level (Abitur), which is the qualification for university entrance. The age of the graduates is usually 19.

Bavaria provides schools for children with special needs as well, but there are only some, almost none, schools for gifted children. The more common procedures for gifted students are listed below.

Table 1: High ability promotion according to the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF, 2003, p. 48)

illustration not visible in this excerpt

2 Excellent Models for Excellence Education

2.1 Munich Model of Giftedness (MMG)

The Munich multi-dimensional concept of talent, as shown below, goes together with Gardner’s multiple forms of intelligence. Heller and Hany (1993) developed a model of certain dimensions of giftedness, which appear in specific performance areas. Excellence in one or more domains evolves when non-cognitive personality factors, environmental conditions and talent factors work together. Every single talent develops when it is shown in the responsibility of communicating with others instead of using it for one self.

illustration not visible in this excerpt

Figure 1: Munich Model of Giftedness (Heller et al. 1992)

The reciprocal interaction of environment and personality characteristics through talent factors illustrates how excellence emerges and how it can be promoted. The performance area is only the result of the interplay of moderators and predictors. Even a worse performance in a certain domain, does not necessarily mean there is no talent - moderators might suppress the ability.



ISBN (eBook)
703 KB
Institution / Hochschule
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München – Psychology of Excellence
Promoting Excellence German Education System Conceptions




Titel: Promoting Excellence in the German Education System