The dimension 'Free activity and instructed activity' based on learning theory. This dimension is directed at the children's activities that are initiated by the teacher or are selected freely by the children, whereby the none availability of certain materials already limits the children's freedom. Thus, it is about the degree of control by the teacher. The nature and intensity of the control can vary greatly. The teacher's actions are always related to the goal of initiating certain learning processes in the children.
However, the latter cannot be controlled, only guided. However, the emphasis of the constructive activity on the part of the learner should not be interpreted in such a way that no instructional efforts are required from the teachers Giest This would be the equivalent of an unacceptable transfer of learning psychology-based statements to teaching, which Meyer refers to as a 'constructivist trap'.
Here, an instructional teaching style is associated with an active teacher and a passive learner, whilst a constructivist teaching style is associated with a rather more passive teacher and an active learner. The value of free activity in the kindergarten lies in the fact that here one has to do with a high measure of intrinsic motivation, which per definition goes hand in hand with high self-determination. Nevertheless, instructions also play an important role in this regard. The empirical findings in the last few years confirm the significance of instructional activity on the part of the teacher e.
The meta-analysis by Alfieri et al. Against the background of these insights, the dimension 'free and guided activities' describes a larger bandwidth of observed activities of the child that take place within a framework dictated by the teacher. It is the teacher's task to adapt the nature and intensity of the control within the learning arrangement in such a way that it stimulates the children to analyse the content which they have either chosen themselves or been given.
This dimension thus looks directly at the activity or indirectly at the intentions of the teacher. Behind this is then the question of the successful guidance and control of the child's learning processes by the teacher. The stimulation of thought processes through content, strategic or motivational impulses or the so-called 'guided participation' of the children can contribute to individual learning support Krammer This must be deliberately designed and also always requires an analysis of the educational goals that one wishes to achieve as well as the skills one wants to encourage Fthenakis ; Fthenakis et al.
The model as orientation framework for the actions of teachers. The following example 4 shows how the teacher - commencing with the activities of the children who make free use of the available material - first considers subject-specific aspects by spontaneously giving impulses and consciously promoting certain aspects. During the course of the lesson, the teacher then takes up one of the children's topics and focuses on interdisciplinary aspects Streit During free play, a number of children play with various geometric wooden figures. The so-called 'Pattern Blocks' represent aesthetically appealing material that encourages children to engage in various activities.
Most of the children make pictures and patterns: Tobias builds a robot with all sorts of shapes, Tina makes star-shaped rosettes with the rhombuses and Lea creates mirror-imaged characters. If one now looks at the products with subject-specific - in this case mathematical -'spectacles', they have one thing in common: The robot shows vertical axial symmetry, the rosettes are multiply axially and rotationally symmetrical, Lea's product is vertically and horizontally axially symmetrical.
Other symmetrical products are also created. There is such a large variety that the teacher decides to deal with the topic of symmetry in instructed sequences. In order to use the children's ideas as a point of departure, the teacher takes photographs of their products and gives them the task of drawing their patterns or pictures. She gives them paper and coloured pencils to use. In the meantime, Julia has made a tower out of yellow, regular hexagons. When she runs out of hexagons, she looks for alternative shapes and discovers that she can make a regular hexagon with the same area from two red symmetrical trapeziums.
She finds this so interesting that she tells the teacher about her discovery. She takes up the idea and asks Julia if there are other pattern blocks from which she could make a hexagon. Julia tries and tries and eventually proudly presents the teacher with a hexagon made out of six green equal-sided triangles. Other children join in and take up the idea of the tower.
Tom now also wants to build a tower that is as tall as he is. Unfortunately, it always collapses before he reaches the correct height. The teacher gives a subject-specific impulse: The suggestion meets with their approval, and a little whilst later, there are rows of pattern blocks of various lengths: During the follow-up discussion, the various lengths are discussed and the problem of comparability arises when various shapes are used as a unit of measurement.
The products of the other children are also introduced and discussed. During the next few days, all the children work on the topic of symmetry in prepared learning sequences. They start with the children's drawings and the photographs from the previous day and then go on to other pictures and objects that the teacher has brought along. During the discussion, the children's expressions, such as 'back-to-front' and the same again on the other side 'are used again and then gradually the term 'symmetry' is introduced. Next the children examine various pictures in groups to find axial symmetry. They discover that the use of a mirror or fold-lines can be helpful.
So-called 'symmetry-walks' and the opportunity to bring along their own symmetrical pictures or objects expands their view to symmetries in the man-made and living environment and results in the question as to why symmetry is such an important principle. The teacher does not answer this question directly, but rather lets the children be involved themselves: Armed with building material, the children discover that, for example, symmetrical bodies are particularly stable and that nonsymmetrical paper airplanes fly much less effectively than symmetrical ones.
Finally, the children create symmetrical pieces of art. They are allowed to use stamps or stencils; however, the question is first and foremost how these 'building blocks' are arranged, so that they eventually create a simple or multiply symmetrical piece of art. In the final phase, the focus is on the aesthetic aspect of the work of art.
A child has deliberately included an element that breaks the symmetry. What effect does this have on the observer? In the example, the children's activities and their resultant products are deliberately used by the teacher in order to give impulses that are based on subject-specific considerations and goals. Mathematically, rich activities are thus developed from the free play and with corresponding instructional support by the teacher.
On the basis of concrete actions and by using the various materials, fundamental mathematical content and processes are experienced, which facilitate intuitive access to the realm of ideas of Mathematics. One also speaks of 'fundamental ideas': The concept of 'fundamental ideas' goes back to Bruner He assumes that the difference between the activities of the scientist and the child lies not primarily in the nature of the activity, but rather in the level.
In so doing, it is important to limit oneself to the fundamental ideas of the subject and then develop these further in a spiral pattern. These include, inter alia symmetry, measuring and part-whole relations - all three become visible in the above example of what happens in teaching during free play. Initially, the teacher only influences the children's activities by providing them with the materials Figure 2 , Field 1.
The invitation to draw the products that have been made implies a stronger control of the children's activities. The teacher gives no guidelines about the way the drawings should be made; the implementation of the instruction remains open and is also largely dependent on the children's drawing skills.
At the same time, the instruction is selective and goal oriented because only those children are addressed whose products illustrate various symmetries. The question directed at Julia and the invitation to Tom point to the part-whole concept or to first experiences in measuring to be more precise: The teacher's impulses encourage problem solving or provide assistance in the problem-solving process. In relation to the model, movement has taken place in the direction of stronger control and focussing on subject aspects Figure 2 , Field 2.
Starting with the ideas and products from the children, the teacher decides to deal with the topic of symmetry in depth and in an interdisciplinary manner. In order to do this, she prepares relevant tasks and reflects on the results together with the children. This has to do with a learning arrangement for the whole group; however, the focus no longer lies only on the mathematical aspects of symmetry; now interdisciplinary aspects are dealt with in making use of the topic of symmetry.
Nevertheless, the mathematical discoveries on symmetry can assist the children in recognising symmetries in their natural and man-made environment, as well as in understanding and consciously using the design or mechanical element. In this way, for example, connections can be made to aesthetic and technical education. Prerequisites for this are impulses and questions that challenge the children to constructively interconnect various points of access to phenomena. Then the insight gained from the different subjects and educational areas can lead to a more in-depth understanding of the relevant phenomena and give various points of access to reality.
The teacher controls the children's activities to varying degrees; there are free and instructed activities for the children, but all are related to a given topic. The movement in the model is now in the direction of 'interdisciplinary orientation' Figure 2 , Field 3. One could locate the illustration of the complex lesson process in an even more differentiated manner.
However, it must suffice here to show that the teacher makes use of the entire spectrum of the model. Her actions are geared towards subject and interdisciplinary goals by incorporating the children's activities and the products created by them. In so doing, she makes use of different forms of control and different intensities of control of the children's activities.
Towards teacher education and professional development. The model that has its foundation in theory and its place in the practice of teaching can serve as a framework in training of teachers in preservice programmes as well as in teacher inservice development programmes. The aim is that teachers should use the full range of both dimensions and, through their pedagogical activity, relate the two poles that are often seen as opposites, with each other and integrate them with each other.
Thus, it would become an instrument of analysis and reflection for one's personal teaching and for the teaching of others. Patterns of behaviour as well as 'blind spots' could then become apparent and, where necessary, be changed. The application and implementation of the model requires diverse skills that can be characterised and described in terms of the individual poles of the dimensions.
From this, one can then deduce the consequences for teaching or, in terms of scaffolding, consciously promote learning activities in suitable situations. Over and above that, subject and subject-didactical skills are necessary in order to spot the subject-specific content in the activities of the children and then to support them in a sustainable manner in their learning processes and to make use of adequate learning materials. These subject and subject-didactical skills then form the precondition for recognising educationally relevant connections between subjects and educational areas and for implementing them in the form of interdisciplinary teaching Di Giulio et al.
The requirements described above are highly demanding and it is only possible to a limited degree to deal with them properly within the framework of basic training. However, the model offers the opportunity of designing training and further training coherently based on theory and relating them to one another.
An explicit placement of training and furthertraining phases or individual learning sequences in the model enables one to focus on those aspects of teaching that one wishes to concentrate on, without losing the awareness of the complexity of the teaching process. The model also makes the processing of other interconnecting questions from various subject areas possible and thus creates a wide base for communication between representatives of training and further-training.
On the one hand, subject-specific aspects can be worked out within the framework of interdisciplinary topics and it can be described to what extent they complement or enrich one another. The range of offered afternoon activities is different from school to school however, most German schools offer choirs or orchestras, sometimes sports, theater or languages.
Many of these are offered as semi-scholastic AG's Arbeitsgemeinschaften — literally "working groups" , which are mentioned, but not officially graded in students' reports. Other common extracurricular activities are organized as private clubs, which are very popular in Germany. There are three blocks of lessons where each lesson takes 45 minutes.
After each block, there is a break of 15—20 minutes, also after the 6th lesson the number of lessons changes from year to year, so it's possible that one would be in school until 4 o'clock. In grades 11—13, 11—12, or 12—13 depending on the school system , each student majors in two or three subjects "Leistungskurse". These are usually taught five lessons per week. The other subjects "Grundkurse" are usually taught three periods per week. The class is supposed to train the students' scientific research skills that will be necessary in their later university life.
There are huge differences between the 16 states of Germany having alternatives to this basic pattern such as Waldorfschulen or other private schools. Adults can also go back to evening school and take the Abitur exam. In , six percent of German children attended private schools. In Germany , Article 7, Paragraph 4 of the Grundgesetz , the constitution of Germany, guarantees the right to establish private schools. This article belongs to the first part of the German basic law , which defines civil and human rights. A right which is guaranteed in this part of the Grundgesetz can only be suspended in a state of emergency , if the respective article specifically states this possibility.
That is not the case with this article. It is also not possible to abolish these rights. This unusual protection of private schools was implemented to protect them from a second Gleichschaltung or similar event in the future. Ersatzschulen are ordinary primary or secondary schools which are run by private individuals, private organizations or religious groups. These schools offer the same types of diplomas as in public schools.
However, Ersatzschulen, like their state-run counterparts, are subjected to basic government standards, such as the minimum required qualifications of teachers and pay grades. An Ersatzschule must have at least the same academic standards as those of a state school and Article 7, Paragraph 4 of the Grundgesetz, allows to forbid the segregation of pupils according to socioeconomic status the so-called Sonderungsverbot.
Therefore, most Ersatzschulen have very low tuition fees compared to those in most other Western European countries; scholarships are also often available. However, it is not possible to finance these schools with such low tuition fees: Some students attend private schools through welfare subsidies. This is often the case if a student is considered to be a child at risk: After allowing for the socio-economic status of the parents, children attending private schools are not as able as those at state schools.
At the Programme for International Student Assessment PISA for example, after considering socioeconomic class, students at private schools underperformed those at state schools. Some private Realschulen and Gymnasien have lower entry requirements than public Realschulen and Gymnasien. There are several types of special schools in Germany such as:. Only one in 21 German children attends such a special school. Teachers at those schools are qualified professionals who have specialized in special-needs education while at university.
Special schools often have a very favourable student-teacher ratio and facilities compared with other schools. Special schools have been criticized. It is argued that special education separates and discriminates against those who are disabled or different. There are very few specialist schools for gifted children. As German schools do not IQ-test children, most intellectually gifted children remain unaware that they fall into this category.
The German psychologist, Detlef H. Rost, carried out a pioneer long-term study on gifted children called the Marburger Hochbegabtenprojekt. Those who scored at least two standard deviations above the mean were categorised as gifted. A total of gifted subjects participated in the study alongside controls. All participants in the study were tested blind with the result that they did not discover whether they were gifted or not.
The study revealed that the gifted children did very well in school.
The vast majority later attended a Gymnasium and achieved good grades. However, 15 percent, were classified as underachievers because they attended a Realschule two cases or a Hauptschule one case , had repeated a grade four cases or had grades that put them in the lower half of their class the rest of cases. The report also concluded that most gifted persons had high self-esteem and good psychological health. Gifted children seemed to be served well by Germany's existing school system.
The assessment in the year demonstrated serious weaknesses in German pupils' performance. In the test of 41 countries, Germany ranked 21st in reading and 20th in both mathematics and the natural sciences , prompting calls for reform. In response, Germany's states formulated a number of specific initiatives addressing the perceived problems behind Germany's poor performance. By , German schoolchildren had improved their position compared to previous years, being ranked statistically significantly above average rank 13 in science skills and statistically not significantly above or below average in mathematical skills rank 20 and reading skills rank The PISA Examination also found big differences in achievement between students attending different types of German schools.
But what they prefer to forget is that this success came at the cost of a catastrophe in the Hauptschulen. Germany has high standards in the education of craftspeople. Historically very few people attended college. In the s for example, 80 percent had only Volksschule "primary school" -Education of 6 or 7 years. Only 5 percent of youths entered college at this time and still fewer graduated. In the s, 6 percent of youths entered college. In there were still 8, cities in which no children received secondary education. In fact, many of those who did not receive secondary education were highly skilled craftspeople and members of the upper middle class.
Even though more people attend college today, a craftsperson is still highly valued in German society. Historically prior to the 20th century the relationship between a master craftsman and his apprentice was paternalistic. Apprentices were often very young when entrusted to a master craftsman by their parents. It was seen as the master's responsibility not only to teach the craft, but also to instill the virtues of a good craftsman.
He was supposed to teach honour, loyalty, fair-mindedness, courtesy and compassion for the poor. He was also supposed to offer spiritual guidance, to ensure his apprentices fulfilled their religious duties and to teach them to "honour the Lord" Jesus Christ with their lives. The master craftsman who failed to do this would lose his reputation and would accordingly be dishonoured - a very bad fate in those days.
The apprenticeship ended with the so-called Freisprechung exculpation. The master announced in front of the trade heading that the apprentice had been virtuous and God-loving. He had two options: Working for another master had several disadvantages. One was that, in many cases, the journeyman who was not a master was not allowed to marry and found a family. Because the church disapproved of sex outside of marriage, he was obliged to become a master if he did not want to spend his life celibate. This was called "Waltz" or Journeyman years. In those days, the crafts were called the "virtuous crafts" and the virtuosness of the craftspersons was greatly respected.
Nowadays, the education of craftspersons has changed - in particular self-esteem and the concept of respectability. Also certain virtues are ascribed to certain crafts.
Education in Germany - Wikipedia
For example, a person might be called "always on time like a bricklayer" to describe punctuality. Today, a young person who wants to start an apprenticeship must first find an "Ausbilder": The "Ausbilder" must also provide proof of no criminal record and proof of respectability. The Ausbilder has to be at least 24 years of age. The Ausbilder has several duties, such as teaching the craft and the techniques, and instilling character and social skills. In some cases, the Ausbilder must also provide board and lodging.
Agreement is reached on these points before the apprenticeship begins. The apprentice will also receive payment for his work. An Ausbilder who provides board and lodging may set this off against the payment made. In the past, many of those who applied for an apprenticeship had only primary school education. Nowadays, only those with secondary school education apply for apprenticeships because secondary school attendance has become compulsory.
In some trades, it has even become difficult for those holding the Hauptschulabschluss to find an apprenticeship because more and more pupils leave school with the Realschulabschluss or Abitur. The apprenticeship takes three years. During that time, the apprentice is trained by the Ausbilder and also attends a vocational school.
This is called the " German model " or " dual education system " "Duale Ausbildung". Germany's universities are recognised internationally; in the Academic Ranking of World Universities ARWU for , six of the top universities in the world are in Germany, and 18 of the top The dual education system combines both practical and theoretical education but does not lead to academic degrees. It is more popular in Germany than anywhere else in the world and is a role model for other countries.
The oldest universities of Germany are also among the oldest and best regarded in the world, with Heidelberg University being the oldest established in and in continuous operation since then. While German universities have a strong focus on research, a large part of it is also done outside of universities in independent institutes that are embedded in academic clusters, such as within the Max Planck , Fraunhofer , Leibniz and Helmholtz institutes. The German tertiary education system distinguishes between two types of institutions: Other degree-awarding higher education institutions may use the more generic term Hochschule.
Some universities use the term research university in international usage to emphasize their strength in research activity in addition to teaching, particularly to differentiate themselves from Fachhochschulen. The excellence initiative has awarded eleven universities with the title University of Excellence. Professors at regular universities were traditionally required to have a doctorate as well as a habilitation. Since , the junior professorship was introduced to offer a more direct path to employment as a professor for outstanding doctoral degree. There is another type of university in Germany: Fachhochschulen have a more practical profile with a focus on employability.
In research, they are rather geared to applied research instead of fundamental research. At a traditional university, it is important to study "why" a method is scientifically right; however, this is less important at Universities of Applied Sciences. Here the emphasis is placed on what systems and methods exist, where they come from, what their advantages and disadvantages are, how to use them in practice, when they should be used, and when not. For professors at a Fachhochschule , at least three years of work experience are required for appointment while a habilitation is not expected.
This is unlike their counterparts at traditional universities, where an academic career with research experience is necessary. Prior to the Bologna process , Fachhochschule graduates received a Diplom. FH Max Mustermann for a graduate engineer from a Fachhochschule. The FH Diploma is roughly equivalent to a bachelor's degree. An FH Diploma does not qualify the holder for a doctoral program directly, but in practice universities admit the best FH graduates on an individual basis after an additional entrance exam or participation in theoretical classes.
For Fachhochschulen , the Abitur , the Fachgebundene Hochschulreife certification or the Fachhochschulreife certification general or subject-restricted is required. Lacking these school leaving certifications, in some states potential students can qualify for university entrance if they present additional formal proof that they will be able to keep up with their fellow students. Such is the case, for example, in Hamburg. While there are numerous ways to achieve entrance qualification to German universities,  the most traditional route has always been graduation from a Gymnasium with the Abitur; however this has become less common over time.
As of , less than half of university freshmen in some German states had graduated from a Gymnasium. Even in Bavaria a state with a policy of strengthening the Gymnasium only 56 percent of freshmen had graduated from a Gymnasium. High school diplomas received from countries outside of Germany are, in many cases, not considered equivalent to the Abitur, but rather to a Realschulabschluss and therefore do not qualify the bearer for admission to a German university.
However, it is still possible for such applicants to be admitted to a German university if they fulfill additional formal criteria, such as a particular grade point average or points on a standardized admissions test. These criteria depend on the school leaving certificate of the potential student and are agreed upon by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs. For example, holders of the US high school diploma with a combined math and verbal score of on the SAT or 29 on the ACT may qualify for university admission.
Foreign students lacking the entrance qualification can acquire a degree at a Studienkolleg , which is often recognized as an equivalent to the Abitur. The one-year course covers similar topics as the Abitur and ensures sufficient language skills to take up studies at a German university.
The process of application depends on the degree program applied for, the applicant's origin and the university entrance qualification. According to German law, universities are not permitted to discriminate against or grant preferential treatment to persons on basis of race, ethnic group, gender, social class, religion or political opinion.
Public universities in Germany are funded by the federal states and do not charge tuition fees. However, all enrolled students do have to pay a semester fee Semesterbeitrag. This fee consists of an administrative fee for the university only in some of the states , a fee for Studentenwerk , which is a statutory student affairs organization, a fee for the university's AStA Allgemeiner Studentenausschuss , students' government and Studentenschaft students' union , at many universities a fee for public transportation, and possibly more fees as decided by the university's students' parliament e.
In , the German Federal Constitutional Court ruled that a federal law prohibiting tuition fees was unconstitutional, on the grounds that education is the sole responsibility of the states. Due to massive student protests and a citizens' initiative which collected 70, signatures against tuition fees, the government of Hesse was the first to reverse course before the state election in ; other state governments soon followed. Several parties which spoke out for tuition fees lost state elections.
Bavaria in and Lower Saxony in were the last states to abolish tuition fees. Even after the abolition of general tuition fees, tuition fees for long-time students remain in six states. There are university-sponsored scholarships in Germany and a number of private and public institutions award scholarships—usually to cover living costs and books. Furthermore, students need to have a prospect of remaining in Germany to be eligible; this includes German and EU citizens, but often also long-term residents of other countries.
For international students there are different approaches to get a full scholarship or a funding of their studies. To be able to get a scholarship a successful application is mandatory. It can be submitted upon arrival in Germany as well as after arrival. Therefore, many foreign students have to work in order to finance their studies.
Since the end of World War II , the number of young people entering a university has more than tripled in Germany, but university attendance is still lower than that of many other European nations. This can be explained with the dual education system with its strong emphasis on apprenticeships and vocational schools. Many jobs which do require an academic degree in other countries such as nursing require completed vocational training instead in Germany. The rate of university graduates varies by federal state.
The number is the highest in Berlin and the lowest in Schleswig-Holstein. The organizational structure of German universities goes back to the university model introduced by Wilhelm von Humboldt in the early 19th century, which identifies the unity of teaching and research as well as academic freedom as ideals. This model lead to the foundation of Humboldt University of Berlin and influenced the higher education systems of numerous countries.
Some critics argue that nowadays German universities have a rather unbalanced focus, more on education and less on research. At German universities, students enroll for a specific program of study Studiengang. During their studies, students can usually choose freely from all courses offered at the university. However, all bachelor's degree programs require a number of particular compulsory courses and all degree programs require a minimum number of credits that must be earned in the core field of the program of study.
It is not uncommon to spend longer than the regular period of study Regelstudienzeit at university. There are no fixed classes of students who study and graduate together. Students can change universities according to their interests and the strengths of each university. Sometimes students attend multiple different universities over the course of their studies. This mobility means that at German universities there is a freedom and individuality unknown in the US, the UK, or France.
Professors also choose their subjects for research and teaching freely. This academic freedom is laid down in the German constitution. Since German universities do not offer accommodation or meals, students are expected to organize and pay for board and lodging themselves. Inexpensive places in dormitories are available from Studentenwerk , a statutory non-profit organization for student affairs.
However, there are only enough places for a fraction of students. Other common housing options include renting a private room or apartment as well as living together with one or more roommates to form a Wohngemeinschaft often abbreviated WG. Furthermore, many university students continue to live with their parents. One third to one half of the students works to make a little extra money, often resulting in a longer stay at university. Recently, the implementation of the Bologna Declaration introduced bachelor's and master's degrees as well as ECTS credits to the German higher education system.
Previously, universities conferred Diplom and Magister degrees depending on the field of study, which usually took 4—6 years. These were the only degrees below the doctorate. In the majority of subjects, students can only study for bachelor's and master's degrees , as Diplom or Magister courses do not accept new enrollments. However, a few Diplom courses still prevail. The following Bologna degrees are common in Germany:. In addition, there are courses leading to the Staatsexamen state examination. These did usually not transition to bachelor's and master's degrees.
For future doctors, dentists, veterinarians, pharmacists, and lawyers, the Staatsexamen is required to be allowed to work in their profession. For teachers, judges, and public prosecutors, it is the required degree for working in civil service. Students usually study at university for 4—8 years before they take the First Staatsexamen.
Afterwards, they go on to work in their future jobs for one or two years depending on subject and state , before they are able to take the Second Staatsexamen , which tests their practical abilities. While it is not an academic degree formally, the First Staatsexamen is equivalent to a master's degree and qualifies for doctoral studies.
On request, some universities bestow an additional academic degree e. The highest German academic degree is the doctorate. Each doctoral degree has a particular designation in Latin except for engineering, where the designation is in German , which signifies in which field the doctorate is conferred in. The doctorate is indicated before the name in abbreviated form, e. Max Mustermann for a doctor in natural sciences. Outside of the academic context, however, the designation is usually dropped.
While it is not an academic degree formally, the Habilitation is a higher, post-doctoral academic qualification for teaching independently at universities. It is indicated by appending "habil. The holder of a Habilitation may work as Privatdozent. Scientific research in Germany is conducted by universities and research institutes.
The raw output of scientific research from Germany consistently ranks among the world's best. Additionally, the Union of the German Academies of Sciences and Humanities acts as an umbrella organization for eight local academies and acatech is the Academy of Science and Engineering. Every year, Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft awards ten outstanding scientists working at German research institutions with the Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz Prize , Germany's most important research prize. Nowadays however the person least likely to attend a Gymnasium is a "minority youngster from the ghetto",  who is "the son of immigrants" .
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The influence of social class on educational achievement is much greater in western Germany than it is in eastern Germany former GDR. An analysis of PISA data on Gymnasium pupils for the year showed that, while in western Germany the child of an academic was 7.
Some people believed that immigrants were responsible, because more uneducated immigrant families lived in western than in eastern Germany. This assumption however could not be confirmed. The difference between east and west was even stronger when only ethnic German children were studied. Social class differences in educational achievement are much more marked in Germany's big cities than they are in the rural parts of Germany. In cities with more than , inhabitants, children of academics are Educational achievement varies more in German males than it does in German females: Males are less likely to meet the statewide performance targets, more likely to drop out of school and more likely to be classified emotionally disturbed.
A lack of male role models contributes to a low academic achievement in the case of lower-class males. Children from poor immigrant or working-class families are less likely to succeed in school than children from middle- or upper-class backgrounds. This disadvantage for the financially challenged of Germany is greater than in any other industrialized nation. The poor also tend to be less educated. After allowing for parental education, money does not play a major role in children's academic outcomes. Immigrant children and youths, mostly of lower-class background, are the fastest-growing segment of the German population.
So their prospects bear heavily on the well-being of the country. After controlling for parental education, ethnic group does not play a role in children's academic outcomes. Immigrants from Pakistan, India, China and Vietnam perform exceptionally well. In eastern Germany, Vietnamese and Chinese of lower-class backgrounds outperform students from European backgrounds despite the fact that in most cases their parents are poorer and less educated than the parents of their European-born peers.
Teachers in eastern Germany have also been shown to be more motivated than teachers in western Germany. That might be another reason for this Asian achievement. It was carried out in Berlin, where some of the pupils started at a Gymnasium after the 4th grade, while others stayed in primary school until 6th grade and started at different schools after the 6th grade.
Factors correlated with academic achievement tend to be intercorrelated that means that they are also correlated with other factors that determine academic achievement. The number of books owned by a pupil's parents, for example, is correlated with the parents' education.
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Because of this Multiple Regression Analysis was used. Multiple Regression allows us to understand the influence of one variable when the other variables are held fixed. It was revealed by the study that the most important variable determining mathematical performance in the 6th grade was mathematical performance in the 4th grade. Children who have a head start in the 4th grade keep it until the 6th grade. It was also revealed by the study that some variables were immaterial. If a language other than German is spoken in the home that was correlated with poor mathematical performance in other studies.
However correlation does not imply causation and the ELEMENT-study revealed that if other factors were taken into account for the language spoken at home, this had no effect on mathematical performance. One finding is that those admitted to a Gymnasium after the fourth grade had showed better mathematical ability than those who stayed in primary school, ab initio. That was true for all social classes. Another finding was that children of all social classes did better in the sixth grade when they were at a Gymnasium.
By the end of the sixth grade, those attending a Gymnasium were two years ahead of those attending a primary school. Did the Gymnasium boost students ability?
Education in Germany
There are different opinions about this. Some argue that this is the cases and even after testing performance in grade four, those who were admitted to a Gymnasium outperformed their peers who were not at grade six. Lehman, who did the study. The findings indicate that the Gymnasium help students of all social classes reach their full mathematical potential.