shed light on international education
pair of German science professors on an exchange program at The University
of North Carolina at Pembroke in March offered an inside look at their
country's education system.
certainly many differences between the education systems of Germany
and the U.S.," said Dr. Franz Bogner, a biology professor at Ludwigsburg
Pedagogical University. "First of all, there is no German system;
there are 16 systems."
Dr. Bogner said
there are 16 semi-independent states in Germany. Each state believes
its system is the best, but all are funded equally, and college tuition
is free, he said.
Dr. Bogner and Dr.
Raimund Girwidz, a physics professor, spent nine days at UNCP exchanging
information about teacher education in the sciences. Dr. Jose D'Arruda,
Chair of UNCP's Chemistry and Physics Department, and Dr. Andy Ash,
Chair of the Biology Department, hosted the German delegation.
The German professors
sat down for a lively exchange at an afternoon roundtable with UNCP
professors. At one point, Dr. D'Arruda expressed surprise that Germany
has a surplus of science teachers, while the U.S. suffers from a shortage.
"You mean you
have more teachers in your education pipeline than you have jobs?"
Dr. D'Arruda said.
always unemployed teachers in Germany," Dr. Girwidz said.
Teachers are paid
very well in Germany compared to U.S. teachers, and there also are differences
in the way teachers are trained, Dr. Girwidz said. Ludwigsburg Pedagogical
University's only mission is to train teachers, Dr. Bogner said.
of teachers is different," Dr. Bogner said. "In our country,
students must decide as freshmen to be teachers. In your country, they
decide on a major, then decide to go into teaching."
There is rigorous
training and testing for teacher candidates, Dr. Bogner said. Practice
teaching begins in the first year, and a two-year apprenticeship follows
graduation. Despite many differences, there are many similarities between
U.S. and German education systems.
situation in Germany is not very good," Dr. Girwidz said. "On
international standardized tests, Germany did not fare well."
in the middle, while Canada and Finland fared well," Dr. Bogner
said. "Politicians thought the German systems was the best in the
world. This study was good politically in terms of funding for education."
The advent of the
European Union stimulated exchanges in higher education across European
borders, and into the U.S.
very diverse in terms of science education, and there is discussion
over the direction science education will go," Dr. Bogner said.
"Most of our exchanges go on in Europe."
North Carolina's beautiful early spring weather, the German pair found
other things of interest at UNCP.
"We want to
learn more about the integration of subjects into teacher training,"
Dr. Girwidz said. "We like to pick the best advantages of each
Dr. Girwidz said
a UNCP Chemistry Department program of in-service training for teachers
is also very interesting.
to University Newswire