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Here we will share with you in-depth information on German culture, local events and education twice a month. Please feel free to comment your own experiences and opinions on each post and let us know, which topics you would love to read about in future posts.

The learning society: Schools in Germany

Two decades ago Germany lived through a shellshock. The world famous PISA study classed the country’s schools as merely average, while Finland took the pole position. This was an attack on a cornerstone of German self confidence: Formal qualification, proper diplomas, solid knowledge, hands-on experience, all documented relentlessly. Many innovative ideas and great thinkers of education came from Germany, the US school system took its initial inspiration from the concepts of the kingdom of Prussia in the 18th century, and even the praised schools of Finland relied heavily on German experiences. It was, however, the educational system of the Eastern German Democratic Republic that served as a

The forest nation: Why trees are at the heart of the German soul

The English language doesn’t know a word with the same meaning as the German “Heimat”. The translation as “homeland” doesn’t remotely touch the emotional charge of its German counterpart, which makes the current rebranding of the interior ministry as “Heimatministerium” quite awkward. The German nation has a history of division – the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation was a patchwork of hundreds of small independent monarchies, and the very idea of a nation state, leave alone a republic, was a dream far out of reach. In this lack of unity, the lack of a reliable German identity, “Heimat” became a vision and a matter of the heart. This might have been one reason for the murderous national

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