• Basic Facts



    Map of Germany
    Country Name:
    • Conventional Long Form: Federal Republic of Germany
    • Conventional Short Form: Germany
    It is found in Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland. It lies south of Denmark.
    Population: 84,422,299
    Ethnic Groups: German 91.5%, Turkish 2.4%, other 6.1% (made up largely of Greek, Italian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Spanish.
    Languages: German
    Economy: Germany has a powerful economy, especially in the area of technology. Prior to 2006; however, Germany experienced high unemployment. This unemployment issue has begun to turn itself around. Stronger growth in the economy has brought about this change.
    Industries: cement, chemicals, coal, electronics, foods, iron, machinery, ship building, steel, textiles and vehicles
    Agriculture: barley, cabbage, cattle, fruit, pigs, potatoes, poultry, sugar beets, wheat
    Germany is a key player in Europe's economic, political, and defense organizations. Germany has played important roles in both WWI and WWII. Germany was then occupied by the US, UK, France, and the Soviet Uniion in 1945, the victorious allied powers. In 1949 the Cold War brought about the formation of two German states: The Western Federal Republic of Germany and the Eastern German Democratic Republic. Both the end of the Cold War and the decline of the USSR enabled German unification in 1990. Germany has put considerable effort to bring Eastern wages and productivity up to Western standards. In 1999 a common European exchange currency was introduced, the euro.
    Family Life
    • Families may be comprised of one or two parents and children or it may simply be two people living together.
    • Traditionally the man is the head of the family, but currently there seems to be joint responsibility in the household.
    • The post war economic boom enabled many more women to join the workforce. Families headed by single-mothers are increasing.
    • Many Germans live in apartments or condominiums due to the high cost of land and housing construction. Only 39% of Germans own their own homes.
    • Family, friendships, and leisure time is important to this culture. Many Germans do volunteer work and are members of social clubs.

    School System

    Germany's school system is a little different than ours. Children must attend school from the age of 6 to the age of 14. All students enter school in the same program (Grundschule) where the subjects are the same for all; however, at the age of 10, they are separated according to academic ability and family wishes. The track in which each student enters determines which type of school they will attend, and finally whether they will go to a university or a technical field or trade school.(Hauptschule teaches subjects at a slower pace and has vocational courses; Realschule leads to part-time vocational schools and higher vocational schools; Gymnasium leads to a degree called the Abitur and prepares students for university study.)

    Classroom Applications

    • German students only attend school in the morning. They are not used to having lunch at school. Nor are they used to spending as many hours in school. Students may need adjustment time to these aspects of American schools.
    • Due to attending school in the morning, students are given a great deal of homework. There is heavy emphasis on reading, writing and math.
    • There is not an emphasis put on extracurricular activities.
    • Students can attend universities for free, but they must take examinations that prove they are worthy. Therefore, depending upon a child's track, he or she may prioritize testing. We may need to watch for anxiety or stress.
Last Modified on January 4, 2013