Within 12 hours, I'll be on a plane bound for Germany, all thanks to an awesome study tour fellowship through the Transatlantic Outreach Program (if you teach any area of social studies, you need to look into this).
But before embarking on this two week adventure, I'd like to share some questions I'm holding that pertain to the things we talk about here at the Teaching the Core blog.
How do German schools promote long-term student flourishing?
If you've been around for a minute, you know that I see the purpose of schooling, from the global down to the classroom level, as simple: schools exist to promote the long-term flourishing of students.
And from what I've read about Germany's educational system, Germans approach this challenge from an angle distinct from the U.S. approach. Interestingly, I'll be spending two days visiting schools in Munich, so I'll have a chance to ask some questions of both teachers and kids.
How do states work together in Germany?
Since the Hitler years, Germany has intentionally decentralized their education system, making it much more difficult to use the schools for federal indoctrination. We obviously share a similar value in the U.S., to the point where there's a lot of tension right now around the 45-state cooperative goal-setting effort known as the Common Core.
So my questions are, do Germans have similar cooperative initiatives? Or do they do as we have done in the states, largely re-inventing the wheel in each state?
Are you enjoying your summer?
All right, so this might be cheating, but I am hoping this message finds you in the midst of some much-deserved summer refreshment.