In der Schule
German Schools - Schularten
An annotated English-German Glossary
with a self-scoring quiz
In Germany, as in the United States, public education is the responsibilty of each state (the 16 Bundesländer). Therefore, the German school system and types of schools vary from state to state. Not all of the schools listed below will be found in every Bundesland. In Austria, the school system is a federal responsibility and much more centralized than in Germany and Switzerland (cantonal). As opposed to the U.S. and Britain, Germany has compulsory school attendance (Schulpflicht) rather than compulsory education. As a result, home schooling is not permitted. By law (since 1871), young people between the ages of 6 and 14 must attend school. German public education is free, including university study. (Although there is no tuition cost, German university students must pay for books and living expenses.)
German students usually attend a Grundschule (Volksschule in Austria) for the first four years (kindergarten is not mandatory, nor is it usually part of the public school system). At the age of ten in most Bundesländer, students and their parents must decide the next step in their education. That is, which type of school they will attend: Hauptschule, Realschule or Gymnasium (in that order of prestige and difficulty). The many school choices are listed below.
|German Schools & Colleges (1)
Types of German Schools (K-13)
|Schularten (Primar- und Sekundarschulen)|
|das Abendgymnasium||night school (secondary)|
|die Abendrealschule||night school (secondary)|
|die Berufsfachschule||vocational specialty school|
|das Berufskolleg||vocational college/school|
|die Berufsoberschule||vocational secondary school|
|die Berufsschule||vocational school|
|das Fachgymnasium||vocational secondary school|
|Also called berufliches Gymnasium - 3-year and 6-year versions|
|die Fachoberschule||technical secondary school|
|die Förderschule||special school (for students with special needs)|
|die Ganztagsschule||all-day school|
|die Gesamtschule||comprehensive school|
|The Gesamtschule, found in most Bundesländer, combines the Hauptschule, Realschule and Gymnasium under one roof. In Bremen it is known as das Schulzentrum.|
Volksschule in Austria
|elementary/primary school (grades 1-4)|
|das Gymnasium||academic secondary school|
|die Hauptschule||secondary school (grades 5-9/10)|
|das Internat||boarding school|
|die Montessori-Schule||Montessori school|
|The Montessori-Schule movement is based on the ideas of the Italian physician and teacher Maria Montessori (1870-1952). There are Montessori schools all around the world.|
|die Realschule||secondary school|
|die Regelschule (Thüringen)||pre-vocational school|
|die Volkshochschule||adult education school|
|die Volksschule||primary school (Austria)|
|die (freie) Waldorfschule||Waldorf school|
|The Waldorfschule movement is based on the ideas of the Austrian-born philosopher, scientist and artist Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925). There are Waldorf schools in Europe and America.|
|die Wirtschaftsschule||business school|
NEXT > Higher Education (Universitäten)
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