|Sculpture made by students at the school.|
|Each square is the weekly schedule for 1 class within the school.|
Having all of these different schools within one campus seemed confusing to me, yet I understood the benefit of allowing students to move from one pathway to the other based on their interests and skills. The principal told the story of one student who started in the lower secondary school and was unable to pass the exam to move on to the vocational or gymnasium level. He continued to persevere through the intermediate secondary program, eventually completing his vocational training and, while working in his vocation, was able to eventually pass the Abitur and go on to university for a career change.
When students are in school as part of the vocational program, not only are they learning the theoretical ideas behind their career field, but also career counseling, business management, and entrepreneurship. Additionally, there is a phrase called "Every word counts" meaning language must be incorporated into every subject. This reminded me of the phrase in American schools of "reading across the curriculum".
|The second year design class.|
|Carpentry students sharing a roofing project they completed.|
Our next class visit was a class where students were learning CAD programs. This was one of their full days at school and they had six hours to complete a home re-design project. While it seemed that most of the vocational classes were dominated by boys with a few girls in each class, this class was about 40% female, which we learned is typical for the design aspects. This class was comprised of students between 16-28. We also learned about school partnerships that exist with other schools in the EU. The headmaster saw these as very important for learning how other cultures approach the vocations and different design processes.
Our final class was to a class for new immigrants. Their German was yet strong enough to attend vocational training, but as part of their Welcome school, they were learning some basic skills so they could begin working and earning money while they assimilated into the German labor market.
We wrapped up with lunch and a closing question/answer period and before we knew it, it was time to pick up our bags and get on the train to head to Hamburg!
|Comfortable train travel|
|Even the fraternities are beautiful old buildings.|
|Inscription on a church in Hamburg|
|family style German dinner|