The aims of Economic Education in Rhineland-Pfalz (RLP) are integrated into existing school subjects on a cross-curricular basis, in other words Economic Education is not offered as a single subject. A guideline for Economic Education (Richtlinien Ökonomische Bildung) has been offered to all types of school since 2003, these guidelines have to be implemented on all levels of general academic schools. The RLP school board has developed “Handreichungen für die ökonomische Bildung” (Recommendations for Economic Education) in cooperation with the RLP Entrepreneurs’ Association. The E.E. recommendations contain good practice examples for a pedagogical approach to integrate economic themes into different subjects such as mathematics, religious education, music, German language, fine arts, biology, geography, history and social studies.
- Primary education: According to the framework curriculum “Umgang mit Geld” (How to deal with money) has statutory force and should be part of general studies (Sachkunde)
- Lower secondary education: Economic education should be integrated into social science subjects, such as general studies, history, geography, and should cover themes such as “Economy and Environment” (Wirtschaft und Umwelt), “Global Relations and Dependencies” (Globale Beziehungen und Abhängigkeiten), “Industrial Society” (Industriegesellschaft) but also into mathematics (e.g. certain calculations) and ethics (e.g. Consumption versus Self-Denial, sustainable economy). In other subjects, economic themes are part of the learning objectives in all grades.
- Realschule plus (middle school): Economic Education, IT and Work-Orientation are part of the syllabus. Furthermore students can choose an elective subject (Wahlpflichtfach) called “Economy and Administration” (Wirtschaft und Verwaltung), where students – in their role as consumers, part of the working population and economic citizen – have to analyse and form an opinion about economic structures and processes as well as economic-political decisions.
- Fachoberschule (technical secondary school): students of the 11th grade have to attend a prevocational placement related to their elected subject (e.g. Economy and administration, commercial cross-sectoral education) on 3 days of a week.
- Upper secondary education (grade 11-13): Subjects within the framework of social sciences are interrelated. Specific themes, learning outcomes and curriculum make explicit reference to the discussion of economic interrelations, such as “Social market economy” (Soziale Marktwirtschaft), “Economic Policy as Decision Making” (Wirtschaftspolitik als Entscheidungshandeln) and “Economy and Ecology” (Ökonomie und Ökologie). This approach makes sure that all students will deal with economic issues.
SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT RLP is the umbrella organisation of 35 regional working groups SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT in RLP, who have established relationship between companies and schools on a regional level. SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT is a joint initiative of the local RLP entrepreneurs’ association (“Landesvereinigung der Unternehmerverbände” LVU) which is sponsored by the Ministry of Education (Bildungsministerium MBWWK) and the Ministry of Economy (Wirtschaftsministerium MWKEL). SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT organises advanced training courses which are practice related and deal with issues like opportunities for cooperation between schools and companies, management, work orientation, social and economic policy. Main target is the direct exchange of information and good practice between teachers and employers. The working groups are coordinated by teams consisting of teachers and business representatives.
Depending on the subject relevant EE themes are more or less strongly integrated into initial teacher training. Furthermore all teachers of all types of schools are invited to take part in ongoing teacher training regarding EE. The project “Economic Education online” (Ökonomische Bildung online) is targeted at all teachers of all types of schools in RLP. The qualification modules are based on the concept of blended learning with online and face-to-face phases and are connecting more theoretical economic concepts with more projectbased and interactive methods. The training is focussed upon of five fields of action (private households, enterprises and companies, state, international trade relations, work orientation). More than 250 teachers have participated up to date and teachers of Realschulen Plus (RS+) can obtain the licence to teach. The project is managed by two tutors. 20 consultants have been appointed to implement the elective subject into Realschule Plus. The project tutors are developing concepts of teaching EE regarding the introduction of EE competences into the work schedules on regional level. Three specialists for economic education support teachers in implementing pedagogical, didactic and methodological ways of realizing action-oriented teaching units and projects of economic education. The specialists organize and moderate advanced training courses in cooperation with agencies responsible for business games and competitions and give advice to JUNIOR companies. In 2012 and 2014 SCHULEWIRTSCHAFT organized symposia for economic education together with both the Ministries of Education, Economy and the chemical industry.
JUNIOR expert - Young entrepreneurs initiate-organize-realize (Junge Unternehmer initiieren-organisieren-realisieren) – is a project of the institute of the German economy in Cologne (Institut der deutschen Wirtschaft). JUNIOR expert has been running successfully for the past 16 years. 10 to 15 students from grade 9 on set up their own company which operates for one school year. In this way students get a real entrepreneurial experience. The student companies offer products and services and have to comply with the same organisational and legal framework as public limited companies do. The Cologne JUNIOR office controls and supervises all RLP JUNIOR companies on a monthly basis and offering their support throughout the life cycle of the programme. Students learn about how to build up and structure a company, how to organise matters, which decisions have to be made and the basics of commercial accounting.
JUNIOR advanced - This program is a downgraded version for a younger target group and is addressed at students from grade 7-9 of general academic schools. The formation of a company facilitates the solid learning of key competences such as autonomy, responsibility, self-reliance, capacity for teamwork and work orientation.
JUNIOR basic is a new program that is addressing students from grade 5 onwards.
TheoPrax (the pogram's training and teaching method was developed by the Fraunhofer Institute for Chemical Technology (ICT). Teams of students are asked to solve real problems from the industry. The nucleus of TheoPrax work are so called centres of communication where students try to identify real problems presented by companies or public authorities in order to resolve and present possible solutions. Students in the executive chair (Schüler im Chefsessel) In this project students acquire an insight into companies from the point of view of the CEO.
business@school (consultants of the Boston Consulting Group as well as employees of other companies offer an annual sponsorship for one school). business@school aims at students of grades 10-12 of general academic schools. Conditions of participation require at least three participating students’ teams, commitment of teachers , interest in business themes as well as the willingness to cooperate with other schools and meet with business representatives on a regular basis.
Jugend gründet (Youth start-ups) is a nationwide online business game organised by the Federal Ministry of Education and Science (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung – BMBF). Students aged from 16 to 21 are invited to develop their own virtual high-tech product as well as a business plan for their idea in order to market their product in an online business game environment under close to reality conditions.
Jugend und Wirtschaft (Youth and Economy) - 60 schools participate with approximately 1100 students participate in the joint competition supplied by the German Banking Federation (Deutscher Bankenverband) and the Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung (F.A.Z). All participants (students and teachers) receive a free subscription of the F.A.Z. Students have to analyse the business section of the F.A.Z., undertake research and draft newspaper articles on selected themes. Each month, selected students’ contributions will be published in the F.A.Z. The authors of the best articles receive material prizes whereas the three best schools receive a cash prize of 5.000 EURO each.
Schul/Banker (school/banker) is a business simulation game for students initiated by the German Banking Federation. A team of 4-6 students manages a bank and assumes responsibility for the tasks of the directorate. The aim of the game is to manage the bank successfully and to be better than the competing school teams.
Deutscher Gründerpreis (German start-up prize) is the largest national start-up simulation game for students, who have to develop a business concept. Students have to solve practice-oriented tasks, which lead to establishing contacts to real companies. The Deutscher Gründerpreis is an initiative of Sparkassen, Porsche, Stern and ZDF (Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen, a German television program)
There is a clear commitment among all partners of above-mentioned cooperations that there will not be any one-sided advertising on behalf of the SCHULEWirtschaft business partners.