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Germany

Germany

9. Youth and the World

9.4 Raising awareness about global issues

On this page
  1. Formal, non-formal and informal learning
  2. Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues
  3. Information providers
  4. Key initiatives

Formal, non-formal and informal learning

On 20 June 2017, the National Action Plan Education for Sustainable Development (Nationaler Aktionsplan Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung) was adopted. It defines 130 objectives and 349 to embed education for sustainable development in all areas (formal, non-formal and informal education) and at all levels of the education system. No new reports have been published since.

Formal learning

Global education and education for sustainable development issues are cross-subject topics in a formal learning context. The Curriculum Framework: Education for Sustainable Development (Orientierungsrahmen für den Lernbereich Globale Entwicklung in der Schule) and the Recommendation on the Promotion of Human Rights in Schools (Empfehlung für die Förderung der Menschenrechtserziehung in der Schule) which was thoroughly revised and adapted to reflect current social and (global) political circumstances in 2018, are essential resources for integrating these subject areas into school education and designing syllabuses.

The Curriculum Framework: Education for Sustainable Development is for everyone in school education who is involved in planning syllabuses and/or teaching resources, or providing teacher training. The framework (revised in 2015) is the result of a joint initiative of the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (Kultusministerkonferenz, KMK) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ). It offers help with integrating education for sustainable development into school education and general school policy.

The new and extended edition of the framework (last updated in 2016) covers primary and lower secondary level. In addition to geography, politics, religion/ethics and economics, global development education now also includes history, mathematics, natural sciences (biology, chemistry, physics), new foreign languages, art, music, sport and German. The new edition also addresses the topic of vocational education. It formulates competencies, educational areas and guiding principles to give school pupils the ability to contribute to global development. The framework provides basics for the extension into upper secondary level.

Examples of how global education topics can be integrated into syllabuses:

Federal state projects to implement the framework in different schools (including grammar schools and vocational colleges) (Umsetzung des Orientierungsrahmens für den Lernbereich Globale Entwicklung). A map showing all state-level initiatives and projects relating to the framework as well as the location of all state-level coordinators in Germany is available here.

The expert forum on schools (Fachforum Schule) developed goals and implementation strategies for school education as part of the national implementation of the Global Action Programme Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) (Weltaktionsprogramm Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung, BNE) in Germany. It also identified examples from practice and suggests new education and learning formats. Through Engagement Global, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ) supports educational activities and systematic training for teaching staff in the area of ESD. For specific projects and measures to embed ESD into schools and vocational colleges, please refer to the National Action Plan Education for Sustainable Development (Nationaler Aktionsplan Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung).

The Across Boundaries project (Grenzenlos) of the World University Service (WUS) organises teaching partnerships for teachers at vocational colleges in several federal states (Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saarland). Students from Africa, Asia and Latin America who are studying in one of the participating German states talk about development, sustainability and globalisation issues at the vocational colleges. They receive a certificate for their contributions. The project is funded by Engagement Global on behalf of BMZ and by the participating federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Hesse, Rhineland-Palatinate and Saarland.

In addition, pupils and students learn about the work and structure of international formats like the United Nations in domestic and international simulations (Model United Nations, MUN).

Youth work organisations and schools cooperate to promote ESD and global education. Examples:

  • With workshops on climate protection, climate justice and renewable energy, the educators at Youth of BUND in Berlin (BUNDjugend Berlin) help children and young people learn to be more environmentally aware.
  • Simply DIFFERENTLY (Einfach ganz ANDERS) is an education project by the One World network in North Rhine-Westphalia (Eine Welt Netz Nordrhein-Westfalen) and the Youth of BUND in North Rhine-Westphalia (BUNDjugend Nordrhein-Westfalen). It integrates non-formal educational programmes on sustainability into lessons at all-day schools.
  • Global education in Baden-Württemberg: Services for schools (Lernangebote für Schulen)
  • „FAIR macht Schule!“ und „FAIRändere deine Stadt!“ are schemes run by the umbrella association for development policy of the state of Baden-Württemberg (Dachverband Entwicklungspolitik Baden-Württemberg e.V.) with activities for, amongst other things, class groups and project groups in all school types across the state from grade 8 onwards.
Non-formal and informal learning

Education for sustainable development is a task of all areas of non-formal education. It affects how specific topics are dealt with, including environmental, political, developmental, international and cultural education. A wide range of institutions and organisations are active in this area, including adult education centres, environment centres, local Agenda 21 initiatives, museums, clubs, foundations, churches, trade unions, businesses and (youth) associations. Target groups include the general public, and in particular children and young people, especially those from socially disadvantaged and/or migrant backgrounds.

The 'Non-formal and informal learning/youth' expert forum developed action areas, goals and implementation strategies for non-formal and informal education as part of the national implementation of the Global Action Programme Education for Sustainable Development (Weltaktionsprogramm Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung) in Germany. It also identifies examples from practice and suggests new education and learning formats.

The federal government funds the activities of child and youth services and programmes in non-formal child and youth work of supra-regional importance that a federal state cannot fund alone. The funding instrument is the Child and Youth Plan of the federation (Kinder- und Jugendplan, KJP). The Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend) uses KJP to fund associations and expert organisations and their political, sports and cultural education programmes, youth organisation work and international youth work and youth exchange. The federal states fund these services via their regional youth plans (Landesjugendpläne). Under the UNESCO Global Action Programme, non-formal learning providers are key partners in the development of local education landscapes and the implementation of education for sustainable development at a local level.

The guidelines on the allocation of funding under KJP (Richtlinien für Zuschüsse aus dem Kinder- und Jugendplan), which took effect on 1 January 2017, have introduced a quality development process in the form of a framework agreement for national organisations and professional bodies. The guidelines specify the aims of funding in further detail. For organisations attached to the central office process (Zentralstellenverfahren), the central offices (Zentralstellen) must ensure professional quality management and develop quality management and (self-) evaluation procedures.

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ) supports development policy information activities and education to promote civic commitment in Germany. The strategy 'Effecting change together. Action programme on civic involvement in development policy' (Gemeinsam Viele(s) bewegen. Aktionsprogramm zum bürgerschaftlichen Engagement in der Entwicklungspolitik) has and continues to focus on getting young people interested in development policy with a varied range of programmes and initiatives. This includes setting up an African-German youth initiative and expanding and developing existing funding initiatives such as ENSA, the weltwärts programme and ASA (see Intercontinental youth work and development cooperation > Development cooperation programmes)

The 'One World promoters' programme (Eine Welt-Promotor*innen) of the national working group of One World regional networks (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Eine-Welt-Landesnetzwerke in Deutschland) stretches across all federal states and is coordinated and financed jointly at a national and regional level. It is for stakeholders and trainers from One World work and other areas of civil society, education, politics and business, as well as young people, the 50+ generation and interested members of the public. It is funded by Engagement Global on behalf of BMZ and all federal states.

Education meets Development (Bildung trifft Entwicklung, BtE) is a national programme run by a network of eight educational organisations. The programme focuses on global education that links global effects with the local 'lifeworlds' of participants. It is funded by Engagement Global on behalf of BMZ.

The Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit, BMU) has the 'Innovative climate protection – individual projects' (Innovative Klimaschutz-Einzelprojekte) and 'Promoting sustainable development in vocational training' (Berufsbildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung befördern) funding initiatives to fund mainly extracurricular learning activities for all school years and types. The money comes from national funds and the European Social Fund in Germany (Europäischer Sozialfonds). Information on supported projects (Förderprojekte). 

The German Environment Agency (Umweltbundesamt) funds projects by associations working in environment protection and conservation. Their aim is to raise awareness of the environment and conservation and increase commitment to their protection. The projects also include child and youth projects with a large reach.

  • Programmes in the federal states

The state of Baden-Württemberg funds education programmes by charitable organisations under its funding initiative 'Model projects to educate on sustainable development' (Beispielhafte Projekte für eine Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung). The programmes should enable children, young people and adults to be an active part of ecological, sustainable, economically viable and socially just development while considering global aspects. Children and young people should also be encouraged and mobilised in line with the Global Action Programme Education for Sustainable Development (Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung).

  • Funding: Baden-Württemberg state budget.
  • Quality assurance: Applicants must comply with contractual rules and conditions. Non-compliant use of funds or use contrary to the intended purpose can result in the money having to be paid back.

The North Rhine-Westphalian development policy information and education programme (EpIB – Entwicklungspolitische Informations- und Bildungsarbeit) promotes projects by One World groups as part of development policy education.

  • Funding: North Rhine-Westphalia (up to 5 000 euros per project).
  • Quality assurance: Applicants must comply with contractual rules and conditions. Non-compliant use of funds or use contrary to the intended purpose can result in the money having to be paid back.

The North Rhine-Westphalian environment ministry (Umweltministerium) launched a funding initiative in 2016 to help set up a regional network of non-formal environmental education institutions as part of the North Rhine-Westphalian state strategy 'Education for sustainable development – learning the future of NRW (2016-2020)' (Bildung für nachhaltige Entwicklung – Zukunft Lernen NRW [2016-2020]). The institutions support formal education and work, for example, with child day care centres, schools, universities and training providers.

For events that promote global education among young people, please refer to 'Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues'.

Support for educators and trainers

In 2009, the German Rectors' Conference (Hochschulrektorenkonferenz, HRK) announced that the topic of sustainability would be integrated into teaching and research. There are already stakeholders and groups at various universities across Germany who work in education and the subject fields themselves with the content, systems and methods of education for sustainable development. The inclusion of education for sustainable development is not yet an automatic part of all eduction programmes. Education for Sustainable Development is present in the following higher education institutions:

Education for sustainable development is integrated into teacher training to differing levels in the various federal states. Programmes range from topics related to sustainable development, to support services including specialist lectures, symposia or tackling the topic in school initiatives and education days. There are many training programmes available to trainers and educators, such as:

  • eFef training courses for global learning multipliers (“Multiplikator/-in für Globales Lernen”).
  • Training provided by the Youth of BUND in North Rhine-Westphalia (BUNDjugend NRW).
  • Global education training for trainers provided by the development education information centre (Entwicklungspädagogisches Informationszentrum, EPiZ).
  • Seminars as part of the Funding Programme for Development Education in Germany (Förderprogramm Entwicklungspolitische Bildung, FEB) of Engagement Global gGmbH to train organisations on submitting applications, project management and providing documentation.
  • One World Promotors Programme and Basic development policy education programme (Eine Welt-Promotor*innen-Programm und Entwicklungspolitisches Basisprogramm) of the Working group of One World regional networks in Germany (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Eine-Welt-Landesnetzwerke in Deutschland) to train and support stakeholders in development policy education and information activities.
  • Further training under the 'One World in schools' project (Eine Welt in der Schule) of the primary schools association (Grundschulverband e.V.) and University of Bremen.
  • Further training for trainers in the area of peace-building and global education, provided by the Berghof Foundation
  • Learning modules for teachers on education for sustainable development (Grundlagenmodule für Lehrende).
  • Practical and skills-based further training – Training of Trainers (ToT) – provided by the ESD Expert Net on education for sustainable development.
  • Further training of the Development Policy Service for global education in Lower Saxony (VEN-Fachstelle Globales Lernen in Niedersachen) with training programmes for non-governmental organisations and individuals active in the field of global education and education for sustainable development.
  • The 2018 WorldWideKnowledge (WeltWeitWissen) education conference is documented here. It is a national education conference for global education and education for sustainable development and is organised by the North Rhine-Westphalian One World Network (Eine Welt Netz NRW), the national working group of One World regional networks (Arbeitsgemeinschaft der Eine-Welt-Landesnetzwerke) and the Gustav Stresemann Institute (Gustav-Stresemann-Institut). The 2020 conference took place online on 5-6 June 2020. For more information, go to weltweitwissen.net

Non-governmental organisations can apply for money via the funding programme for development policy training (Programm zur Förderung entwicklungspolitischer Qualifizierungsmaßnahmen, PFQ) to carry out training measures for other non-governmental organisations or interested parties. Funding: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ). Realisation: Engagement Global gGmbH – Service for Development Initiatives (Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen). Funding for: One- or multiple-day seminars and series of seminars on development policy training. Topics: Reducing poverty, gender equality, participatory development and good governance, conservation of the environment and resources, crisis prevention, rural development, programme-based approaches and commercial development. Project applications can be submitted at any time but must be received at least 12 weeks before the project starts.

Guides/journals/magazines

Networks

Websites

Youth-targeted information campaigns on global issues

The federal government and the federal states fund or support many different campaigns and action days on global issues, for example by funding projects, as for example the 'My Climate Protection' campaign (Mein Klimaschutz) supported by the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit, BMU). It includes an energy-saving champion competition (Energiesparmeister) for schools, which has been running since 2009. The competition is for pupils, groups of pupils and school projects and recognises outstanding approaches to climate protection and energy efficiency.

Schools, child day care centres, extracurricular partners and networks in North Rhine-Westphalia can use the 'School of the future – education for sustainability' campaign (Schule der Zukunft - Bildung für Nachhaltigkeit) (2016-2020) to raise awareness of issues that are relevant today and in the future. They can also teach ways of working that promote 'Gestaltungskompetenz' among children and young people (see 9.1 General context) and support partnerships and networking with many extracurricular partners. The campaign has been running in several phases since 2003.

The Development education days in Saarland (Entwicklungspolitische Bildungstage im Saarland, EPOBITS) are for children and young people as well as for adults. Date for 2020: 31 August – 31 October. Priority theme: Climate protection, focus on the UN Sustainable Development Goals 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 13 (Climate Action).

Other campaigns and action days

The national campaign 'Your day for Africa' (Dein Tag für Afrika) has been organised by the Aktion Tagwerk association in Germany since 2007. Instead of going to school, pupils in years 1 to 13 either spend a day working, help out with family and friends, organise sponsored runs or arrange activities such as bake sales or plays. The proceeds go to education projects in five African countries. Action day in 2020: 22 September. Aktion Tagwerk's campaign partners for the mobile information visits are the federal government (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development [Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung], www.bmz.de) and the Federal State of North Rhine-Westphalia (ministry of federal, European and international affairs [Ministerium für Bundes- und Europaangelegenheiten, Internationales]).

Every year on 20 November, Land of People (terre des hommes) carries out a 'Change your perspective – street child for one day' campaign (Sichtwechsel – Straßenkind für einen Tag). Children and young people learn about the rights of minors and the living conditions of street children.

Germany takes part in the Europe-wide Global Education Week (GEW). The events and campaigns help to make global education topics more visible. In Germany, the GEW is coordinated by the Information Centre Educational Mandate North-South (Informationsstelle Bildungsauftrag Nord-Süd) at the World University Service (WUS). 2020: 16 to 20 November. Motto: It’s our world. Let’s TAKE ACTION!. The work of the Information Centre Educational Mandate North-South is funded by the federal government and states via the Funding Programme for Development Education in Germany (Förderprogramm Entwicklungspolitische Bildung, FEB) .

Information providers

See also Administration and Governance > Governance

Under the EURODESK project, IJAB - International Youth Service of the Federal Republic of Germany (IJAB – Fachstelle für Internationale Jugendarbeit der Bundesrepublik Deutschland e.V.) informs and advises young people and experts on youth and expert exchanges.

Engagement Global gGmbH – Service for Development Initiatives (Service für Entwicklungsinitiativen) is the point of contact for development policy engagement in Germany and abroad. It is the central body responsible for implementing the development policy information and education activities of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ). Engagement Global:

  • provides information on current projects and programmes,
  • advises individuals and groups on development policy projects and provides financial support,
  • provides needs-based training,
  • brings together people and institutions,
  • supports civic and community engagement, private stakeholders and organisations.

The Information Centre Educational Mandate North-South (Informationsstelle Bildungsauftrag Nord-Süd) at the World University Service networks and informs about development education activities and global education. It is a project by the federal states and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ).

The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung) and its regional offices also provide information on global education. The key topics are human rights, the environment, political education and sustainability.

Other information platforms:

  • bmz.de – Information provided by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ) about global education in schools.
  • globaleslernen.de – Central portal for global education and education for sustainable development (joint project with EWIK – see Administration and Governance > Governance).
  • eine-welt-medien.de – One World media database (Eine-Welt-Medien) (EWIK project – see Administration and Governance > Governance).
  • eine-welt-unterrichtsmaterialien.de – Database of One World teaching resources (EWIK project – see Administration and Governance > Governance).
  • bne-portal.de – Portal of the German Commission for UNESCO with information on the UNESCO Global Action Programme “Education for Sustainable Development”.
  • bund.net – Information provided by Friends of the Earth Germany (BUND für Umwelt und Naturschutz Deutschland) for young people; includes curricular and extracurricular programmes on environmental topics and issues in the globalised world.
  • eineweltblabla.de – 'OneWorldBlahBlah' youth portal (EineWeltBlaBla) on sustainability (EWIK project – see Administration and Governance > Governance).
  • 17ziele.de – Engagement Global project on the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.
  • lernplattform-nachhaltige-entwicklungsziele.de – Education platform provided by eight German development policy organisations with educational materials and information on education services relating to the Sustainable Development Goals.
  • sherpa-bne.org – Internet site of the German-Polish Youth Office (Deutsch-Polnisches Jugendwerk) on education for sustainable development and its integration into international youth exchanges.
  • naturdetektive.de – Interactive multimedia platform by the Federal Agency for Nature Conservation (Bundesamt für Naturschutz) with lesson materials for teachers on environmental issues and biodiversity.

Information in the federal states about global education and education for sustainable development:

Key initiatives

With the German Climate Initiative (Nationale Klimaschutzinitiative, NKI), the Federal Ministry for Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (Bundesministerium für Umwelt, Naturschutz und nukleare Sicherheit, BMU) has been initiating and funding climate protection projects in schools and other educational institutions since 2008, including:

  • 'Climate representatives in schools' project (Klima-Schülervertreter). The representatives organise climate protection campaigns and projects to reduce their school's greenhouse gas emissions.
  • 'Class climate' project (Klasse Klima – heißkalt erwischt). The project introduces the topic of climate protection in secondary schools. Young volunteers from the Youth of BUND (BUNDjugend), Youth Association for the Protection of Nature (Naturschutzjugend) and German Young Naturefriends (Naturfreundejugend) try a green lifestyle with pupils in years 5 to 10 and motivate them to adopt a more sustainable way of living.
  • Climate Art School project (KlimaKunstSchule). Reinforces climate- and resource-friendly actions by school pupils in their living environments and promotes active support for climate protection.

The German Action Days on Sustainability (Deutsche Aktionstage Nachhaltigkeit) were launched by the Council for Sustainable Development (Rat für Nachhaltige Entwicklung) in 2012. They raise awareness of sustainable development across Germany. The activities planned for 2020 are listed here. Action days on sustainability also take place in the individual federal states.

Focusing on 'From knowledge to sustainable action', the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, BMBF) funds the annual Federal Environment Competition (Bundesumweltwettbewerb). This is a project-based contest for young people and young adults aged between 10 and 20. The aim is to encourage talented young individuals interested in the environment, sustainability and society. The winners receive cash and non-cash prizes (total value approx. 25,000 euros).

The All for One World – One World for all (Alle für Eine Welt – Eine Welt für alle) school competition on development policy run by the Federal President (Bundespräsident) and the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung, BMZ) aims to teach pupils about global diversity and sustainable action. It is held every two years, The motto of the 2019/2020 edition (deadline for submissions: 2 March 2020) was: “My, your, our future!? Global codetermination – Local action” (“Meine, deine, unsere Zukunft!? Globales Mitbestimmen – Lokales Handeln”. The competitions in 2017/18 attracted 516 submissions from around 32 000 students. More than 150 pupils were awarded cash prizes for their classes or schools. Since 2015, the school competition has been accompanied by the song contest 'Your song for ONE WORLD' (Dein Song für EINE WELT!).

During the intercultural week (Interkulturelle Woche) (2019: 22 to 29 September), various events and initiatives provide information about integration, diversity and tolerance. Motto: Live together, grow together (“Zusammen leben, zusammen wachsen”). The week is an initiative by the German Bishops' Conference (Deutsche Bischofskonferenz, DBK), the Evangelical Church in Germany (Evangelische Kirche in Deutschland, EKD) and the Greek Orthodox Church in Germany (Griechisch-Orthodoxe Metropolie) and has been running since 1975.

The CHAT of the WORLDS (Chat der Welten) is for all pupils at all schools. It combines global education with digital media to promote dialogue between pupils from the Global North and the Global South. The federal states of Baden-Württemberg, Brandenburg, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, North Rhine-Westphalia, Saarland and Thuringia take part in the CHAT of the WORLDS.