Since the first edition of this book was published in 2013, Germany has experienced some significant events. These include an influx of immigrants and refugees, a political surge among populists, a move to discontinue nuclear power, and additional geopolitical instability both in and outside of the European Union. The Transatlantic Outreach Program (TOP) is pleased to highlight some of these events in this “Inquiry Edition” of Germany in Focus, made possible by the Year of German-American Friendship initiative of 2018-2019.
Germany in Focus: Inquiry Edition is designed to provide secondary educators of social studies subjects with comprehensive lessons on Germany—historical and contemporary—that can be easily integrated into pre-existing curricula as a means of comparison and contrast. This textbook is organized into the six focus sections listed below. Each focus section begins with excerpts from interviews with a diverse group of Germans which concentrate on a critical question related to the focus topic. Teachers may wish to use these as stimuli to pique student interest. Inquiries are designed using the Inquiry Design Model (IDM), which focuses on the main elements of the instructional design process as envisioned in the C3 Inquiry Arc Framework for Social Studies State Standards.
The College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Framework emphasizes the acquisition and application of knowledge to prepare students for college, career, and civic life. It intentionally envisions social studies instruction as an inquiry arc of interlocking and mutually reinforcing elements that speak to the intersection of ideas and learners.
Students in North American schools need to know far more about Germany and the European Union than can be learned from a few paragraphs in a typical history textbook. This is because the transatlantic partnership has been a pillar of world peace—and economic prosperity—for over 70 years. The successes of the transatlantic partnership have arguably set the stage for the society that students will enter as professionals and global citizens.
Germany in Focus: Inquiry Edition is designed to provide educators with a rich selection of lessons to challenge their students and to better prepare them for college (or an apprenticeship), career, and civic life.