In "Human Sciences" the following subjects are taught: history, geography, economics and politics. History and geography are compulsory subjects from the 1st grade until the baccalaureate. During the first three years of Secondary School they are taught together, then separately until the 7th year. Economics and politics are optional courses. Economics can be chosen as a 4-hour class from 4th year onwards, politics and a beginner's class in economics are available as 2-hour classes from 6th year onwards.
Whether compulsory or optional, these courses are at the centre of the European Schools' educational mandate. Naturally, it is a primary objective to transmit sound and extensive knowledge on the subject matters. However, there is no other subject area in which the European dimension is addressed as much, the European values are better brought to light and analysed, the European daily life is experienced. These subjects all have the same goal: educating responsible, conscious European citizens who are immune to any type of extremism; who are able to see through simplifying ideologies and to understand the world in which they live in; who are capable and willing to stand up for a peaceful, tolerant and strong Europe and find their own place within it.
History and geography are always taught in L2. This alone guarantees that the pupils can look beyond the tip of their own "national nose". Politics is taught in one of the three working languages. Here in Munich, German is used because it is the language most pupils have in common. Whenever possible, economics is also taught in L2, but this is not mandatory. This approach enables pupils to enhance their language skills in these fields "as they go", the intent being to make them truly bilingual at the end of their school career and, as such, fit for Europe. The courses are designed to be as multifaceted and differentiated as possible. Beyond classic teaching methods, we use group work, personal research and presentations, manifold media usage, field trips, field work, discussions, games and the application of various document sources. All promote analytical thinking, critical faculties and a consciousness for complexity, curiosity and alertness.
Furthermore, since group sizes in the entire Human Sciences section are fairly small, it is possible to cater to the pupils' individual needs. For a long time, the department lacked material and spatial infrastructure. The institution of specific locales and their continually improving equipment with ICT and educational material has opened a new chapter, which we all welcome very much.
Outside class, our department offers additional activities pupils can participate in, whose objective is to combine theory and practice while still in Secondary School. In economics, the stock exchange simulation game offers insights into an unknown world: numerous contacts and visits with companies teach pupils what is happening in the real world. In politics we also strive to "go outside" and try to maintain contact with various political actors. Trips to Berlin are designed to experience politics in real-time. In Munich, Bavaria's state capital, there is a myriad of politicians and organisations to visit.
Every year, teams from Munich take part in the expansive political simulation games of Model European Council/Model European Parliament (which were founded by the ESM and are regularly centrally organised here) as well as Model United Nations/MUNOM. These simulations are generally organised and supervised by the subject area teachers. The role-playing pupils - who engage in these role-playing games with a lot of personal time and dedication - are able to directly and realistically apply the knowledge gained in the Human Sciences. On these occasions, the future adults in the pupils shine through, as the participating teens often make great leaps in personal maturity during their stint in the simulations. It makes us proud every time.