Social studies

Civics, even social or civics lessons, since the early 1960s to the general education in the Federal Republic of Germany has initiated teaching subject, the society, the political system and the economic and legal system of the Federal Republic under sociological, political scientific, economic and legal perspective illuminate and should contribute to the political education of the students.

In Austria's middle schools and usually also in Switzerland the subject is combined with the teaching of history and therefore usually is, history and social studies. In addition to the historical background and the current political process is discussed. This amalgamation is also also common in many other Western countries. In the primary schools the subject is integrated into the social studies and science.


In elementary school, civic education is a so-called perspective in social studies and science. In the secondary school social studies as a part of history and geography to the social science remit, and must be documented in many states two or four half years.

Names and contents of the subject " Civics " vary by state; the above teaching contents cover in each country from the following subjects: (as of 2007)

  • Baden- Württemberg: Social Studies, at the high school in the subject combination of geography economy Civics (GWG), but in the course level ( 11 / 12 ) separate subject, at the secondary school in the subject combination of geography Economics Civics (EEC ) at the Primary School earlier history / social studies, now in the subject combination of world-time Company ( CI ) and also in the subject combination of economy - work - health (WAG), a subject in its economy, there is only a tendency compartment in the course of the Gymnasium
  • Bavaria: Social Studies; Business and Law
  • Berlin: History / social studies ( grades 7-10 ); Political science, social sciences, economics ( upper secondary school ); Designation to 2005: Political World Studies ( PW)
  • Brandenburg: Political Education (partly also in the combination of subjects social studies in Class 5 and 6); Economics ( upper secondary school )
  • Bremen: Politics; Jurisprudence; sociology; Economics
  • Hamburg: Social Studies; Politics / Society / Economy ( PGW)
  • Hesse: Politics and Economics ( Powi ); Jurisprudence, economics ( upper secondary school )
  • Mecklenburg- Vorpommern: Social Studies
  • Lower Saxony: Politics; Politics / Economy; Jurisprudence; Economics
  • North Rhine -Westphalia: social theory, political economy, social sciences; right
  • Rhineland -Palatinate: social studies ( history and geography, together with the specialist social studies ), social studies
  • Saarland: Politics ( in the qualifying phase: with fixed shares story)
  • Saxony: Social Studies, at the high school in the subject combination of civics / Legal Education / Economics ( GRW ), at the middle school in the subject combination of civics / Legal Education ( GR)
  • Saxony- Anhalt: Social Studies; Jurisprudence; Economics
  • Schleswig -Holstein: Economy / Politics ( BG: Social Studies = History, Politics and Society)
  • Thuringia: Civics, Economics and Law


In Austria, there is the teaching subject " Civics ", but colloquially often referred to as " history." Because of relatively high schools with Community or social studies is taught in conjunction with history.

Elementary school

In the Austrian primary school (elementary school), the so-called social studies is directly involved in the social studies, the treated next story also topics in the natural sciences and world events. In this subject, students learn some of the political system and important citizens.

Higher education schools

At the main school and the high school, there is the subject of " social studies " only in combination with the history lesson. The subject is, " History, Social Studies and Political Education " or simplified as either " History and Social Studies " colloquially as " history " means. The emphasis is on learning from historical backgrounds and the ( current ) political events.