Cast Your Ballot! A Simulation Situation


How much political knowledge do our students have? How much political involvement by teachers is allowed or wanted? How can we use the German election for authentic learning?

Just before the Bundestagswahl, some German teachers and three members of the SLT tackled these questions in an unusual way: We organized an election for students!

Two weeks prior to the German general election, teachers had raffled party affiliations and researched their party’s programs. Topics were organized by themes and a panel was set up in the theater. This panel presentation was filmed by the ‘FIS Lens’ team and streamed into all advisory classes of Grades 9-12 at the same time, just days before 60 million Germans were called to the ballot boxes. Accidentally, the far left and far right of the political spectrum were both represented by members of the SLT who convincingly portrayed content and rhetoric of die Linke and the AfD.

After the video, each group discussed the credibility of the presenting candidates, the use of facts or opinions and the potentially different judgement of women versus men on the panel.

The moment of truth came when each student was able to cast a virtual vote by using a device. The advisory session ended with the publication of the results – shown in the chart above.

Colleagues immediately called the election “rigged”. I have no idea why anybody would doubt the result, even though I organized the process, set up the voting tool and led the SPD to victory. Food for thought on multiple levels 😉

Stephanie Steinberg
German First Language Teacher

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