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Posts Tagged ‘students

The German Schools are Ready

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I felt tempted to say that they are ready from day one, but Hilary Clinton said she was, and her day didn’t come. But anyway: we, the teachers are ready, and the schools are ready.

Many questions are asked about the schools. In most cases, they are asked by people who should ask questions about themselves instead. By parents who are glad to send their kids to school, not because they want their children to learn something, but because they are glad to see the back of them, at least for a while. Politicians who put parents’ voliton first, and neglect teachers’ expertise, because there are many parents, but only few teachers in their constituencies, should ask themselves questions.

And if parents or teachers – or both – start asking themselves question, day one will be here.

That’s haughty, right? But you see, teachers have constantly asked themselves questions during the past ten or fifteen years. And teachers have studied, been trained on the job, and twenty or thirty years ago, as a student, I would have survived even the worst of my colleagues of today. Compared to my teachers decades ago, they are geniuses.

It’s time that others start asking themselves questions now.


Not-So-Brainy Talent Search

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Advice for Parents: Media Skills and Optimal Braces Are the Way into your Child's Happy Future!

Advice for Parents: Media Skills and Optimal Braces Are the Way into your Child's Happy 'n Successful Future!

Der Spiegel explains why children who start school earlier than others often lose out during the school years. They are reportedly about  30% less likely to enter college later, than other pupils.

Unfortunately, there is no material about what can happen when a child enters school at a regular age, but then leapfrogs one schoolyear or several due to excellent school performance.

Whenever parents want to see their brat start working as soon as possible, so that they can at last pay off their ambitious homestead, pushing the kids into college at an age of two years less than average may look like a wonderful strategy. Besides, who doesn’t want to have a wunderkind?

But unfortunately, their kids often fail even harder than traditionally weak learners. They may become verhaltensauffällig (“behaviour disordered”) and are frequently disembarked at child or adolescent psychologists’ practices as a result. Arguably pretty often, the professionals won’t try to talk real sense into the parents – after all, they want to keep their business.

Written by taide

September 6, 2009 at 4:45 pm

Man, I Go to the Bank!

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Commerzbank recruitment

Commerzbank recruitment

This is how the Commerzbank recruits trainees. Words at the top of the advertisement:

Man, I go to the bank! / What you want: vocational training at the Commerzbank. / Ideas to the fore.

The periodical which carries this work of art is SPIESSER, die jugendzeitschrift (BABBITT, the youth magazine).

Written by taide

February 13, 2009 at 8:45 pm

“Improving School”

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Wilhelm Hogrefe is a member of Lower Saxony’s state parliament in Hanover. His constituency is Verden. He is also chairman of the district school committee.

Germany’s federal government will offer an amount of about 900 mn Euros, provided that Lower Saxony will add 300 mn from its own coffers. And the federal government rules that 65% of the package have to be spent on education.

Mr Hogrefe wants to call a study group, and he has some suggestions for its agenda already. The study group should agree to improving school lessons and school equipment. Interactive blackboards (called whiteboard when interactive) would come at 1.5 mn Euros if introduced in all the district’s schools.

Besides, Mr Hogrefe calls for a Region of Learning under the auspices of the regional Adult Education Centre and the regional Vocational School.
And he wants better-trained teachers, especially in the field of media competence.

No question – he is making all the right suggestions. All the right suggestions to get re-elected, that is. If this leads to better education is a different story.

Media-competent teachers? Chances are that teachers know when it is time to switch off television – or the internet – and get to work themselves. They could teach children a good deal about that, if only it was their business, and not the parents’ business. That’s media competence.
Inter-active whiteboards? Cool! Old-fashioned Chalkboards might look like work and discourage the poor children.

Last but not least, Mr Hogrefe would like to encourage teachers, students, parents and  vocational instructors to take part in an ideas competition.
Yes, even teachers!

What’s wrong with that? Is this another frustrated teacher who refuses to improve his professional skills? Not at all. Let me put it this way: school in Germany works best where parents have less of a say.
But asking only teachers wouldn’t get Mr Hogrefe re-elected. He’s doing nothing wrong. He only shows us once again what is wrong with our educational system.

What a bummer about the money. And the students. You bet they won’t be much smarter in ten years. Not thanks to this investment programme anyway.


P.S.: JR has an interesting Chinese take on Western fun-schooling there.

Written by taide

February 1, 2009 at 3:01 pm

Turkish Parents in Germany establish Schools for their Children

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Migrant children don´t catch up from generation to generation in Germany, says Ingrid Gogolin, professor for inter-cultural education science in Hamburg. Cities with a substantial share of ethnic Turks have started schools of their own. And they are open to people of other backgrounds, too. Sometimes, there are also German parents who enroll their children there, as this Spiegel story tells. It seems to be no disadvantage at all.

There are Turkish people who are part of German society – including the middle or upper class. 70,000 Turkish bosses employ 400,000 people in Germany, with a turnover of about 34 bn Euros.

They´ve succeeded. But why are so many others dropping out? This is a question to Germany – its governments, and its voters. Is it – partly or completely – true that to date, only private initiatives can help migrant children to succeed? What would this say about our political decision-making, both on government levels, and inside our polling booths?

Written by taide

October 3, 2008 at 5:40 pm