mw. Meanwhile, probably each and every attentive citizen has understood why we must make sure to spare our youth a school with Curriculum 21. Left alone in front of the computer screen, with a patchwork of “competences” without contents, with trial and error methods and riddles without clear results and computer tests without understanding the substance of the tested material, without a solid base of knowledge and especially without the inner strength resulting from a positive relationship with their teacher and the class room community, our children, after primary school would have to face the harsh reality. Many of them fail already today because of the often constructivist-drenched school management, when it comes to stand one’s ground in an apprenticeship or at secondary school. With Curriculum 21 the number of shipwrecked young people would undoubtedly rise.
Of course, it is obvious who will bear the damage brought about by Curriculum 21. Our children and young people will have to suffer the consequences. The parents as well, who already today have to sit down daily to do the children’s homework with them. At best they can help them unravel the tangle in their heads. Not to forget the young teachers who are no longer trained to learn one of the most beautiful and most fulfilling professions, but are trained to be only managers or coaches. Finally, it is the communes that will have to pay for the damage since young people will grow up lacking the commitment and knowledge indispensible for contributing to the democratic process, particularly in Switzerland. And let us not forget, the democratic control of the Elementary School that was performed by a school board elected by the people, which in the future would be replaced by “professionals” in all cantons (in some this is already the case, today). Those professionals are controllers who are directed from the top, which suits our direct-democratic community like chalk and cheese.
According to Professor Walter Herzog, “These were experts who silently worked out the Curriculum 21. And it will be those experts who will monitor and control its implementation. The idea of a public school system that is wanted and democratically controlled by the citizens seems to have been lost just as the reputation of the teaching profession which can only be exercised properly if it is not curbed by political convenience.” “Kompetenzorientierung – eine Kritik am Lehrplan 21” – lecture on 7 July 2014 (Competence orientation – a critique of Curriculum 21, lecture on 7.7.2014)
If we consider this horrendous damage, we are faced with the urgent question: Who then benefits from this Curriculum 21?
First of all, it benefits the legion of “experts” who for years have listed up competencies and competencies in private at the order of the EDK; next the “experts” who now produce the appropriate computer test series, and the statisticians, preparing for the evaluation of the testing. However, this alone does not yet explain the matter. Many of these people have long since had their jobs in the administration of the federal government or cantons – they don’t mind performing this job or any other job. The situation is quite different for professors and consultants who are engaged from outside the state administration. Their fees have to be paid additionally out of the tax coffers of the cantons.
But whom does the Curriculum 21 serve that much that he by no means wants to let the chance slip? In our globalized world of large multi-billion dollar corporations this question can easily be answered. “The Curriculum 21 benefits all those who want to have more control and survey of the school, those who want to develop and carry out the tests because they make money with them. Measuring by itself does not make any sense. The guy does not become any fatter just by weighing.” (Professor Walter Herzog, in “Das regulierte Schulkind”, Beobachter from 2.20.2015)
Hence, the beneficiaries will be the Bertelsmen and Co. and the like: A solvent country like Switzerland with thousands of schools which are supplied with new teaching aids each year, especially tailored to Curriculum 21, in the form of software in particular ... And then the whole series of tests including the related series of exercises plus the supplied test specialists for hundreds of thousands of students ... A roaring, an opportunity which the globalized world of education does not want to miss. Jürg Brühlmann, Head of Pedagogic Job Center at the LCH (Dachverband der Schweizer Lehrerinnen und Lehrer, Federation of Swiss teachers), continues to weave the thread, “It may well be that with this Curriculum 21 the privatization of Swiss schools is being advanced because it allows international providers to take over this service.” (Beobachter from 20.2.2015) It’s about time that the LCH-management is beginning to realize where to the apples are rolling. Surely, the LCH will not be harnessed for this business! In this regard, the Social Democratic Basel Councillor Anita Fetz notes, “In addition to this, the whole exercise is expensive. Very expensive. And the money is flowing into concrete, not education! In Basel for instance, the conversions of the schoolhouses with several hundred million francs engulf that much money that the Canton barely escapes the debt ceiling and for years cannot make major investments.” (Die Zeit from 23.10.2014)
We see, for us who have still learned how to add up 2 and 2, things fall into place. The giant experiment of the Curriculum 21 means a billion dollar business for the producers of teaching materials and test software would batten on whole generations of students. By the way, this also applies for the hardware companies. For, all the “self-directed learning” and certainly the majority of tests are performed at the computer – every schoolchild his own laptop (along with the Kindergarten personnel!). For the construction industry and many trendy architects there is a lot of profit to be made with so-called learning envirnoments.
Do we really want to hand over our schools just to have business flourishing? Certainly not! We do not leave our youth to the private sector, we certainly will not allow education companies from home and abroad to directly take hold of the students by means of coaching and testing and digital controlling of everybody and everything. The solid Swiss elementary school, one of the main institutions of the public sector that are rooted in the communes and cantons is not to become the privatized game ball of the traders. The citizen has to step out of the house and see what is going on at the front door. The school board, which has already been abolished in the one or another Canton, must reclaim its position as the basic democratic authority, elected by the people in the communes. In these boards the craftsman sits next to the doctor, the housewife and mother next to the farmer and father. At all times, the task of the school board has been to accompany and support the teachers, but it never usurped the mandate of monitoring them. We citizens will certainly not look on to watch how our school boards will be replaced by a centralized supervisory body that, detached from the democratic structure does testing, evaluating and maintaining the statistics.
Now more than ever, the people in the cantons have to decide on the curriculum of the elementary school – and with common sense and democratic instinct they will take the proper decision. •
Teachers can learn in a new advanced training course how to use tablets in the classroom. The course was developed by the University of Education (PH) Zurich and is funded by Samsung Electronics Switzerland.
According to a PH statement on Tuesday, the tablets offered a great potential for innovative teaching that activated students. However, these options were not yet used by all schools and teachers. The new training course is free of charge for school teams or individual teachers.
In a five-part series they receive impulses and concrete teaching ideas that are based on the competencies of the Curriculum 21. On rental devices teachers can test the lessons between courses.
The courses address German Swiss schools from Kindergarten to Secondary School. Samsung bears the costs of training and sets up two rooms for courses at the PH Zurich with the respective administrative infrastructure.
Experts consider the benefits of mobile devices in particular in cooperative learning, such as group work and interdisciplinary work. In some pilot projects tablets are already made use of in Swiss schools, for example in the Cantons of Aargau, Zurich and Solothurn, in one case even in a nursery.
sda/mim from 24.2.2015
(Translation Current Concerns)
The non-partisan association Starke Volksschule St.Gallen submitted its petition “Yes to HarmoS exit” on 27 March. With 7,017 signatures, 75 % more than the required were collected.
With those very strong results, voters in St Gallen have emphasised their wish for a change in educational policy. Apparently, citizens have become increasingly worried that the educational system might be harmed further by Curriculum 21, competence orientation, self-organised learning and the foreign language concept.
The listing up of pseudo-skills and semi-knowledge, as demanded by Curriculum 21 does not result in a solid education. “Educational experts” have seemingly taken it upon themselves to transfer the simple task of a reasonable harmonization of education into a large-scale educational control and ideologization of the school without having been legitimised by the Swiss people to do so.
From the press release: Starke Volksschule St. Gallen
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