Letters to the editor

Letters to the editor

Traditional education systems form the best in the world

While the Asian countries continue to be world leaders with their traditional education systems, the Western countries, which have radically altered their education system to the neo-liberal “OECD competence orientation”, have been steadily declining for years in the PISA ranking.
What is the secret of the academic success of the Asian top-ranking countries? For them the relationship orientation is held up during learning. They aim at a broad general education with the social form of class teaching, where the teacher explains and the pupils summarize. In doing so the integration of different opinions takes place. Healthy competition is not prohibited. School performance primarily consists of acquiring as much as possible of the teacher’s knowledge. Systematic memorizing and internalization are very important. At the same time, techniques of memorizing are applied, in which an at most comprehensive presentation of the contents of the teaching is enriched by appropriate documentation on memorization. Modesty, social responsibility and trust, self-control and conflict tolerance prevail as personality ideals as well as respect and courtesy. Authority need not be further legitimized. Teachers have traditionally a high reputation in all Asian countries. The more a teacher knows and spreads, the more respect is given to him.
These are all characteristics, which had a high priority even in the European education tradition until the 1990s. The radical turnaround was initiated by the economic organisation OECD, founded in 1961, when the Chicago school with its neo-liberalism found its way there. Although the Chicago Boys were given a free hand from the bloody military dictatorship in Chile in the 1970s to radically reorganize all state institutions, including education, according to their neoliberal economic theories and privatize them for the global market, they failed miserably and left behind a pile of fragments from which Chile did not recover until today. Even the biggest global economic crisis in 2008 with the failure of “globalisation” has not led to a rethinking of the neoliberal orientation of the OECD to the global education corporations bringing these corporations worldwide sales of over 6,000 billion USD per year.
In 1999, the OECD had let “construct” its neo-liberal “competence orientation” by the psychologist Weinert. Since then the proven education system including class teaching and teachers is being abolished in one OECD country after another. Class teaching is replaced by controversial “self-controlled learning”, which results in a knowledge reduction of at least 50% and is propagated as the “modern” method in the “fundamentals of Curriculum 21”.
“Much of what we magnificently celebrate as ‘globalisation’ and ‘adaptation to international standards’ is, in effect, adaptation to US provincialism.” (G. Fröhlich, Evaluation wissenschaftlicher Leistungen (Evaluation of scientific achievements), Swiss Society of Radiobiology and Medical Physics, Bulletin 2/2006)
For the method of Curriculum 21, the “self-controlled learning” see the video => “Ich lerne was ich will” (I learn what I would like to!) (www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3nR8op9hNg)

Peter Aebersold, Zurich

About the importance of education

The article by Dieter Sprock about the importance of education in Current Concerns no. 25/26 from 14 November 2016 expresses exactly what I feel. Its importance cannot be overestimated. The author has succeeded in describing unfavourable attitudes and behaviours towards children in such a way that parents and educators are stimulated to reflect, they feel addressed and not attacked. He also ranged from the children’s room to the school room, where the same misinterpretations lead to wrong learning concepts (the so-called “Gemeinschaftsschule”), unchallenge and ultimately a lack of training.
He has pointed out the difference between motivation and force as well as between guidance and strictness very well, and with thus, he got to the heart of “educational crisis”. This confusion, however, has been systematically fed into the educational sciences since the 1968s, and has now unfortunately not only become a mindset in society as a whole. Insecurity has also caught the minds.
As a paediatrician and adolescent doctor, I experience on a daily basis how much it has become normal that the parents or adults want to satisfy the children and struggle to gain the favour of the children. Many parents are in conflict. On the one hand, they know very well what their children would do well; for example, stop using the pacifier, because it deforms the jaw; do not give sweet drinks and brush the teeth, so that no caries emerges; to limit the PC games, because school achievement and family life suffer from it, etc.
Afraid to force possibly their child, they shy the discussion and then accept the negative consequences. In my practice, I often experience how relieved parents are when they are instructed to support and encourage their child lovingly, but firmly in his learning. It is always a pleasure when I see the children again and they tell me for example proudly that they do not need a pacifier or a diaper anymore, can get dressed alone or get better marks because Mom confiscated the phone. Most parents are astonished that the roar of their children and the quarrel in the family stop when they are firmly convinced to show their child the way. I placed the article in my surgery and I recommend the reading to all parents, kindergarten teachers and teachers.

Dr med Marianne Schammert, paediatrician and adolescent doctor, Weingarten (Germany)

Family in the GDR and the FRG

I would like to hand a comment to the debate about the fate of the family in the FRG and the GDR in later. My core idea was: The Marxist-Leninist characterised policy of the GDR tried to penetrate into the family and let it work for their affairs, just as they took youth associations into the service of the state. Other states with totalitarian tendencies did and do the same. As a socialist state, the GDR taught its youth patriotism and pride in the achievements of the country. However, the “New Left” in the FRG, above all the Frankfurt School, and this is the great difference to the GDR, did not want to take the family into their service, let alone fostering the love for one’s country. The core of their ideology was the dissolution of the family and the dissolution of love for their country and the dissolution of religious bonds. Patriotism and German folk songs were despised. The patriotism of oppressed peoples and their folk songs were celebrated. The family was despised by the “New Left” and the Frankfurt School as the “socialising agency of the bourgeois state” and as a hotbed for the “fascist character” and religion as a blacksmith’s shop for subjects. The attachment to them was to disappear from the mind, and the psychology, above all the psychoanalysis, was used as a means of abuse. The expressly demanded dissolution of family, religion, and national state should guarantee a relapse into fascism and dictatorship! The leadership of the GDR did not do this. The member of the last GDR government who I quoted called this crazy. And this is still sensible when talking to people from the former GDR.

Moritz Nestor

(All letters translated by Current Concerns)

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