Finally, we have a summary analysis of the current “school reforms” that are being heavily debated throughout Switzerland. For decades, parents and teachers have been watching with growing unease and critically commented the changes introduced in small but steady steps within the schools. An increasing flood of daily media coverage on the problematic innovations testifies to this dispute, which in the near future – after the introduction of Curriculum 21 – will certainly be even stronger.
The new book by the author of “Spindoctors im Bundeshaus”, Judith Barben, summarises this criticism of the “reforms” ordered from above, very convincingly and explains their background, for example the origins of these fatal changes in the intentions of the OECD, to implement American “school reforms” in Europe – “reforms” that previously had already ruined public education in the US. The Swiss vicarious agents in education, politics, and the public are called by name and referred to their responsibility.
Not only is this new publication a guide to understanding the “reformed” school for insiders, it also offers interested mothers and fathers an orientation on how to classify these developments and how to deal with them. The author describes with love and persuasiveness the importance of the correct learning of reading, writing, and arithmetic – the basics of our public education system. Exaggerated individualisation and total digitisation bring these foundations of humanistic education in the spirit of Pestalozzi back into discussion. For that reason it is of utmost importance for both parents and teachers that we know exactly what is going on in the “modern” school, what powers are at work.
Not anyone who is interested in the topic will put the book down until it has finished. Judith Barben succeeds in presenting the complex and largely hidden relationships clearly and convincingly. A must for educators and parents.
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