“Children in the network of global corporations” – this analysis also applies to the German educational landscape: Even earlier than in Switzerland, almost the same reforms were implemented here, albeit partly under slightly different names, such as the melodious promises “Gemeinschaftsschule” (community school). German federal states such as Bremen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Hamburg, led the way with corresponding catastrophic results. Nevertheless, even Baden-Württemberg and Bavaria are now going along, even though these federal states were previously able to shine with the most successful educational results. Recently and lastly, the new federal states were favoured with the reforms: Admittedly there the school system was also criticised before the turnaround, mainly because of the ideological indoctrination. Many people resented this, and education was one of the most important topics at the time of the great change. The discussion was over when the West “took over” the East – and especially in the field of education. The reforms already implemented in West Germany were imposed on East Germany. Meanwhile, many of those who are still familiar with the solid knowledge builing in the GDR are appalled by the reduction of knowledge and skills of their children. Therefore, it is not surprising that, for example, Saxony is one of the first German states to endeavor to obtain solid learning.
For the people in the new federal states these “reforms” came along completely surprisingly and incomprehensibly. The citizens of the old federal states have gradually become accustomed to them, since the sixties, they have been introduced little by little. Even here, nobody understood what was happening. An open discussion took place neither here nor there, and it was not desired – just as little as in Switzerland, by the way.
Judith Barben’s book traces the development and shows who initiated these reforms in the background – incidentally Europe-wide – and why. The German reader will find many parallels. Keywords such as the downsizing of subject material, break in values, mind games, lifting of the systematics of a subject, “PISA”, “competence-oriented” learning, writing by ear, ADHD and Ritalin, digitisation – Barben sets the seemingly unrelated pieces of the puzzle together, so that finally a clear picture is produced of who wants what and why, of where this leads to and how is it enforced.
The book is exciting and fluidly written, not in “academese”, but understandable for everyone. Reading it will fill you with new courage because you finally understand what is going on.
Review and order: www.eikos.ch/index.php/kinder-im-netz-globaler-konzerne.html
(Translation Current Concerns)
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