At this year’s Leipzig Book Fair, Current Concerns will be represented, as well. The booth is located in Hall 4, booth A102. In addition, Current Concerns, invites you to five events at the fair and one evening lecture with discussion in the context of “Leipzig liest”.
The two volumes of “Mein liebstes Lesebuch“ are intended for primary school children. Essentially, the reading books contain what literature is able to achieve later. They let children participate in people‘s thinking and feeling; they train their empathy for other people; they broaden their understanding of the environment, and they are also linguistic role models – this is how you can tell a story! Many positive everyday stories give the children role models with whom they can compare and identify. The stories, poems, game instructions or puzzles offer a variety of reading material from the children‘s world of experience for all seasons of the year. Children enjoy language games or rhymes, they develop a feeling for the rhythm and sound of the language. Feedback shows that many parents, relatives or teachers also like to tell stories, read them together or use them in school.
The benefits and possible consequences of digital media (PCs, notebooks, tablets or smartphones) in schools have been the subject of controversial debate since their introduction. The aim of digital “learning” programs is to replace the teacher and to steer and permanently control pupils as they learn. Teachers are degraded to learning companions and social coaches. Is this good teaching able to succeed? For most pupils, an active, helpful teacher who leads a didactically well structured lesson with clear work instructions and learning tasks that have to be mastered is indispensable for successful learning. What importance the teacher plays in the learning process? What is a good lesson? Which teaching methods are particularly effective? The ethical dimension of digitisation is likely to be the key issue. We would like to discuss these questions with you.
Trust is a precious commodity. It is a great responsibility for everyone, wherever they live, to build up mutual trust and shape it on a daily basis without unnecessarily jeopardising it in the often fierce political disputes of our time. With too many people around, it is endangered or even destroyed. And it often is a long way to win it back so that despite adverse circumstances humanity and solidarity can flourish again. Only if we meet the other in honest equivalence trust can really sprout up again.
Peter Sodann, born in 1936, is a well-known actor, theater man and cultural creator from the GDR and United Germany. To many, he is also known as “Tatort”-commissar Ehrlicher. But also well known is his collection of GDR literature from 9 May 1945 to 2 October 1990. When in 1990 books were again destroyed in Germany for ideological and political reasons, not in public places like after 1933, but in waste incineration plants or power stations, it was Peter Sodann who did not want to come to terms with it. He began to collect and preserve books and writings from the “accession area” and to make them accessible to the public step by step. At first, an individual initiative with own money, it became a stock of around 2.5 million books. Although there are some supporters and helpers, the burden of the institution still lies with Peter Sodann and his wife. Peter Sodann has a far-reaching view. What will become of his second life’s work when he can no longer work for it on a daily basis? What will become of this, his inheritance? A cooperative society. “What you cannot do alone, team up with others who want the same thing.” Schulze-Delitzsch’s sentence is the guiding principle for the newly founded cooperative, “Peter-Sodann-Bibliothek eG – Wider dem Vergehen” which was founded on 17 November 2018 by more than 50 founding members. From now on, it will deal with the future of the book collection and thus continue a large part of history, culture and science of the GDR as part of German history for the generations to come.
Direct democracy is on everyone‘s lips in Europe and worldwide. The issue of direct democracy can be found on the political agenda of parties of different provenance. Many proponents of direct democracy are addressing the Swiss model, which has clear advantages: Direct democracy achieves a high level of satisfaction among the population with state institutions at the expense of powerful parties and the political elite.
The “Research Institute for Direct Democracy” (www.fidd.ch), founded by René Roca five years ago, aims to reappraise this form of democracy historically. Initial research results show that direct democracy must be built from the bottom up, integrated into a federalist, subsidiary political system. The cooperative idea played a central role in this process in Switzerland. The cooperative principle first matured at community level and decisively advanced direct democracy. Next came the cantons, which in the 19th century introduced the direct-democratic instruments of referendum and initiativ: which, at the end of the 19th century finally succeeded at the national level as well. The event aims to discuss such research results with speakers from Germany, Austria, Italy and Switzerland.
German Russian town-twinnig is an important basis for the ongoing dialogue between both countries. In a civil society manner – as dialogue from person to person – it will help to find alternatives to any confrontation course. Very often individual citizens are able to set the ball rolling. An example is the town twinning between Erlangen and Vladimir. Today, it is a special feature of this town twinning that an East and West German town is trilaterally shaping the partnership with Vladimir. The town twinning lives by a very strong civic commitment. Leonhard Hirl, who was awarded the City of Erlangen’s social letter of honour for his commitment to the partnership, will present the full implications of the partnership. Promoting international understanding and peace are one of the main concerns of the Swiss newspaper Current Concerns. Our event at the Leipzig Book Fair 2019 is intended to remind people of the importance of town twinning and calls for such partnerships – especially in this time and age – to be deepened and expanded also to cities in Russia.
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