The pisa shock

Education and upbringing in the area of conflict between overly high expectations and a declining will to achieve

Thanks to timss and pisa, education policy is back on the agenda. Overnight, education and upbringing have become a mega-topic. The damning verdict of the two studies on the performance of german schoolchildren in a global comparison, but also the erfurt killing spree and the constant complaints of industry and universities about a shortage of skilled workers or students who are unable to study, have startled politicians of all factions. For the first time in the history of the federal republic of germany, a head of government made a government statement on the subject in the bundestag. Chancellor schroder gave the topic of education a high priority "education" the highest priority and called it the social ie of the "the social question of the. Century".

Presumably in allusion to the so-called "sputnik shock" about. Fifty years ago, schroder said: "we cannot afford to let even a single talent go unused". And almost in the tone of a rough coalition, the chancellor called upon the assembled representatives of the people to "for a joint effort" at. The head of government wants to release four billion euros from the federal budget over the next four years for more childcare and all-day schools. And the kmk is considering not only the introduction of nationally binding educational standards and the annual implementation of centralized achievement tests in each grade, but also the bringing forward of education and instruction to kindergarten.

Hold on, hold on, don’t be scared


The results were surprising for those who are familiar with the subject matter, not for teachers. In the workplace, in the learning factory and elsewhere, they are confronted with the contradiction of increasing demands, decreasing willingness to learn and a lack of achievement among apprentices, students and schoolchildren. The complaints of the economy, science and all teachers about insufficiently educated or performance-unwilling young people are widely audible. When pisa-e now tells us that bavarian students are still doing quite well in comparison, insiders are surprised and can’t believe their eyes. How bad must the students in the north, east and west of the republic be, when the bavarians and baden-wurttembergers hold their own in the front midfield??

It was clear from the start that people would be quick to point the finger of blame. After all, it’s election time and the parties are competing for the favor of the voters. And since alternatives between chancellor and candidate are rare, the regional comparison offers a welcome opportunity to highlight glaring differences and contrasts between the policies of the incumbent and his bavarian challenger.

Blame rampant

But who is responsible for the general failure of educational institutions?? Who is to blame for the fact that the once highly praised german education system has fallen to the bottom of the rankings with other countries?? Is it due to the so-called "kuschelpadagogik", the systematic downgrading of performance and education by egalitarian teachers, as conservative education politicians suspect? Or perhaps the tripartite school system, which, with its rigid selection practices and the plethora of exams and grades, contributes a fair amount to the fact that the demand of those left behind, the realization of more equal opportunities, falls by the wayside?

What is the complicity of antsy, consumerist and media-addled students who shun any rough exertion and instead of studying books and reciting poetry indulge in branded goods, fun and computer games?? Or is it the lack of quality of the staff, who are not open to new teaching techniques and methods (free work, project teaching, e-learning) and still prefer outdated methods (frontal teaching) in the classroom?? What is the role of a curriculum that teaches the next generation outdated, outmoded, or "unteachable" or the state supervision, which gives schools too little freedom to shape their own education and keeps them on the education-policy conveyor belt?

Or should we not also reproach the parents, who generally have high demands and expectations of their children, but prefer to delegate home education, homework control and learning to schools and teachers, neglecting their children or leaving them to their own devices and setting other priorities in life?. The practical report of a bavarian teacher of a grammar school upper school, which the f.A.Z. On 3. July with the title "better to go shopping in munich" which skilfully mirrors all of these moments and reflects the following finding.

There is no shortage of recipes

Many questions, to which you always get different answers, depending on whom you ask, teachers or students, parents or politicians, school paddagogues or just about anyone. The others are always to blame, "lazy" teacher, "stupid schoolboys", "boring" lessons or "broken families" etc. And the recipes that are now being traded as a panacea for the education crisis are no different. Do the educational movements want a new culture of teaching (child-centered learning, problem-based teaching, doing away with grades, learning coaching …), the school reformers hope to solve the problems through a rapid modernization of the school system. De-bureaucratization of schools, de-trumpeting of curricula and introduction of educational sponsoring on the one hand; evaluation of teaching, demand for highly gifted students and involvement of parents on the other hand are to help transform schools into all-day care centers and educational service centers. And while east german politicians are seriously recommending a return to the gdr system of educational custody, while pediatricians and sports physicians are calling for more exercise and physical education because sitting still makes you stupid, the federal parents’ council is actually demanding that those responsible in the political and cultural arenas "a sophisticated concept for a comprehensive education of personalities".

The tanker does not move

The fact that it is anything but easy to turn the education system upside down can be seen in the new book by sociologist niklas luhmann, recently published from his estate (das erziehungssystem der gesellschaft. Edited by dieter lenzen. Suhrkamp verlag, frankfurt am main 2002, 236 pages, 24.90 euro). Of course, here again the educational system is cell and part of the modern society differentiated in functions. For them, it has certain tasks to fulfill, namely to develop gifts, talents and competencies that other systems can later access. Like all other social systems (politics, economy, law, etc.), the education system …) the education system also leads an independent "independent existence". It creates, treats and loses its problems communicatively according to its own rules, here mediated according to the code. The medium this time is "the child", optionally also the "curriculum vitae", which is brought to and into form by becoming a person.

It is true that the educational system can be influenced by "foreign" interventions of auben, for example by the jurisdiction of courts, by legal initiatives or demands of the economy for better trained personnel irritate. But it processes and answers all these demands, intentions and goals, which are offered to it by politics, economy, law or science, autonomously and on its own authority according to self-determined rules. Since in the educational system different traditions, thoughts, roles, interests, goals, assignments, intentions to act, motivations etc. When there is a clash of interests that makes joint agreements, decisions and regulations difficult, causal attributions (blame) and approaches to solutions that treat individual symptoms usually do not work. Therefore, measures can trigger further measures with undesired side effects, which may then block or even neutralize each other.

Observers then often have the impression that nothing or hardly anything is moving in the system and the tanker is "education and school" are difficult to control or steer. They usually speak of a reform bottleneck or even of reform resistance, when pedagogical goals are not in line with the reality of education "educational reality" fail or take a development that was not intended. Prospective teachers experience this as much as veteran educators do. In the case of newcomers to the profession, science speaks of the so-called "practice shock", experienced teachers, on the other hand, from "burn-out syndrome". Already at the end of the seventies, the sociologist had called the attention of all-too-reform-minded and education-minded padagogues, mostly unsuccessfully, to these glaring discrepancies between the proclaimed humanistic ideals of educators and the real conditions and performance of the school system (selection and allocation), and had described this fading out of the school-sociological reality as an "technology deficit" branded. In the book he co-edited with the late hamburg educationalist karl-eberhard schorr, he provided educational science with a sociology of the curriculum and its methodology "reflection problems in the educational system" he provided educational science with a sociology of the curriculum, didactics and their methodology, to which the latter unfortunately responded "defensively", as he says in the introduction, and to continue all the more blithely with new learning programs and teaching methods.

Inherent logic of teaching

All of this also plays a role in the estate volume, they are brought up to date with about ten years ago and their own "constructivist development" adapted. However, the direction of vision is readjusted. The center of luhmann’s interest is now the teaching situation, the "interaction among those present". There, between two-person benches, group tables or horseshoe form is tested, what blob at the education "will and imagination" and what has been produced by the curriculum and its didactics, which educationalists create on behalf of the state, for the wastepaper basket. Here, in the face-to-face of teacher and pupil meets the "pedagogical reference" meets the compulsion to grade. And it is here, in the classroom, that all the "virtues" that annoy the educator and are diametrically opposed to the educational goals: biopolitics, disciplining and expulsions on the one hand, provocations, storactions and mischief-making schoolchildren who enjoy it all on the other.

The orientation of school classes as systems of interaction among those present has far-reaching consequences, which result from the forms of system construction of interaction.

Niklas luhman

This is also the reason for "buddy" teacher types, a relaxed style of leadership, or teaching that is oriented in any way toward the schoolchildren do nothing to improve the quality of education. What educational planners, ministry officials, and educators consider important, schoolchildren do not necessarily consider important. Also, the constant chasing after more contemporary topics and content in order to pick up students where they are at the moment is usually perceived by students as stolen time of life. The teacher usually has to bear the brunt of the students’ anger and frustration, because he or she is directly confronted with the students in the classroom. Depending on how he reacts to this, whether with leniency, mildness or severity, this is then interpreted as professional weakness or strength. Only those who deal with these "realities", that the "interaction among attendees" creates, best to arrange female, can be in school "survive". This applies to schoolchildren as well as teachers.

The death of luhmann has unfortunately led to the fact that this central point of the educational system, the "interaction system teaching", has remained unfinished. The question: "which school do we have?" must therefore be answered by others. But there seems to be no interest in deeper analysis and sociological clarification of education. Neither in educational science, which primarily calls for new school models (all-day care), forms of teaching (project work), educational approaches (internships, didactics, psychology) and financial investments (billions), nor in the public sphere. This is evidenced by all the interviews and tv talk shows in which "educators of the people" and apparent "experts" such as the quizmaster gunther jauch, the pop singer guildo horn or the chancellor’s wife doris schroder-kopf present educational models for the future; and the many-voiced and loquacious opinions, comments and judgments of artists, scientists and writers also bear witness to this. To the question: "which school do we want?" they publicly disclose their very personal neuroses and school traumas.

"Schuler" – the unknown storgrobe

And according to luhmann, there is another reason why well-intentioned intentions, goals, and plans in the classroom often fizzle out without effect: the student. Therefore, cybernetic teaching science once called it a "storgrobe" . He, for whose sake learning factories are built, computers are purchased, lessons are organized and teachers graduate from universities, is the gross unknown of the educational system. The student can be irritated at the most, or at the best he can be instructed to refrain from dangerous things and to at least consider the consequences of his actions beforehand. But you cannot control or even remotely steer him. He remains a stubborn, non-trivial machine, whose behavior and actions can neither be clearly predicted nor determined.

Hooray! We bloden!

School poster

And yet padagogues treat it as if it were, a trivial machine that spits out the right answers if you feed it with the right questions. They claim to decide on educational standards, performance levels and measures of correct knowledge and behavior, which the addressee of the educational process has to acquire. But if the student then says nonsensical and wrong things or shows himself to be unteachable and rebellious, he must either be challenged or treated and, in the worst case, repaired.

Because this is the case and educators know it, they usually walk around with a guilty conscience. They often blame themselves for the failure of their pupils and then invent all kinds of programs and methods: project teaching, free work, school-oriented learning, bonus guarantees for low achievers etc. And then, when it comes time to align performance with educational goals, they fall back on this same form of trivialization. In the end, after basic values, poems, spelling rules or physical formulas have been crammed and drilled, competent and socially astute young adults should emerge, who at the same time preserve the cultural heritage and advance modern society.

Everything gets better

Educators and teachers plagued by teaching and unsettled by press reports and education plans will find comfort in niklas luhmann. His cool and distant view allows all those who are depressed by many things that occur in school to gain distance and to see through seemingly inscrutable, resistant and paradoxical things, which they are inclined to assign to unknown or higher powers in terms of conspiracy theory. On the other hand, observers and stakeholders alike will react much more calmly to all those reform proposals that are doing the rounds again right now. Also after the sputnik shock, an education commission was convened, the "german education council", which initiated a new research practice and culture. And while georg picht was describing the "german educational catastrophe" prophesied, ralf dahrendorf "education for citizenship" willy brandt called for more education "dare democracy" in the schools and gerhard roth to the "talent of the talents" the recruiters swarmed into the working-class milieus in order to track down the hoped-for educational reserves there and to "higher education" mobilize them for higher education. The book reflects on the educational and school sociological ruins left by this educational rampage of the 1968 generation and its educational stormers in our schools and universities. The findings for educational reformers and planners are not kind.

It is therefore highly presumptuous to ame that after pisa everything became different and better. Instead of focusing on the core business of schools and teaching, namely the development of thinking, evaluation and judgment as well as the discovery and demand of talents, gifts and skills, educational institutions are constantly being burdened with new and additional tasks and functions. They now range from the prevention of violence and the social-pedagogical all-day care of children to preventive health care, dental care and joint breakfasts with the schoolchildren to the scout culture in joint adventure vacations. It is no wonder that schools have become less and less effective in fulfilling their actual tasks and duties, since fun culture, entertainment and shows, experiential education, recreational programs and all-round social care have overlapped and competed with learning and teaching.

The desire for education is growing

There is only one’ rudi voller

evidence for pisa

Demands such as those made by the bavarian minister of education, monika hohlmeier, in the immediate aftermath of erfurt and pisa, namely to create an educational pact between teachers, psychologists and parents, are proving to be unhelpful and counterproductive in practice. The similarities are usually exhausted when the offspring is supposed to take the higher educational path, but despite ritalin, prozac and other stimulants, tutoring and demands, it is not enough or he fails there. Teachers, who then show commitment and a learning path more "less demanding learning path" are then, if they dare "dare", or, with their grading, they are in conflict with the parents’ aspirations of "higher" the parents’ aspirations for higher things, they become opponents, bogeymen or even enemies. Then, at least, there is the way to a lawyer, who can file a claim in court or legally correct the teacher’s erroneous diagnoses, or, if that doesn’t help, at least to a doctor or a psychologist, who can give an expert opinion on dyslexia, dyscalculia or other problems "disabilities" ie to compensate for poor performance or lack of will to perform. A large part of the educational dilemma results from the fact that more than one third of the school population is in the wrong branch of education "sits" and is simply overwhelmed with the requirements there. However, no one has the courage to say this out loud.

Talents are distributed very differently. Entrepreneurs, craftsmen or otto normalburger observe this every day in everyday life. What is good for hinz is not necessarily good for kunz. A trabi, no matter how much it is tuned and tuned, will not become a porsche; and a random driver will not become a new michael schuhmacher, even through constant practice, challenge and training. Even worse: in the global media and information society, there is an increasing proportion of schoolchildren who are resistant to demands (illiteracy). With them, the code of the educational system becomes: teachable. The state can spend as much money and resources on remedial education and additional teachers and educators as it likes. And because this desire for education is growing, the desire for teen stars or other super-smart kids is extremely lagging behind school reality and educational practice, it doesn’t take much imagination to predict the failure of the touted educational efforts. The new billions will be wasted as well. And the planned introduction of centralized achievement and educational tests will not bring any schoolchildren a significant improvement in education. On the contrary, it will at best make the school files of every single pupil a lot thicker and increase frustration in classrooms and school hours, among teachers, pupils and parents.

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