Why are teachers important in curriculum development

Reform pedagogy Reform schools viewed critically


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Smaller classes, large rooms, exploratory learning, lots of time: a dream for teachers. Only teachers defend themselves against black-and-white thinking: the good, humane reform-pedagogical school against the evil, inhuman regular school.

As of: 01/29/2019

Frontal teaching is probably a thing of the past in the vast majority of German primary schools. Today a teacher has a lot more design options and freedom. For most educators, however, it is important to evaluate performance in school.

"School must also prepare children for the struggle for existence."

Quote from a teacher at a state primary school

Up until the 1980s, there was still heated discussion about whether reform schools were even necessary. Many were against it, but there are also needs on the part of parents that can only be met by a large number of different school types, so the arguments of the supporters. Ultimately, the poor performance of the students in the PISA studies also led to a rediscovery of reform pedagogy. The independent learning that was required in the studies has now also been adopted by many mainstream schools.

Montessori in urban institutions

Learn to recognize shapes with the specially developed Montessori material.

The Munich department for education and sport for day-care centers emphasizes that what Maria Montessori wanted has been done in Bavaria since the early 1970s: children should be able to do a lot themselves in a child-friendly, "prepared" environment. Many elements of Montessori were included in the daycare centers and in some cases also in the primary schools.

School should convey joy in the material - regardless of the form

Younger children usually look for friends in the neighborhood.

There are around 16,000 Bavarian Montessori, Waldorf and Jenaplan students compared to almost 700,000 primary and secondary school students in state schools. Private students can therefore see their school as something special. For this very reason, educationalists often advise against attending a reform-pedagogical school. They believe that elementary school children should attend a school in the neighborhood. Because younger children have a small radius of movement and a lot of contacts in the neighborhood, and that could be just as important an argument as the form of the school. The decisive factor is the enjoyment of the material and the handling of learning and not whether the student goes to a state or a private school.

(Not) a school for all classes

Montessori students during free work

In addition, parents pay school fees at a private school. Despite discounts and subsidies for poor families, here, as in all private schools, mainly children from the upper middle class meet. Article 7 of the Basic Law states that private schools may only be approved if the students' financial circumstances are not encouraged. But being there for all children is difficult for a private school, because the parents have to contribute to the financing of the respective school due to the legal situation.

Problems with math and science

Is too little natural sciences taught in Waldorf schools?

Reform education schools are often accused of dismissing people who cannot cope with the reality in our performance society. Linking the basic idea of ​​free development with traditional educational standards is not easy. The Thuringian Institute for Teacher Training, Curriculum Development and Media confirmed that pupils at the Jenaplan School in Jena were "excellent in self-competence, social competence and methodological competence. But they clearly lacked technical competence". Even at Waldorf schools, not everything seems perfect: Due to the disregard for mathematics and the natural sciences, criticism is increasingly also coming from within. Above all, however, the mysticism of Rudolf Steiner's teaching is controversial.