We should focus on our educational system

“Dear school system, we have to talk!” A mother starts a fundamental debate

BERLIN. The corona pandemic has made some grievances in our education system even more acute. But will this fundamentally change the school system? A reader of News4teachers and mother of four school-age children wishes that "all school topics are discussed openly and honestly and that we as a society find the courage to rethink schools - from the perspective of people, not the system." As an education magazine, that does not shy away from an appreciative debate, we publish your letter to "the school system" here.

Dear school system, we have spent so many years together and I still have so many questions for you. Do you want to try to listen to my questions?

For example, I wonder why you don't use so many terms according to their actual definition. You say z. B. Cooperation - and actually mean the compulsion to participate. You describe children or parents who disagree or don't want to do what you told them to do as uncooperative. Are you really uncooperative, or just different (your own) opinion?

You also speak of discipline on the part of the students (e.g. when everyone is calm and doing what you have told them to do), when you actually mean obedience or docility. Isn't discipline something completely different?

"I also ask myself: Why do you rate and judge people without being asked?"

And then you want to help or support so many children (in doing what you want them to do or have instructed them to do), and you don't seem to notice that this help, which you offer without being asked or sometimes even urge you to, actually is in truth assault. Have you ever asked those who you want to help "get on track" (that is, on your track!) If they even want to? And: if a person who belongs to your system (students, parents, teachers) really needs support, do you really offer him this, or only what you yourself understand by support?

I also ask myself: Why do you rate and judge people without being asked? What are you aiming for? What do you want to achieve? And have you ever checked whether what you want to achieve with it will actually happen?

And if you do it like that, to judge and evaluate people, would you think that would be ok for you too? When people judge you without asking?

And why do you label people without being asked ("You are now the squirrel class! Hello dear squirrels!")? Would you find the other way around okay too? What if the students call the teacher Ms. Raccoon without being asked? Or the teacher, Mr. Nashorn?

Why do you demand respect and consideration, but move yourself incessantly and without being asked into the children's personal area, in which you limit their right to freedom, give them assignments, divide them into classes and groups, evaluate them, classify and select ... And then do you wonder when children get angry about your behavior and assign them an aggression problem? Or do you wonder when children copy your behavior and become abusive yourself because you have set an example for them? And then do you (proudly ?!) include an anti-bullying program in your school profile?

"Isn't real and, above all, sustainable learning easy and lively, organic and full of enthusiasm?"

And then the subject of learning. That’s what it’s really about for you! Why do you actually call memorization and reproduction learning? Don't you even know what learning is? How does it work? So many clever people have already researched so much and gained a lot of knowledge. Anyone can read this in smart books or on the Internet. Did you ever do that? Why don't you apply all of this knowledge? Isn't real and, above all, sustainable learning easy and lively, organic and full of enthusiasm? And is it still present and accessible after years?

And what about the motivation: for what you call learning, you bring the children with rewards (and sometimes with punishments), or with the fear of bad grades. So you are using external motivational factors. Are you not interested in the children's inner motivation at all? Or only if it corresponds to the goals you have come up with? Why do you pay so little attention to inner motivation and above all to the children's own interests and talents? The innermost drive is the most important prerequisite for learning! I do not understand you.

And then: if your learning often doesn't go as you would like it to: why do you always look to others to blame? Why are the children always not brought up the way you need them, or why is only the media having such a fatal influence, and why only parents can no longer raise their children today? Are you even interested in the answers? Do you have a really open and genuine dialogue with your 'customers' or employees, i.e. parents, students and teachers? Have you ever asked them why they are the way they are now?

And one more thing: You say you are educating people about democracy. And then you set all the rules yourself and demand that the rules are adhered to. Learning to adhere to rules and not having any influence on them is the opposite of democracy. Or what do you think of that?

And why do you even ban democratically or sociocratically organized schools in Germany? Aren't you really serious about democracy?

Besides, why do you always pretend there is no alternative to yourself? Are you perhaps afraid that we don't want you anymore? Start with yourself! Could you stop trying to always be the determiner? Let's work together, in real cooperation and with real appreciation on both sides! Then maybe we don't always have to argue so much. You have so much wonderful potential! All the wonderful people who work for you, finally give them freedom and self-determination! They can do it! Don't you also feel like developing yourself to real size and maturity? We all love and need you, somehow, and you could make it a little easier for us to love you from the bottom of our hearts.

Your eternal student

A mother of four school-age children who wants to remain anonymous.

News4teachers is Germany's largest news magazine for education with an average of more than one million readers per month - and it also sees itself as a discussion medium.We look forward to every reader contribution that helps to present different perspectives on the topics of our contributions.

A few rules apply to publication, which in principle do not differ from those that apply in normal human interaction - you can read them here. We are happy to publish particularly interesting posts - like the ones above - as guest posts in the editorial section of News4teachers. Everyone who is committed to education is cordially invited to participate (also anonymously) in the debates. Every contribution on News4teachers is free for discussion. Of course this one too.

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