Friday, January 18, 2008

Changing Education

After having worked as a primary school teacher, ICT trainer, research coordinator for 20 years I quit my (well paid) job as a state official to found the company EducDesign.

So far EducDesign has implemented some interesting long term ICT, teacher training and school development projects in public and private schools in Luxembourg and invested a lot of its resources in the development the portal solution OLEFA which offers some great open tools for creative learning (Storyboard, Tiparlo, Wiki, Webbook) and resources management (library, multimedia data, teaching materials, etc.).

From my experience at school as a teacher I knew already that change in education is very slow and that substantial change is hard to achieve.

I have also experienced that people who try to move the system from within are rarely granted for their efforts and sometimes leave school or if they stay, resign and isolate themselves in their classroom until retirement.

So what's the situation in Luxembourgish education today? Well, I must say that nobody really knows which way the country is going. On one hand, a lot of teachers started to develop their teaching practice (or at least to reflect on it) as there seemed to be a positive political climate for change (mostly due to the disastrous results of Luxembourgish students in the PISA survey conducted by the OECD).

This move began after the latest elections which lead to a change at the head of the Ministry of Education. On the other hand, I have the strong impression that again a certain mistrust against "the system" is arising. Teachers feel that there is to much focus on some pilot projects which have little to do with their own situation in their "ordinary" school and a lot of inconsistencies between political messages and political decisions.

Le's see where this will end up, as we will have elections again next year.

2 comments:

  1. Ech in och en Student vun der Uni Letzebuerg. Ech hun geschter op der Tele en Reportage gesin wou se iwert dei nei Verännerungen am Schoulsystem geschwat hun.An do as et och em Evaluation gang. Den klasseschen Punktesystem sollt jo dann duerch den Portfolio ersat gin. Mir schreiwen hei selwer op der Uni och un eisem Portfolio. Mee desen schreiwen mir jo selwer iwert eis. Wei wessen mir dann lo wei mer Kanner mat helef vun engem Portfolio kenen bewerten? Et gouf och gesot dass schon Schouleeschteren an Leierinnen ammoment dei Portfolioen benotzen mee bis elo hun mir am Stage nach keen begeint deen domat schaft. Vlaicht kent dir jo Leit wou een och kann hin goen fier sech dat unzekucken.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Céline,
    Don't be afraid to ask at the Ministry of Education. They should know who is working with portfolios.
    At least I know that they have a project going on about that subject.

    ReplyDelete

Some Reading Milestones

  • Towards reflexive method in archaeology : the example at Çatalhöyük (edited by Ian Hodder) 2000

  • The Book of Learning and Forgetting (Frank Smith) 1998

  • Points of Viewing Children's Thinking: A Digital Ethnographer's Journey (Ricki Goldman-Segall) 1997

  • Verstehen lehren (Martin Wagenschein) 1997

  • Computer im Schreibatelier (Gérard Gretsch) 1992

  • The Boy Who Would Be a Helicopter. Uses of Storytelling in the Classroom (Vivian Gussin Paley) 1991

  • La cause des adolescents (Françoise Dolto) 1988

  • Scuola di Barbiana. Die Schülerschule. Brief an eine Lehrerin. (Edition of 1980) / read in German 1982
    Letter to Teacher by the Schoolboys of Barbiana (1970)
    Lettre à une maîtresse de'école, par les enfants de Barbiana (1968)
    Lettera à una professoressa (Original Edition) 1967


  • Vers une pédagogie institutionnelle (Aïda Vasquez, Fernand Oury) 1967



Documentary Films on Education

  • Eine Schule, die gelingt (by Reinhard Kahl) 2008

  • Les temps des enfants (Jacques Duez) 2007

  • Klassenleben (by Bernd Friedmann und Hubertus Siegert) 2006

  • Lernen - Die Entdeckung des Selbstverständlichen
    (Ein Vortrag von Manfred Spitzer) 2006

  • Die Entdeckung der frühen Jahre
    Die Initiative "McKinsey bildet" zur frühkindlichen Bildung (by Reinhard Kahl) 2006

  • Treibhäuser der Zukunft - Wie in Deutschland Schulen gelingen (by Reinhard Kahl) 2004

  • Treibhäuser der Zukunft / Incubators of the future / Les serres de l'avenir; International Edition (by Reinhard Kahl) 2004

  • Journal de classe, 1ères audaces (1), Les échappés (2), Sexe, amour et vidéo (3), L'enfant nomade (4), Remue-méninges (5) (by Wilbur Leguebe, Jacques Duez, Agnès Lejeune) 2004

  • Spitze - Schulen am Wendekreis der Pädagogik (by Reinhard Kahl) 2003

  • Journal de classe, (by Wilbur Leguebe and Agnès Lejeune; Jacques Duez) 2002

  • Etre et Avoir (by Nicolas Philibert) 2002

  • The Stolen Eye (by Jane Elliott) 2002

  • The Angry Eye (by Jane Elliott) 2001

  • A l'école de la providence (by Gérard Preszow) 2000

  • Blue-Eyed (by Jane Elliott) 1996

  • A Class Divided (by Jane Elliott) 1984

  • Eye of The Storm (with Jane Elliott) 1970

Past quotes of the day

For every problem, there is one solution which is simple, neat and wrong. Henry Louis Mencken

Traveler, there is no path. Paths are made by walking.
Antonio Machado

The best way to predict the future is to invent it. Immanuel Kant

The significant problems we face cannot be solved at the same level of thinking we were at when we created them. Albert Einstein

To paraphrase a famous quotation, all that is necessary for the triumph of damaging educational policies is that good educators keep silent. Alfie Kohn

We used to have lots of questions to which there were no answers. Now, with the computer, there are lots of answers to which we haven't thought up the questions. Peter Ustinov

I had a terrible education. I attended a school for emotionally disturbed teachers. Woody Allen

A professor is someone who talks in someone else's sleep. W. H. Auden

When I was an inspector of schools I visited one classroom and looked at a boys book. He'd written, 'Yesterday, Yesterday, Yesterday, Sorrow, Sorrow, Sorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Tomorrow, Love, Love, Love.' I said, 'That's a lovely poem.' He said, 'Those are my spelling corrections.' Gervase Phinn

Real thinking never starts until the learner fails. Roger Schank

If what is wanted is a reexamination of schooling in terms of purpose, structure and process, then testing programmes are the wrong vehicle (...) Caroline V. Gipps

Not everything that counts can be counted, and not everything that can be counted counts. Albert Einstein

Act always so as to increase the number of choices. Heinz von Foerster

Another way of avoiding teaching is by relying exclusively on a textbook, workbooks, and other commercially packaged learning materials. Teaching is reduced to administering a set curriculum without giving any thought to the substance of what the students area learning or to their particular needs. H. Kohl

The right to ignore anything that doesn't make sense is a crucial element of any child's learning - and the first right children are likely to lose when they get to the controlled learning environment of school. F. Smith

Learning is the human activity which least needs manipulation by others. Most learning is not the result of instruction. It is rather the result of unhampered participation in a meaningful activity. - Ivan Illich

Too often we give our children answers to remember rather than problems to solve. - Roger Lewin

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education. - Mark Twain

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