Back to basics?

The conclusions that the Athens Teachers’ College has come to regarding changes to the nine-year obligatory school term are especially interesting. Basically, the college is proposing a major overhaul – as regards textbooks, style of teaching, pupil assessment and classroom conditions – by way of new and detailed programs for teaching pupils at primary and secondary levels. Evidently, Greek education today is in a pretty dire state. So the college is proposing certain measures that should be implemented immediately: the development of the pupil’s character through school exercises involving critical thought and reasoning; the provision of a general educational program as well as a focus on developing the special abilities of each individual student; an emphasis on the essential and the significant, that having educational value, rather than on the specific and the detailed; preparing the pupil to tackle new technologies and communications; and sensitizing pupils to matters relating to human rights, the environment, and the individual’s right to be different. Apparently, it seems that the above are absent from current teaching practice, as we have had to reach the year 2003 before deciding that schools should offer the self-evident.

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