Education In The Hamsterwheel
Essay on motivation, intention and background of a series of photographs
Students and their fears
I am always glad to hear about children that like to go to school. Fortunately for me, I often work with good humoured and satisfied music students. On the other hand I also encountered many students with serious concerns and fears. The reasons were varied. I dealt with victims of bullying and attacks as well as children with other school or domestic social problems.
The pressure to achieve which many adolescents have to suffer nowadays (to varying degrees) seemed special conspicuous however. On the one hand the reasons for this lie in specific changes in the educational system (such as the reduction of the overall school years from thirteen to twelve years), on the other hand in the super- ordinated socio-political development towards a society that is influenced increasingly by the economy’s interests and the underlying concept of the achieving society. But even those who have nothing against the fundamental idea of a meritocracy should at least start to pay attention when an ever-growing proportion of adolescents feel pressurized by increasing demands. Insomuch that the repercussions reflect in psychological and physical symptoms.
Related to this issue is the question of quality and quantity of mediated learning content. The shortening of school years means that students simply have to spend more time on school, homework and learning. Time that could otherwise be spent on hobbies, friends or other extracurricular activities.
Regardless of this compression of schooling there is urgent need for a discussion regarding the contents deemed to be relevant to be learned. Of course it is neither about the fundamental knowledge in the fields of mathematics and natural science nor to the essential foreign language skills but the advanced learning content of the higher classes which is perceived by many as unnecessary or at least considered arguable. At the same time one often hears the complaint that practice-oriented content regarding the later life in general or career choices in particular comes short or is even non-existent.