since the introduction of PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) to education in 2000, standardisation, equality of opportunity and comparability has become increasingly important. Countries are competing with one another for the best position in the league table. This places both teachers and pupils under enormous pressure.
Fundamental criticism and new suggestions
Educational researchers are voicing strong concern about a system of education that is permeated by previously unknown levels of inequality, the unquestioning acceptance of an expanding use of information technology and the drive to adapt teaching to the needs of the jobs market. The climate of true learning, creativity and community in the school is being increasingly displaced by the drilling of facts, fear and isolation, and the lessons a mere routine.
During a conference organised by the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education in Luxemburg in January on the theme of diversity in assessment, Prof. Heinz-Dieter Meyer from the State University of New York called for Pestalozzi's idea of achieving 'harmony between head, heart and hands' to be taken up anew. This would enhance a pupil's concentraion capacity, overcome their sense of isolation and reduce conflict. Examinations could then be about applying what has been learnt in a reliable way. This is however precisely what is striven for in Steiner Waldorf schools. We are very pleased therefore that
Steiner / Waldorf education is represented in the Working Group on schools set up by the European Commission in February 2016!
In January the European Council for Steiner Waldorf Education (ECSWE), one of our founding organisations, successfully applied to join the European Commission's working group on schools and will be actively engaged with it in an advisory capacity until 2018.
ELIANT is strongly supporting these efforts and would like to demonstrate the solid support for child focused schooling within civil society. Please support our work with your donations.
With gratitude and warm greetings