This work is intended as a stimulus to reflect on the way we teach in schools. It is not so much a questioning of curricula as a questioning of the extent to which the child, the young person, can be happy WITH school, WITH what they have learned.
Tests, examinations and exams are used to check and clarify what the young people know – according to the ideas of ministries, inspectorates and school authorities. Less frequently, the more important question is whether and to what extent teaching makes young people happy or whether they feel happy at school.
Joy, fun in dealing with the subjects will do the pupil good and motivate them to approach life WITH what they have learned and to experience it more intensively.
A mathematical formula cannot be the measure of all things at school! How differently does one deal with it when one sees and experiences its effect in nature, in everyday life. For example, the experience that without understanding the Pythagorean formula – a2 + b2 = c2 – as a natural force, nothing can stand or hold straight.
In this sense, this book wants to show what teachers can sustainably achieve with the children and young people entrusted to them by way of an ‘eventful’ school time.
The title EXPERIENCE what YOU LEARN speaks for itself, I think.
In the many text contributions and illustrations in this book, this is the RED THREAD.
Scientists and their statements, philosophies, inventions, formulas
– let us think of Einstein, Pascal, Newton, Goethe, Vondel, Mulisch, Mozart – could become constant and familiar companions and references in a young person’s life if experienced vividly. For example, the philosopher and educator Martin Buber (1878-1965). With him, or with his thoughts in mind and heart, one could realise the all-important ‘real conversation with the other’. After all, he focuses on what is stated in the subtitle: ’Teaching and Education in the Light of Connectedness and Happiness’.
In this work on education and teaching, great emphasis is placed on this connecting conversation. In everyday classroom practice, this means that young people or children interact with teachers in a trusting way. The pupils feel the respect, the openness, the closeness of the teachers and relate to them.
Society demands from the school the ‘graduate’ who knows his or her way around. But the teacher can connect this demand with what lies UNDER the subject material. And as the young person discovers the wonders of life, not only the school work but their life experience will gain in DEPTH and richness. The young person dives into the water with their ‘diving instructor’ full of confidence, goes with them as a guide into a ‘cave’ – without worry, fear that something could happen to them – in order to find, understand and enjoy the mineral resources, the cave drawings there. And full of enthusiasm, they return to the upper world to experience it differently – more intensively. And with these experiences or stories, they set off. Always in their luggage, in their mobile phone, the ’telephone number’ of this teacher they are familiar with.
Thus every person is on the way in this DIFFERENT SCHOOL to EXPERIENCE what they LEARN. This in the light of RELATIONSHIP. Thinking of Martin Buber’s wise words, they will have conversation with the OTHER. And soon everyone will feel in themselves the development, the formation (in the truest sense of the word) of an attitude, a way of dealing, with which they say to the OTHER:
‘YOU, speak, I am listening to you!’