Werner Lorbeer
Sunday May 12th, 2013

It Depends on the Teacher!

Dr. Werner LorbeerDon’t we all know quite well that:

“The more money you spend on education, the better the education will be”.

“The fewer children are in a classroom, the higher the success rate.”

“The more computers you use at schools, the more modern the education will be.”


“With respect to what money is spent on education, Germany is far behind many others countries.”

These are four theses our educational elite support most strongly, repeating them in every show. The more “Precht-like” it looks, the better a hypothesis is.

Unfortunately, all four of these theses have been empirically proven wrong. Bavaria spends less money on each student than Berlin, still has a higher success rate, performance in mathematics is independent from how many students sit in the class, the effect of the computer on learning is negligible compared to all the other influential variables and – last not least – the FRG is somewhere in the middle when it comes to how much which country spends on education.

Personally, I have my doubts especially about the last statement, because the survey coming to this conclusion was done by the OECD. In order to correctly get an idea, you have to know that private educational agents, such as craftsmen’s or industrial factories will not even be noticed by those ladies and gentlemen in Paris. Actually, their statistics confuse the German “Meister” with the English “Master”, simply assuming it to be the equivalent.

So where will you find any useful information if you wish to familiarize yourself with the reality of learning and teaching in times of electoral campaigns?
Well, here is something I can recommend:

Auf den Lehrer kommt es an” (It Depends on the Teacher) by Rainer Werner, who is teaching at the John-Lennon-Gymnasium Berlin.

It is probably no surprise that the most critical voices will tend to come out of Berlin or Bremen, because that is where the ideologists are most active.

(Translated by EG)

*) “Precht-like” refers to the TV philosopher Richard David Precht. Incidentally, he was once even a guest of Jauch, where he advertised his very high-strung reform ideas for our schools. It turned out in the end that not much of them remained.

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