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What can we learn from the great German school turnaround? – The Guardian

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It took Germany just over a decade to improve test scores and reduce inequality. Their education overhaul is a lesson in structure, monitoring and philosophy
Last modified on Wed 25 Nov 2015 09.42 EST
In 2000, Germany experienced an uncomfortable reality check when the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) revealed disappointing results for performance and equality in its schools.
The country tested below average in maths, reading and science in the Programme for International Assessment (Pisa) report – and received the unwanted accolade of having the most unequal education performance among the 43 countries examined.

The results were a blow to a country that prides itself on its strong literary tradition and belief in social equality. “Germany’s school system – and indeed the whole nation – was shocked by the first Pisa results of 2000,” says Christian Füeller, German author and commentator on education. “It revealed a broad group of ‘at risk’ students that could not properly read and were termed ‘functional illiterates’. This seemed to destroy any notions of being Goethe’s and Thomas Mann’s ‘kulturnation’ of thinkers and poets.”

Just over a decade later, Germany was celebrated in the same research. In 2012, it was one of just three countries surveyed by the OECD that reduced inequality while improving its math scores. The great “Pisa shock” led to what has now been called the “great turnaround” in German education. So, does Germany, with its complex and fragmented education system, and school days that have traditionally stopped at lunchtime, have a lesson or two to teach other countries?
While it is difficult to pinpoint the exact recipe for success, Miyako Ikeda, senior analyst on the Pisa team at the OECD, argues one of the most significant changes was structural reform of the secondary school system. The findings of 2000, which laid bare how far socio-economic background was tied to educational performance, added fuel to the argument that streaming children at the age of 10 didn’t work. The old system– where children moved into either a Gymnasium (for academic students), Realschule (for intermediary students), or Hauptschule (for the less academic) – was felt to be perpetuating inequality.
Several measures were taken to relax the system. These reforms included delaying the age when children are assigned to different secondary schools, combining Realschulen and Hauptschule, and introducing more comprehensive schools. “These measures have broken down the segregation between children set on academic paths and those on a vocational path. It has allowed children more flexibility in their learning and taken away a lot of stigma,” says Sascha Stollhans, tutor at the University of Nottingham and representative of the German Academic Exchange Service.
States closed Hauptschules, which were characterised as places for children with poor prospects, and created an alternative with a more positive learning environment, says Maria Lujan, department head of romance languages at the International School of Düsseldorf. “Merging with Realschulen also improves the employment prospects of those students,” she adds.
One of the most important lessons has also been to prioritise support for the lowest achievers, argues Ikeda. He says improvements in reading and maths were largely due to changes in this group.
A significant proportion of low performers in the Pisa report were migrants, and central to turning things around was improving their language skills. “Due to their poor German, foreign students are usually assigned to Hauptschulen,” says Lujan. The introduction of subsidised all-day schools and comprehensives that don’t segregate by ability provides more language support and scope for integration, she argues.
There has also been more encouragement for migrant families to send their children to kindergarten, Lujan adds. “In Germany kindergarten used to be a place in which children just played, but the Pisa results made us see that it’s an important link in the chain of education.”
Lujan says that the Pisa shock led to kindergarten pedagogy reforms and more development opportunities for teachers. “Language difficulties among students were also diagnosed as early as possible through the introduction of new tests,” she adds.
“It is difficult to talk about the German education system because every state has its own,” says secondary teacher Julia Döller, describing the patchwork of policies and reforms in Germany’s decentralised structure. One of the key reforms post-Pisa was to standardise curricula and introduce national tests. “School books, the curriculum and teaching have all changed since the Pisa shock. Students are now preparing for standard tests,” says Döller, explaining how reforms have made lessons and teaching more focused.
She also believes it has become more interactive – classes are a far cry from the lessons of rote learning that Döller remembers as a pupil in 1990s Bavaria. “Since 2000 [and the Pisa report] there is more focus on communication and teamwork,” she says. “Schooling is fresher, more orientated around students and their lives, influences and media consumption habits.” Ikeda also argues that teaching quality has, perhaps unsurprisingly, been key to Germany’s turnaround.
A little bit of monitoring can go a long way. “One of the most striking differences between schooling in the UK and Germany is the level of monitoring,” says Stollhans. “While national curriculums and tests have been introduced since 2000, results are not published, there are no league tables, and so schools are not constantly worried about their reputation. It is less target driven,” he explains.
One of the key lessons of the German experience has been to ensure that monitoring is not excessive and does not inhibit the teachers’ creativity. “In Germany there is less pressure on teachers and pupils to perform. They can focus on the process of education rather than the result,” says Stollhans.
At its heart, many see the turnaround in German education as being successful because it has negotiated change while maintaining its commitment to free, quality education. “You don’t have tuition fees in Germany and therefore students are not seen as customers,” argues Stollhans. “You can see that business attitude in UK schools when you look at the results-driven approach of things like Ofsted and the league tables.”

German educated Anja Abney, now researching education in the US, agrees there is something other countries can learn from the philosophy underpinning the German attitude to learning. “In Germany there is an awareness of letting children be children while they learn,” said Abney. “Teaching the whole person is much more what we do in Germany.”
And yet for some, the great “turnaround” still has some way to go. While the progress made since 2000 has been significant, Lujan believes that tackling what still remains of the “highly discriminatory and unfair” tracking system, is the final hurdle. “The educational system has gone from average to good. Now Germany needs to move from good to great. We still need to create a system in which every pupil is encouraged to try hard and succeed.”

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Carrots Have These 8 Amazing, Surprising Health Benefits

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Initially, the vegetable originated in the geological area and the Asian United States, and it was initially only available in purple and yellow hues. Carrots are an excellent source of beta carotene, a natural mineral introduced by the body to provide sustenance, and they are high in fibre.

Carrots, which are crunchy, orange, and delicious, provide a variety of benefits to our health, pores, skin, and hair. These don’t appear to be particularly tasty, but they are loaded with numerous important nutrients, for example, beta-carotene, cell reinforcements, potassium, fibre, sustenance K, and so on.

Carrots are cultivated to promote eye health, lower dangerous LDL cholesterol, and aid in weight loss. Let’s put it to the test and find out why carrots are so good for you!

The following are twelve effective edges you might get from carrots:

1. Supports gadget

Most importantly, carrots contain a few phytochemicals that are well-known for their cancer-causing properties. Carotenoids and carotenoids are present in more than one of these associations. Overall, compounds create resistance and activate specific proteins that prevent the growth of most tumor cells. An investigation reveals on a screen that carrot juice can also fight leukemia.

2. Advances Glowing Skin

Investigate tips that stop outcome, and vegetables well off in those composites will finish pores and pores and skin ground and work with people’s appearances, thus making them more noteworthy young.

3. Fortifies Bones

Carrots are high in vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting agents. Vitamins B6 and K, potassium, phosphorous, and other minerals contribute to bone health, a more durable, and help with mental performance. Aside from selling the body to free extreme annihilation, cancer prevention agents keep an eye on the casing in the course of dangerous microbes, infections, and diseases. Physical cell digestion is managed by the ophthalmic component. Carotenoids have been linked to improved bone health.

4. Advances Male physiological circumstance (ED)

These fruitfulness meals may increase the number of sperm cells and their motility. According to research, this is a direct result of the fake carotenoids found in carrots, which are responsible for the vegetable’s orange color. However, it is still unknown whether carrots can improve sperm enjoyment and motility. Carrots are being tried to improve food for male physiological conditions and erectile dysfunction. Cenforce FM and Cenforce D can be used to treat impotency.

5. Keeps From Cancer and Stroke

Carrots have an unusual endowment in that they are loaded down with anti-cancer resources that will depress the cells’ blast. Essentially, studies have discovered that carrots can reduce the risk of a variety of diseases, including colon, breast, and prostate cancer.

6. Further develops the natural framework Health

Carrots contain a significant amount of dietary fibre, which plays an important role in supporting healthy stomach function. Fibre expands your stool, allowing it to pass more easily through the stomach-related plot and preventing stoppage.

7. Assists with managing polygenic affliction and basic sign

Carrots are high in fibre, which promotes cardiovascular health by lowering LDL cholesterol levels in veins and blood vessels. Calcium is absorbed through the frame of carrots, resulting in low but dangerous cholesterol levels.

Carrots have an unbalanced fibre content. An investigation found that advanced fibre consumption improves aldohexose digestion in people with the polygenic disorder. Following a healthy, well-balanced diet and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes.

Inconsistencies in glucose digestion may require a high level to combat aerophilic strain, and this is frequently where the inhibitor nutrients dilettanti ophthalmic thing axerophthol fats-solvent sustenance may also benefit.

According to one review, juice provided a 5 wrinkle inside the beat fundamental sign. The supplements in carrot juice, with fibre, K, nitrates, and vitamin C, have all been obtained to help this final product.

8. Advances Healthy Heart

To begin with, each cancer prevention agent is beneficial to your coronary heart. Furthermore, at 0.33, they should contain fibre, which can help you stay in shape and lower your chances of having a heart attack.

9. Forestalls devolution

Edges that are hostile to ophthalmic detail ensure the floor of the eye and provide a sharp inventiveness and perception. Taking juice will help to delay many eye diseases, such as macular degeneration, cataracts, and visual impairment. Overall, carrots contain lutein, which is an inhibitor that protects the eye from obliterating light.

10. Works on urinary organ and Liver perform

Carrots contain glutathione. Cell reinforcement has been shown to be effective in treating liver disease caused by aerophilic strains. The greens are high in plant flavonoids and beta-carotene, both of which stimulate and develop your popular liver component. Carrots contain carotenoid, which can help fight liver problems.

11. Palatable Anti-Aging

Along with carrots on your regular food, you will appreciate limiting the way you get more seasoned. Furthermore, beta-carotene functions as an inhibitor that advances cell harm, which happens as a result of the casing’s normal digestion.

12. Advances Weight Loss

Uncooked Carrots are 88% water when raw or ebb and flow. A regular carrot has the lowest difficulty level of 25 energy. Taking everything into consideration, including carrots in your diet is a wise way to fuel yourself while collecting calories.

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