Saturday, 27 March 2010

Learning takes effort

Learning German does take some effort. I'm not certain that organise my efforts adequately, particularly since blogging draws me to a range of different sources and ideas and away from prolonged practice. Reading is where I notice the difference most. Browsing presents me with lots of material that I skim read. If something interests me I will read the piece more thoroughly and perhaps look for some other sources on the same topic. Reading German novels does provide some balance because I'm working with the same material for a sustained period.

The effort required for study may not be so obvious to those making the transition from school to university as is implied by what is reported of Baden-Württenburgs Wissenschaftsminister Peter Frankenberg - Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung 23.3.2010 - Es müsse Studienwillige klar sein, dass Studieren mit Anstrengung verbunden sei.

This was in an article discussing possible changes to the length of degree courses, making some four years rather than three. Some are arguing for a "College-Jahr" and I quote

Konkret ist daran gedacht, ein naturwissenschaftliches und geisteswissenschaftliches College-Jahre anzubieten, das Abiturienten auch die Möglichkeit gibt, sich der Vielfalt naturwissenschaftlicher oder geisteswissenschaflicher Fächer zu orientieren und mögliche Mängel der verkürzten Schulbildung aufzuholen.

The Fachhochschulen have particular problems with students coming to them without an adequate grounding in maths and that has led to a higher dropout rate.

Einige von ihnen böten schon lange Sommerschulen an, um Defizite - etwas bei den mathematischen Grundlagen zu überbrücken. Das gilt vor allem für Mathematik und Naturwissehschaften. Nicht alle Schulabsolventen seien über Schulmathematik hinausgelangt und wenig vorbereitet auf mathematisches Denken.

The full article is available from FAZ for a small fee.

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