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Everything posted by UlrikeSchuhFricke

  1. These laws are no legacy of the occupation era, they were passed by the German Bundestag and tested and confirmed by the German Supreme Court without any interference of the occupational powers. The debate about repealing laws concerning e.g. the display of Nazi symbols actually was started by our attorney general. I do believe our system is a democratic one, but then - I agree - I am biased because I am German and maybe I have never noticed that I did not have to right to freedom of speech or that other human rights had a higher priority.
  2. There is a debate going on in Germany about laws referring to the denial of the Holocuast and the trails were covered by the German media (left and right). If a teacher joined the forum arguing for the end of these laws s/he would face no problems whatsoever. For me, personally, it is more important to talk about the Holocaust, the mechanism, ideology and propaganda behind it than about e.g. the Irving trial(s). All those who were arrested and sentenced knew they were breaking laws and living in a democracy all of them should have known how laws are made or better existing ones are changed. I have never heard of Irving or Zündel writing a petition or turning to their MPs to argue their cases. But then they do nor really believe in democracy, free speech for all (including foreigners, Jews, homosexuals etc.), do they!? As far as I know do they support the German neo-nazis which follow a double strategy: standing for elections and at the same times organising gangs and underground groups which are responsible of a growing number of vicious hate crimes.
  3. Hi Sid, how about pondering this quotation: " The technique of infamy is to start two lies at once. and set people arguing which one is true" a bit and then taking it seriously for a change? I sometimes watch German TV and especially the newsreports and there were lengthy reports about all the trials mentioned in Irving's text. Happ Easter
  4. I completely agree with Andy. There is a large number of publications which analyse what might be called "positive" traits of the Nazi regime e.g. the anlaysis of programmes like "Kraft durch Freude", the documentation of a policy to maintain and secure the social security net (Tim Mason). The post-war FRG prided itself as a society being on its way to something like a class-less society because the middle-classes formed the largest segment of society; this is true insofar as political propaganda and ideology (even the statements of the Socialdemocrats [see the programme of 1959] and the trade unions) no longer thought in the categories of class. This is another - well-documented - result of the Nazi regime and its propaganda: posing as a force and system which tried to protect and maintain the old system the Nazi regime was one the most ardent agents of modernisation. Although all these things have been reserached and documented it remains an open question (at least for me) why a large mayority of my parents' generation openly or tacitly supported the system even after the war had begun. A film like The Downfall does one thing: it shows that people - young and old - still were willing to sacrifice the lives for a lost and criminal case. But there is another film which I think should be discussed and maybe viewed together with "The Downfall" and that is the film about the arrest and the last days in the life of Sophie Scholl, wich shows that a small number did resist and gave their lives to save Germany.
  5. Marvellous material. Thank you. I will use it once I have begun teaching that period of time.
  6. Complete agreement with Mike and one of the main reasons for me not to participate in the debates as frequently as I used to. The topic of the thread is a very interesting one and much can be said about it and quite a lot of research has been done concerning the topic in Germany. But I think expertise or results of scientific resreach are not really wanted here. It is sad to see how this forum, which began as an Education Forum, has deteriorated.
  7. I really do not know which thread to pick up. What really infuriates me are the comments about the Greens. I suppose the postings are based on either complete ignorance or prejudice. Mistakes have been made in the Ukraine and maybe in other places and their is a parliamentary committee lokking into that; by the way the origins of the mistakes made go back to the early 1990's when Helmut Kohl was Bundeskanzler. I think that there definitely will be no coalition including the left party and even though quite a large section of the German people demonstrated against the reforms initiated by the government (the number taking to the streets shortly after Hartz IV was implemented dwindeled rapidly) by an even larger number knows that our welfare state has to be modernized wif we want it to survive. This can only be done by reducing state expenditure, by reforming our tax system and lowering the taxes, by reforming our pension system. The result will be that the individual citizen will have to take care of him-/herself more when it comes to health care, preparing for retirement and loss of job. For many who grew up in an over-caring and over-protecting nanny state this is difficult to understand and accept. One should not forget that despite the reforms and despite the high number of unemployed we have a very high living standard and even the unemployed are still well cared for. To give you one example: I personally do not think that asking someone who is unemployed to leave his/her hometown and work somewhere else is asking too much - but many of the unemployed (not all) are not willing to move to another place in Germany to get a job. I do not know what that means because post-war Germany only had one grand coalition from 1966 till 1969. Due to the experiences made then many feel highly uncomfortable with the idea of a grand coalition. As all other options (traffic light coalition or Jamaican coalition) seem to be impossible or not wanted by the FDP and/or the Greens three things are possible: 1. a grand coalition 2. new election if the neither candidate is elected by the new Bundestag 3. a minority red-green government tolerated and supported by the left.
  8. I think a or the Forum should be part of our discussion in Worthing, but let me give you an example to show the problems I have with the existing forum. The thread "Do we live in a democracy" is a very interesting one and if I had more time I really would enjoy joining the debate, but when I go into my year 9 class tomorrow - and that will be their first politics/citizenship lesson in their school life - this question might be a good starting point but most of the different postings are not really helpful for me or my class. My aim in class is not only to explain the basic principles of democratic systems but alsoto convince the students that a democracy is still the best form of government despite the flaws our individual systems have. Furthermore I want to convince them that the more citizens participate actively the better the system. One part of this process definitely is to evaluate and assess different democratic systems. What would really help me and my colleagues, who all have to cope with an ever growing workload - would be lesson plans, text, suggestions concerning interesting teaching methods to educate active citizens who can critically evaluate and assess political systems, decisions etc.
  9. The problem I see is that only a few of those who want to participate in the project will be in Worthing. This makes it difficult to find out and decide who will be working on different possible ideas. David's suggestion might be an idea of how to involve those who cannot attend the intial meeting in Worthing. The main aim of the meeting in Worthing for me is that we develop a clear timetable and plan of what we want to do in the following three years. One of the first steps I think will be to collect and compile the citizenship projects, lesson plans, guidelines etc. which have already been developed be e.g. the Council of Europe, the European Union etc.; this will help us to find our specific topics and threads or to establish and outline a different aspect, perspective and opinion. In Worthing we should find a suitable division of labour to get this done. Another important step is to find out how citizenship is taught in the different countries: topics included; methods employed, aims, age groups. We need this to create lesson plans, suggest projects which can be used in different European countries and might be the first tiny cornerstone for a European curriculum. This must be done by the colleagues from the participating countries. I am not quite sure if this forum is the suitable place for the discussions which will be necessary after the meeting. I personally think that there are too many threads already which make this subforum slightly confusing. In the beginning the "new" forum should be for the Comenius participants only and the forum should focus on education and teaching.
  10. OK but only if we also toast to Henry VIII and Anne of Cleve
  11. Sorry, John, but I spent the last three weeks in Austria and before I went on holiday I had not yet received any confirmation or information from the agencies involved in Germany.
  12. Arrival at Heathrow : Friday, 10:35 Arrival in Worthing: 14:32 or 15:07 Departure from Heathrow: Sunday, 17:15
  13. 90% good news from Germany. The only thing the Lower Saxony and national German agency still needs is some information about the costs of the visit. I was away on holiday but tomorrow I will got to a travel agent's and then pass on the information about the cost to my agency. The Lower Saxony agency informed me that they are very keen on supporting the project.
  14. Without David Richardson and Mario Tosti who are representatives of two institutions which unquestionably are involved in training teachers the whole project will be at a stake once again. According to the German agency there must be at least three institutions which are involved in training teachers, otherwise the EU will not accept the project and the German agency will not fund my participation.
  15. Fining demographic information about Germany in the 16th century might be rather difficult. One main source are the lists of christenings and deaths which were kept in and by the churche and monasteries. The 16th century was a rather tumultuous century with the Reformation, and the Peasant's War during which many church documents were destroyed. Another aspect which makes studying German history so difficult is that even though there was the Holy Roman Empire Germany was divided into many different parts governed by more or less independent dukes and princes and of course each part had its own way of registering its population (or not registering it at all).
  16. Many of the postings do not sound very encouraging. If it is true that the EU does not seem to be willing to fund another citizenship project but seems to be willing to fund projects which cooperate with CLIL it might be worth considering if we can cooperate with those who will meet in Avila in September. I do not know how this can be done and if it can be done but it sounds like a safer way to get some funds from the EU and approval from our national agencies.
  17. After I sent in a revised application, the German agency wants to know how much it might cost to go to Worthing and back. I will go to a travel agency next week and get some information which I then will send to the German agency.
  18. We have begun to use simulations rather frequently in our history and citizenship classrooms. I did one simulation to show students how difficult it can be to come to democratic decisions and why most democracies are not based on the idea of consensus but majority; I think I found the simulation on the website www.teachit.co.uk ISLAND SURVIVAL SITUATION: It is about ten o’clock on a July morning. You have just crashed in a small aeroplane on an island; there are no other inhabitants. The pilot and co-pilot are dead and the aeroplane is a burnt-out shell. The teacher is severely injured and unable to make any decisions. Six of you are injured. The aeroplane had no radio and you think that you were about 100 mile off course when you crashed. Shortly before the crash you saw a large sweet-water lake on the island, which is three miles away from the point where the plane came down. After the first day and night you know that daytime temperatures can reach 43 degree centigrade and night-time temperatures reach freezing. You are all dressed in light clothes. The following is a list of items that came out of the crash in good order: EQUIPMENT 90 assorted cans of food Flashlight with four batteries Jack knife Large plastic poncho Compass Instrument to measure blood pressure Loaded .45 pistol One red & one white parachute Bottle of 1000 salt tablets Book: Edible Animals and Plants One pair of sunglasses per person One pocket mirror One overcoat per person Things you find in the area: A hut which will hold five people Abundant supply of wood Sweet water which has to be carried three miles from the lake to your place Assignments: 1. Individually write down what you consider to be the six most important items on the list to ensure survival and/or rescue. 2. Make six rules which would ensure that the maximum number of people survived, assuming that you will be rescued within a week. 3. Break into small groups. You must now achieve a consensus in selecting and ranking the importance of the six items and the rules for your group. Each member of your group must be in agreement of each choice of ranking. A simple majority vote is not permitted. Dissenting group members must be convinced, or else they must convince the others. No group may proceed from item/rule 1 to 2 or from 2 to 3 until all group members agree. Each group member should enter the group ranking beside his own. 4. Exchange and discuss your rules with another group. Discussion questions after you have finished the survival game: a) Did anyone feel forced to give in, even though he/she was positive he/she was right? If so, then why did he/she give in? b)Did anyone take over as group leader? c) Did the group do better than individuals? Why/why not? d) Did anyone in the group go along with everything? Is this good or bad? e) Would voting and decisions based on simple majority vote have been easier? Would it have been more useful? Going beyond the game: 1. Why does any group need rules? 2. What is the best way to get the best rules/laws? 3. What is a “good” rule/law? I think similar simulations can be constructed for different periods and historical events.
  19. A puzzling debate for me: all Germans have and must have ID cards (without biometric data so far) and you are expected to carry them with you wherever you go.
  20. At the moment you can once again see that the higher the temperature the shorter skirts and we have an ongoing debate in the common room is we should have some regulations about the length of skirts and t-shirts (which sometimes are extremely low cut and mostly are not long enough to cover the midriff). But it would be extremely difficult to agree on some regulations as most of the parents would refer to their own and their children's personal freedom. Most of the parents see their daughters leaving the house with those skirts and shirts and obviously they have no objections, which I think is a bit worrying because girsl do send certain messages to the boys (we are a mixed school). As a mother of two meanwhile grown up daughters I would not have allowed my girls to go to school with a very low-cut shirt and short skirt, because I see some dangers in "sexing up" the girls. We see in our school that not only our Sixth Form girls wear those clothes but that especially the very young girls come to school with the shortest skirts possible.
  21. The University of Kalmar definitely qualifies as an institution of teacher training. If Andy Davies' school is an institution of secondary teacher training is unfortunately not stated in his biographical details. In my revised application form I have added and stressed that I have been actively involved in in-teachers' training as this is part of my job as a supervisor for most of the English departments of the Grammar Schools in Braunschweig and that I have organised some courses about citizenship. But I am not sure if that is enough and acceptable.
  22. in some German schools the students have decided to have some kind of uniform: a pair of trousers (no labels), a sweat-shirt or T-shirt of a specific colour. One reason behind these initiatives is that many kinds or better their parents are no longer able or willing to spend a huge amount of money on fashionable clothes. There is some kind of competition going on in German schools :who wears the most exquisite and mots expensive designer clothes. To put an end to such a competetion the students decided to re-introduce school-uniforms.
  23. Bad news from my side; the German agency has in a way already rejected my application; according to the German standards at least three institutions which train and educate future teachers (like a university) or are acknowledged institutions of secondary teacher's training must be involved; ordinary Grammar schools like my own school and the schools in Hungary, Italy and Spain for example are not accepted as secondary teacher's training insititutions. I will try again and add some more information in my application form but I am not very optimistic.
  24. At the moment I am not involved in an oral history project. I did some a couple of years ago: one focussed on my school and its history and a group of students interviewed former pupils about their schooldays but also about their lives in general; most of the women we interviewed had gone to school in the 1920's and 1930's; we recorded the interviews and then wrote a booklet based on those interviews. I think that the pupils involved in the project learned more about history and how it affects the life of ordinary people - young and old - than in their history classes ( I can tell and say that as I was their history teacher then). Besides history they also learned how to ask questions and how to listen carefully. I think this method of research (interviewing people) is also very useful for citizenship lessons: the class first has to decide what they really want to know; they have to prepare some questions; get acquainted with the equipment, do the interviews and then analyse them.
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