ERIC Number: EJ772125
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2006
Reference Count: 11
The U.S. Writing Center Model for High Schools Goes to Germany: And What Is Coming Back?
Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, v80 n2 p95-100 Nov-Dec 2006
The 2000 and 2003 international studies of the Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) among all Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) countries presented disappointing results for Germany's fifteen-year-old students' reading skills. These studies pointed out two necessities for future reform: to extend the school day (instruction generally ends at 1:00 p.m.) and to broaden the variety of learning opportunities offered outside of the traditional classroom. Both recommendations are being forced on schools by means of different measures in light of an institutional model called "Ganztagsschule" (GTS), or "full day school," which extends classes, as in other countries, until 3:00 or even 4:00 p.m. What has been practiced in the United States as writing across the curriculum since the 1970s is key to current school reform in Germany and other European countries. In December 2004, a Writing Resources Center (WRC) in Freiburg shared by an elementary school, middle school, and school for students with special needs (the Albert Schweitzer Schools of Freiburg) began with a six-week project run by the elementary school. Students in third and fourth grade read and analyzed the local daily newspaper together and ran several small group writing projects, which fostered reading comprehension. In these projects a broad variety of texts, pictures, and objects represented the students' efforts to create meaning out of what they had read. Just as the development of full-day schools requires support that extends beyond measures that are internal to the particular school, developing a writing and reading center for primary and/or secondary schools should not be tackled alone. There are now WRCs in several German states, such as Baden-Wurttemberg, Hessen, North Rhein-Westphalia and Saarland. The author of this article has been assisting these schools up until now through coaching in school development issues and specific continuing education workshops of individual colleagues in the area of writing and reading pedagogy.
Descriptors: Foreign Countries, International Studies, Special Needs Students, Educational Change, Writing Across the Curriculum, Reading Comprehension, Reading Centers, Laboratories, Writing (Composition), Reading Skills, Extended School Day, Continuing Education, Workshops
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education; High Schools
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Germany; United States
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: Program for International Student Assessment