The latest school reform proposal in Denmark calls for a 25-hour workweek for teachers, inclusion education, measurable goals, and a collaborative discussion about teacher training. Despite the fact that the reform has controversial implications for wages, work hours, and professional development, Anders Bondo Christensen (chairman of the Danish Union of Teachers) has garnered the support of the majority of teachers. Christensen is now hoping that Education Minister Christine Antorini will see that the plan is close to the government’s objectives.
However, in a controversial move, Minister Antorini has just introduced a large-scale study in which more than 3,500 students in a total of 200 schools will be taught in their native languages, including Arabic and Turkish. In a press release, Antorini said, “We want to know more about what helps develop the language skills and knowledge of bilingual students. The trials will use and strengthen the tools that some schools and councils already have available today.”
Alex Ahrendtsen, Danish People’s Party education spokesman, expressed the his disapproval. “I’m shocked,” he said. “In the midst of school talks, she allows such a bomb blast.It destroys a really suitable climate for negotiations.” Instead, Ahrendtsen would prefer to see greater efforts to include bilingual students in Danish culture.
Other Nordic countries are debating similar issues and are watching closely.
For more information:
Please consult links embedded in the scan above, as well as those listed below.
Primary School Gets Back Hours in Mother Tongue (link in Danish)
Broad Support for Bondo’s Teacher Initiative (link in Danish)