Together we think and discuss – therefore we learn Janez Bečaj
Summary: The findings of the international studies as well as of the national assessment of knowledge show mostly average results of our pupils and students and that they have more distinct problems achieving aims on higher taxonomical levels. This is in accordance with the empirical data relating to our education system, where the traditional view of knowledge, teaching and learning are still very present. This way of teaching is not aligned with the goals of curriculum reform to make students and pupils more active, independent, critical and creative. There is a need for changing teaching that is now oriented towards quantity to quality. However, this change is considered to be so big that some people justly call it a paradigm shift. This new way of teaching shares ideas with constructionism and shifts the attention from the question “what knowledge do we need” to “what is adequate learning and teaching and how it is possible to achieve it?” Instead of knowledge, which is defined by the curriculum, learning is put into the forefront as a necessary life learning process as well as an individual and social process. To achieve the necessary change in thought pattern, the predominant beliefs about the purpose and different ways of teaching and learning should be the subject of constant critical assessments. Therefore, schools as learning communities need a good collaborative culture and effective professional leadership. Moreover, decentralization and higher autonomy for schools are also needed to achieve this, which was recommended by the committee of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) more than ten years ago.