Does the Nine-year Primary School Favour Learning over Teaching?
The main objective of this article is to find out to what extent the Slovene nine year primary schools implemented new learning, thinking and teaching styles in an attempt to improve the quality of teaching. We have used the following research instruments: observations of classes of the three eight-year and three nine-year primary schools, questionnaires for the teachers and interviews conducted with the pupils, teachers and headmasters. The main hypothesis is that by using all four teaching styles (of a waiter, constructor, alpine guide, and gardener) teachers find it easier to consider the interests of pupils for learning and thinking than by using only the first style of a waiter. The curricula of the nine-year primary school are more process- and goal-oriented than the curricula of the eight-year school, that are subject-oriented; teachers of the nine-year primary school have to perform new tasks and consult other colleagues at their own school and in other schools with regard to their experience in achieving new objectives. The burden on pupils is balanced in the last three years of primary school by teaching at three levels. Such teaching is flexible enough to allow pupils to move from one level group to another on the basis of their abilities demonstrated in a level group. At the highest level it is easiest for the teachers to teach transformationally and for the pupils to develop flexible thinking involving empirical, rational and intuitive thinking as well as experiential learning in transformational, auto-reflexive and creative terms. In genera], nine-year primary schools do not yet favour learning over teaching with the exception of the most talented pupils - since the culture of learning has only now started to develop.