News Overview 2013

The Leaning Tower of Pisa

Does our school system offer enough room to encourage children’s artistic and creative development?

Stuttgart, April 9, 2013 - How significant are artistic subjects in children’s intellectual development? Does promoting creativity come at the expense of the "hard" subjects? These were the key questions that artists, educators, and representatives from the worlds of business and politics discussed at the "Leaning Tower of Pisa" symposium in Stuttgart on April 8, 2013.

Cultural and artistic/aesthetic activities are an important part of education and advance personal development. But many students’ schedules are dominated by "hard" subjects with clearly measurable academic achievements. "Soft" artistic subjects have been increasingly relegated to secondary subjects as a result of the Pisa study - and are thus becoming more or less a footnote in everyday school life.

Children should cry when school is out

In his keynote speech, Dr. Gerald Hüther, one of Germany’s most well-known neuroscientists, examined the question of what people need in order to develop their potential. He believes that intellectual giftedness lies dormant inside of every child, and simply needs to be recognized and "woken up." "Children should never be forced to learn. We need to create the conditions at school so that children actually cry when vacation draws near," said Dr. Hüther.

Thinking less in terms of structures and more from the perspective of success in education

What these conditions might look like was the subject of the panel discussion between Andreas Stoch, minister of education in the German state of Baden-Württemberg; Professor Klaus Zehelein, president of the Bavarian theater academy; businessman Dr. Ludwig Georg Braun; and Markus Stenz, the city of Cologne’s musical director. Education Minister Stoch emphasized in closing that in the interest of the state and the children, pure instrumentalization needs to be reduced: "We need to think less in terms of structures and more from the perspective of success in education."

The symposium was held on the occasion of the 70th birthday of Dr. Kurt W. Liedtke, chairman of the Robert Bosch Stiftung’s Board of Trustees.

Picture Gallery

Photos: Robert Thiele
Professor Dr. Gerald Hüther
Professor Dr. Gerald Hüther, Markus Stenz, and Tina Mendelsohn
Staatsgalerie Stuttgart
Professor Dr. h.c. Ludwig Georg Braun, member of the Board of Trustees of the Foundation
From left: Christine Stoch, Andreas Stoch, Dr. Ingrid Hamm, Professor Dr. Gerald Hüther, Gerlinde Liedtke, Dr. Kurt W. Liedtke, Jutta Bosch, and Christof Bosch
Professor Klaus Zehelein
Andreas Stoch and Professor Klaus Zehelein
From left: Maurice Jacques Jean-Marie Gourdault-Montagne, Professor Dr.-Ing. Hermann Scholl, Professor Dr. Joachim Rogall, Franz Fehrenbach, Gaby Fehrenbach, and Ilona Braun
Dr. Ingrid Hamm, executive director of the Foundation
Dancer Sara Angius
Julia Hechler and Christian Zielinski
Jutta Bosch, Dr. Kurt W. Liedtke, and Gerlinde Liedtke

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