The school is mine, where I worked for 28 years, getting better every year with more and more knowledge. We had working teams with teachers teaching the same subjects. The pupils had class rooms for their education. Everything was just great. The pupils got good notes. Till the municipality decided to reconstruct the school and this new school ought to have an upper secondary school under the same roof.
The municipality wanted something up to date, modern. The most modern was to have a consultant. And there came a consultant, with stuck-up look who seduced the representatives from the municipality. His concept was, to be brief, let´s give the class rooms to the upper secondary school and let the pupils in the compulsory school have their lessons in the old vestibules. Does it seem stupid? Yes, of course.
The consultant drew circles and figures of different kinds on the whiteboard. The teachers looked at each other and the terror was depicted in their faces. Where did this man come from? The consultant´s great idea was this:
Basic units! (It´s an invention of a lunatic and impossible to translate) The teachers wriggled of pedagogic pain, please, please…..
But, why are basic units so terrible? Let me exemplify with kingly words (yes, from the king who use to distribute the Nobel prices). When the king inaugurated the reconstructed school he went through the schools spaces. Suddenly he came to a very big space, with glass, glass, glass, with tables and chairs, very, very modern. The king asked: “What space is this?” Then one of the high representatives answered him: “It´s a basic unit, a space where different classes can have their education at the same time. And the king replied at once: “But don´t they disturb each other then?”
And imagine, nobody in the train of wise guys who followed the king were able to give him an answer on that question….
And of course it is so, crowd together three classes in the same “basic unit” makes it impossible to have good lessons. The teachers get disturbed and the pupils too.
I went to see this school so up to date, this night-mare of glass, with a teacher from Spain who visited me in my home. When we observed a basic unit where a group was having lessons three girls came in screaming and all in a mess. I said to my friend. Crowding together many classes in the same classroom letting them have education at the same time is a pedagogic invention I´ve never understood. Mikel didn´t understand it either, something that made me very happy. And a woman from Mexico with whom I had contact some years ago expressed it like this: It´s like serving the food in the bathroom.
Now you have an idea of what´s a basic unit. It´s the death of an effective education. It´s a “modern” idea without pedagogic reflection. And the terrifying is that this consultant and the architect are destroying schools over all Sweden with applauses from the self-appointed experts in the municipalities, what world is this?
Last year they published an investigation in the university of Queensland, the man´s name who carried through the work is Vinesh Oommen, and his conclusion was that to work in a landscaped office (which the “basic units” are kind of) is dangerous for your health. Between quotes I give you a brief translation of the results: “In 90 % of the investigation it was considered negative to work in landscaped offices because they caused a high level of stress, conflicts, high blood pressure and high staff turnover (the kids can´t finish, the school is obligatory, my amendment).
The high level of noise does that the employees loose their concentration which causes low productivity. There are problems because everybody can see what you write on your computer and hear everything you say when you make a call. It causes a feeling of insecurity. Moreover, virus and microbes have got more co-workers to infect and in this way more persons get the flu.
And here´s the conclusion between quotes: “Founded on these results, I think the employers in our country should reconsider the environment with landscaped offices”.
The highest authority for education in Sweden, Skolverket (The National Agency for Education) has criticized this way to organize the education on several matters. It´s unfair to the boys, because they get worse notes than the girls. (But in Sweden, totally infected of feminism maybe this is okay).
Instead of organizing the work teams around the subjects, which gives better teachers, they are grouped around a group of pupils. The result is that the teachers who teach the same subjects don´t have any opportunity to meet and discuss and improve their teaching skills.
The construction of the classrooms, or better, the lack of classrooms leads to a way to organize the work. Instead of teaching, the teachers let the pupils do “school works” (you write about a country instead of getting education about the country). This is a problem not only for this school, not at all, it´s a national problem, and Skolverket has warned that this may be the cause of the bad results for the Swedish kids (compared to pupils in other countries)
Here´s a link to a basic unit:
To organize a school like this, as you already have understood, have lots of negative consequences. For me personally, it caused high blood pressure, depression and caused my early retirement pension.