The Education Act no. 561/2004, which came into effect from the 1st of January 2005, has officially launched a curriculum reform at basic (elementary) schools with three main aims: to introduce a two-tier curriculum, (framework educational pro-grammes - compulsory for a certain grade and subject - and school educational programmes, which allow schools greater independence in developing their profiles and adapting to the needs of their pupils); to strengthen the curriculum in some specific areas (such as ICT, foreign languages, environmental education - etc.) and to shift the emphasis from the transmission of factual knowledge to the development of what are known as „key competences“, social and interpersonal, civic and employ-ment-related). The reform copies current trends in the educational policies of OECD countries: it takes as premise the need to react to the rapid changes in contemporary society and to the demands of the global employment market. Despite this, the Czech public is not specially sensitive to the shortcomings of the present state of education relative to changes in society and feels no urgent need for reform. From the point of view of the approach to be taken in realising the reforms, it is important to know how the public (parents) perceive the need for reform and what the teaching staff of basic schools envisage as the nature of the coming reform. One of the few sources of information that can help us to get some idea of the reality is the data base obtained as part of „The School and I“ Survey of the Kalibro Project undertaken among teachers, directors and pupils at basic schools and parents. Although primarily conceived not as a research survey but as a service for schools, it contains all kinds of interesting data relevant to the theme outlined, some of it quite unique.
The analysis of data from the Kalibro Project confirms that teachers, directors and parents of pupils at basic schools are satisfied with the present state of our schools and do not feel a strong need for change. Respondents expressed the belief that all the key competences are developed in the current system of teaching and that the teaching also meets other important de-mands such as encouraging self-confidence, specific pupil feedback and so on. Although the ratings given by the pupils were more positive than not, however, they were far less unambiguous than the ratings given by parents and teachers at basic schools.
The hypothesis that there is no perceived need for change at all was not, however, entirely confirmed in the case of the partici-pants in the Kalibro project. Curricular re-form was welcomed by 50 % of the teachers and 60 % of directors of basic schools in the survey. Nor was it confirmed that distaste for change was associated with satisfaction with the current state. On the contrary, teachers who were satisfied with their current work situation in the past school year welcomed reform.
Answers relating to respondents‘ ideas on what realisation of the reform would mean demonstrate, however, that there is a considerable divergence of views on the degree to which the reform would being changes in the content and form of teaching. A third of the teachers expected major change in curricula, while less than a half expected major change in teaching methods. Not even the directors in the survey anticipated any striking change in curricula. Only a minority of teachers thought that they themselves were able and willing to take an active part in the creation of the School Educational Plan. One important finding was that almost 70 % of the directors in the survey thought that the reform had poorly planned The teachers and directors who supported the reform envisaged the change as likely to be more substantial, but their opinions and expectations did not differ fundamentally from those of their less enthusiastic colleagues.