The National Curricula for the kindergarten, primary and secondary schools set out the general educational goals, the learning goals and contents at the separate levels and for the different departments and subject areas, as well as the total number of lessons for the separate levels and the number of lessons in the individual departments and subjects.
The National Curricula serves teaching that is oriented towards specific learning outcomes and to an outcome-based assessment of the children. For the teaching staff it is the mandatory foundation for shaping their lessons; for the supervisory authorities it is an important instrument for checking the quality of the teaching. It also helps parents orient themselves in relation to their children’s education. (cf. Ordinance on the Orgainsation of Public Schools; Art. 8 of the School Law (Art. 8); Ordinance on the Curriculum for Kindergarten, Primary and Secondary Schools and Liechtenstein Curricula (LiLe)).
The National Curricula is devised by a group of experts (including teachers from various grades, inspectors, specialists, the parents’ association, representatives of the teachers’ associations, the Paedagogical Office of the Education Department). It defines the general parameters for teaching in the individual subject areas and sets out the guidelines and operational goals. The detailed goals have to be set out by the teacher in an annual plan.
At the primary level there are the following subject areas, each of which is subdivided into subdomains:
- Nature, man, society
- Art and crafts
- Movement and sports
- Media and informatics
In addition to the named subject areas, learning support and remedial courses/assisted learning, and also voluntary courses (e.g. voluntary school sports) supplement what the school has to offer.
Number of hours
The number of hours per subject, week and level are regulated in the Ordinance on the Orgainsation of Public Schools (Appendix). The National Curricula defines the relevant learning targets.
Teaching methods and teaching materials
The teachers are free to choose their own teaching method, or the one best suited to achieving the particular goals, content and themes. The syllabus does not prescribe methods, but does contain some recommendations in places.
In their choice of teaching material the teachers and schools rely on a list of approved teaching materials prepared by the Education Office. Because some Liechtenstein children will later transfer to Swiss schools, the Education Office orients itself heavily to Swiss models in its choice of teaching materials. Most of the textbooks are procured from Swiss school textbook publishers. Materials which relate to local information (history, civics etc.) are developed regionally.
Based on the syllabus, the public schools can acquire and use supplementary material within their budget. Beyond this, teachers have a free choice as to which teaching materials they use (School Law, Art. 12).
The teaching materials are ordered through the Centre for School Media, which also runs the Didactic Media Centre - the Paedagogical Documentation and Media Centre of the Principality of Liechtenstein. The Centre supplies the Liechtenstein schools, kindergartens and other educational institutions with selected audiovisual and interactive educational media, lesson modules and practical literature as well as devices for media use. It also offers useful advice.