I watched the last episode of Jamie’s Dream School on channel 4 last night. http://www.channel4.com/programmes/jamies-dream-school
What a marvellous effort it has been on Jamie’s part to do something for the young people for whom schooling fails so spectacularly! His heart is definitely in the right place but what a mammoth task. ‘Fixing’ it cannot possibly happen by a dream school as he’s aware. The roots of the problems are so embedded in schooling right from the start because of its misguided focus on outcomes. And blindness to the need for quality in the daily journey to becoming an educated person. As one lad pointed out to David Cameron; schooling is so dated in relation to the young people of today and the culture they grow up in. He was right!
But I thought Jamie summed it up perfectly at the end by saying that teachers could do with less rules and regulations and more freedom to try things which really work with their classes.
He’s absolutely right. We need to focus more on the kids and what they personally need, rather than conveyor belting them to fit with our political and social need to tick boxes.
Our schooling system has become all about ‘getting’. Getting grades. Ticking boxes. It is outcome led with appalling disregard to what real education is and what it’s for.
You cannot ‘get’ an education by collecting grades. You can only grow it within yourself as part of your personality and intelligence and social awareness. And that is achieved through personal development, not through getting. Qualifications and grades will be a result of that development. But we’re trying to shortcut straight to the outcomes and skip the personal development required for proper education. That’s why these young people feel so frustrated when they’re hot-housed towards the ‘getting’ bit, as if they were merely plants without minds or souls, to be grown in the way we want them to grow, rather than how they need to grow. Education is not about what you get it’s about what you can do.
The young people in the series can obviously do so much. But schooling failed to give them the opportunity to express it by forcing them towards getting. Schooling needs to change its focus on the end results to a focus on the activity of the daily journey. Only by making each day a good one will the end result also be a good one and not huge numbers of disenchanted youngsters who think schooling is just crap.
The thing is, very often their schooling is just crap. It is real education that is so wonderful, but they were denied the opportunity to see that until Jamie stepped in.
I do so hope he continues with his battle to make politicians – and society – and parents – aware of the need to change it.