I wanna break free…..

…Free from an idea that has plagued and held back children’s education for decades. The age old, out-dated idea that the more qualifications you force children to do the more educated they become.

And I want us to break free from that idea because it just doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t matter how many qualifications a kid has they are not worth anything unless they know how to apply themselves to living a life.

I also want the world to break free from the idea that the more qualifications you require of teachers the better their teaching will be. That doesn’t work either because grades don’t make good teachers; caring, empathetic and engaged people do.

Yet it said on the news that teachers are going to face tougher tests http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/education-20083249 in the hope of making better teachers.

What blinkered thinking!

Because the problem is that still focuses on an end result – grades – whether in teachers or kids. As if grades were the answer to everything. And as long as we think that we are going to train our teachers to train our kids for that end only.

But grades don’t make an education. EXPERIENCES do.

We don’t need teachers who’ve been drilled through grades themselves and therefore will drill kids to do the same. We need inspired teachers who can engender understanding in children of themselves and the world.

We don’t need teachers pumped full of facts who will then try and pump our kids full of facts to regurgitate on demand for test passing. We need people who will nurture a sense of care and responsibility in our children for self, others and the earth. Facts and figures and exam results are no good to anyone who doesn’t have a sense of care.

Care makes an educated person. Care of themselves. Care of how they relate to others. Care of the way in which they relate to the earth.

In fact, we need to break free of our idea of education as examination and see it as a caring nurturing of the young.

So don’t think you’ve got to make your home educated child do masses of exams in order to make them educated. Exams are just an end result and only prove what is true on ONE day. What makes them educated is their experiences. And how much they care about the way in which they use what they learn to make themselves a better person, improve their lives and make a contribution.

They will be far more educated if they can understand that than by educating for exams.

So that’s what I wanna break free from. Free from these antiquated ideas that were set up before the world could read or had the Web. And initiate a new way of thinking about the education of our kids and the training of our teachers.

A new way that’s based on an experience of care, not on an end result.

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11 thoughts on “I wanna break free…..

  1. When I left public teaching before I had my twins, I was told that I wouldn’t have been asked back anyway because I didn’t have a reading certificate endorsement….even though I had been a reading “specialist” for the past three years. How absurd is that? After having my twins and watching them learn to read on their own, with just me sitting beside them reading along with them and occassionally pointing out a trick or two to help them, I know without a doubt reading “specialists” for the most part are a joke. All you need to do to help a kid learn to read is sit with them and listen to them read.

  2. Absolutely, Ross! I wanna break free too 😉 I guess in a way, we have. But the larger society is still, ‘blinkered’ by the empty vessel idea of human intelligence. You are right about the change of focus needed – even the term, ‘teacher training’ is counter to what makes a good teacher. Another great read!

  3. Great post Ross, I quite agree. And the sad thing is that those people who would make great teachers, who have that ability to see beyond grades, ignore them even, are just going to be put off entering the profession even more. 😦

  4. I think the best education of teachers comes much earlier… it’s them being rounded individuals with a broad knowledge and an open mind to life-long learning (gosh, I’ve never used that bit of jargon in a real sentence before!)
    Great post as ever! I so agree with you!

  5. Yes loads of kids these days will have qualifications but no skills. What makes a person unique and employable are those skills and abilities that others don’t have in that company. Long live home education I say.

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