School open on a Saturday; that’s the intention of one of the new Free schools in our area as per the news this morning.
Is that a good thing, I wonder? Libraries are open on a Saturday and it would be nice to think that schools were a bit like that; a free and supportive service that people could dip into as they needed to be inspired.
In my dreams!
The head came on the programme and spouted off about focussing on GCSEs, thus fuelling the misguided thinking that grades are what constitute an education and are the only useful part of it.
Dreams now shattered! Heart sinks.
I find it increasingly hard to think of schooling as doing kids any favours, even though that’s how it started. It’s become too irrelevant and separate from them, designed by adults stuck in an age when no one had access to literacy, numeracy and knowledge. Kids now treated like new empty mobiles and education an App to be downloaded into them, the two otherwise being totally separate. For, if you think about it, life inside a school is separate from real society, separate from real living, separate from real humane traits in some cases.
We need to stop seeing educating as some separate and bizarre phase of stuffing kids full of useless Apps that might look flash, can be displayed when needed, useful to schools and politicians for league tables and looking good, but hardly ever used again out in the real business of living.
We need to start seeing education as home educators tend to do, as an intrinsic, experiential and connected part of living, learning and developing on a day to day basis, never separate from life and constantly relevant to it in both content and personal achievement.
People ask about motivating home educated children to learn. Why would we need to do that when you consider that life is interesting and young people want to learn about it? The skills they need to live it are attractive and enhance their existence: communication skills, research and learning skills, personal development and growth. They don’t need motivating because they do stuff that actually matters to them. Not merely stuff which only matters to adults.
Our schooling is outdated. It was developed in answer to the industrial age. We now need to educate for the creative and innovative age of connectivity and world-wide compassion, stop treating education like an App and our kids an empty piece of technology we can download onto, and move forward into a provision so relevant and inspiring our kids will be queuing to engage!
Think I’m mad? I’m not alone; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U