I was playing with the idea of children’s learning the other day and drew myself a little picture. This is because the system has taught us to think in a very linear way about how learning happens and it helps to think about it a little differently – especially if you’re home educating.
When you’re home educating you can abandon misconceptions about learning happening in a very unwavering linear way, because it doesn’t.
I think the government wants us to see it like that because it suits the systematic teaching they want to provide. But learning IS NOT the result of teaching, like it’s some kind of App that teachers can stick on what they consider to be hAppless kids! It’s nothing like that whatsoever.
Learning is instead an intrinsic part of who you are, of the influences around you, and how you respond to them.
My picture describes it like this:
All these factors influence the way children learn – and achieve. And interplay with each other and every day – every year – will change and be different in the way they influence learning, some stronger than others at varying times and the children constantly changing in the way they respond.
Learning is an extremely fluid process. How could it ever be linear?
Systematic schooling disregards so many of these influences, seeing educating as this one track conditioning rather than the blossoming of an individual, responding to the climate in which they’re developing.
But I think it’s more helpful to keep this picture in mind. Because then you can forget the idea of learning as a simple set of single-track scores and see it instead as the result of complex influences, some of which you can impact on, some of which you can’t, and all of which have to be taken into account and negotiated in order to develop a well educated person. Wherever there’s a problem; one of these influences will probably be the cause.
And this applies wherever they are educated!