Education is about people – I’ve always said that. If you think about it; how could it be about anything else?
It is about the development and evolution of our species – although we’re more normally concerned with our own particular individuals within it. But our individuals are part of the wider community, the human race, the planet and other species living on it. And how to live harmoniously in order to sustain it.
That’s what education is about – when you can see the bigger picture.
If anyone dropped in from outer space and observed it I doubt they’d know that – they’d just think it was about statistics and results and a huge political treadmill.
The bigger picture is of course made up of smaller parts; it’s children that most concern us when we think about education.
So when those individuals are treated in a less than harmonious way – like these children I read about recently as an example – it seems a complete contradiction of what education should be and proves the point about statistics – they’ve become more important than humanity.
This reported how a group of children who were unable to maintain a 100% attendance at school were excluded from a party.
I found this a shocking practice that creates a poisonous and divisive attitude to others and to education, clearly focussed on building school statistics not developing educated people. And I’m also shocked that the so-called educated people who make such policies are too uneducated to see it.
In order to develop educated people we have to demonstrate care for them, inspire them, nurture their skills and talents, enable them to extend and apply them to the wider world. This is what education is for isn’t it? It is about people going into the world, developing a relationships with it and the people in it, how this is sustained, so therefore its premise and its role must extend far beyond the small world of schools, institutions, their stats and results and the ensuing politics. And it starts with individuals.
Thankfully there are some in the profession are beginning to see this.
Geoff Barton writing in the TES agrees. He says that education is becoming so insular it is failing to relate to the bigger world out there and the people in it.
He says we must reclaim education as ours.
Well, that’s exactly what thousands of home educators are doing. Their inspirational approaches bypass the institutional treadmill education has become based on stats and attendance, records and results, yet the result of homeschooling is often the same; qualifications for some, higher education, employment, social adept individuals. Yet their approaches are nearly always centred around people – not stat-building.
Which just goes to show how unnecessary it all is. And how unnecessary it is to put kids through the cruel practice described above.