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Achieving full potential within the entire education system – Part 2

15 Jan

The following article was originally published on the Subrosa Blog and is reproduced here with permission.

Last week I identified the following identified aims which could be considered as potential starting points for improvements to the education system to take place.

Identified aims –

  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.

There are a few loose ends fto clarify rom last week. First, the suggestion that every school should have Cadet training as an activity, primarily as a means of reaching higher levels of discipline from the pupils/students. Cadets would of course be dressed in a military style uniform and be taught to march and to receive instructions, which they should obey without recourse.

This is a bad idea. Militarisation of schools? Using schools as the ground to deal with social ills? Bad idea. Keep the social issues out of schools by dealing with them in society. We don’t want our children cloned, as in wearing any sort of uniform and certainly not military style. We need individuals and a system of teaching, which will engage those who find learning difficult or who do not have achieved access to the types of subjects, which they will enjoy want to do and get benefit from.

That said let’s add another aim to the list of “identified aims”-

  1. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.

Second is Steiner Schools. In truth I’m not a big fan of Steiner. I can see some benefits within the system and if you have a child who has difficulties it seems to help. However, there are elements within the Steiner system, which might benefit al pupils/students.

For example the age at which structured learning begins. As things stand, are our children included in formal education too early? They learn more when they are young is the common argument and that may well be the case but perhaps the type of exposure to education should be much less formal and be more tailored to each child’s maturity and ability?

Considering our aims it’s apparent that ideas and successes should be evaluated from all teaching methodologies, including Steiner, home education, independent, state, teachers and from all corners of the globe. This should provide potential improvements, which are already proven.

The list of “identified aims” now looks like this –

  1. EVERY pupil/student should achieve their full potential;
  2. EVERY student teacher should achieve their full potential;
  3. There is NO PLACE for politicisation within education;
  4. There is No PLACE for religion in any area of education;
  5. REDUCE the size and influence of local education department to the lowest possible level required to support schools.
  6. EVERY pupil should be treated as an individual and not be subject to a dress code.
  7. Successful methodologies and best practice should be adopted in order to provide the BEST learning experience possible for pupils/students.

The list of aims would deliver significant change in the way our children would be educated. I’m sure I read a comment from a teacher heavily involved in developing and introducing the “Curriculum for Excellence. He had come to the conclusion that evolution was not powerful enough; only revolution would provide a curriculum suitable for the 21st century,

Revolution is expensive and the changes would require a number of years to fully develop. Time for another quote “If you think education is expensive – try ignorance” as attributed to Derek Bok, a former Harvard President. All well and good you say what about all the cuts to public spending?

The savings gained through the reduction in size of the Education Department at council level would be used in part to increase the number of teachers per pupil. This would meet the first “identified aim” by providing a completely different environment for teachers to work within.

The question is how many pupils could a teacher genuinely teach to ensure each pupil received the individual attention necessary to satisfy aim number one?

What do you think?

This subject may well take more than three posts to cover.

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Posted by on January 15, 2012 in Education

 

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