I really have been worried lately. I am seeing a gap growing between learners (children/students) in schools and institutions; a gap growing between teachers and teachers – those that can and do and those that can’t and don’t; a gap growing between what teachers in training feel and what the system demands of them; a gap between the pace of institutional technology and ‘social’ technology; a gap between the concepts of teaching/learning and assessment and accreditation … and I think I could go on.
With this general election motoring towards us and still talk about ‘5 As to Cs’ as the measure of our way of educating young people I am developing a viral strike view.
And this is it. What we have is simply no longer fit for purpose and yet we are continuing to replicate the ‘not good’. This is in spite of the incredibly well motivated and superb teachers and thinkers we have in our schools. We just need people now to stand up and say ‘NO’. And have a focus on what is real in their setting and in the lives of our young people. We ned them all to come out and say and act what they know to be true. A viral strike for education is what is called for … or a pro-education flash mob !
At the Naace Conference the other week and this morning on the BBC Breakfast news I listened to Martha Lane Fox, a lady not for turning. She has a clear view of what is needed to succeed in the tasks she undertakes and will not be diverted by sidetracks or ‘gossips’. I know we have people in education who are as strong as this … when will the weight of their arguments change the way things are? How many more children/students must go through an inadequate system before we can really say ‘enough is enough’ and act?
Rhetorical questions all … and I know I am nowhere near solutions. Is it time politics and education were moved apart so that real things can happen? Is it time we decided the real meaning of education and then began to work more and more towards implementing the concept? What would it take? Who has the courage? There are pockets of inspiration all over the place if you look. Today’s conference on games based learning, the outdoor learning idea in Wales enterprisingly developed in 2008, the Welsh development of a Foundation Stage to the age of 7 years, the Scottish Curriculum for Excellence – curriculum across learning – with a literacy section that has ‘ enjoyment and choice’ as its key headings.
We need to stitch these things together and gain an overview of what we really know is best practice for the education of young people and then implement.