Recently I have noticed a shift in conversations, news reports and meetings in terms of talking about giving our students an education that is fit for the 21st century. Chris Lehmann in this video speaks about a ‘learning revolution’, where ‘Schools should teach us how to learn. Schools should teach us how to live.’ This is something I felt we were beginning to achieve, the changes in thinking about educational practise, as described by Sir Ken Robinson for example, were resonating in the schools and education policy. But, then the economic collapse happened and more recently the release of the PISA results.
Subsequently, I have noticed a change in how, what were ground-breaking ideas in education are being reported in the media. The banning of mobile phones, how Social media is to blame for poor grades, computer games should not be used in the classroom and one of my favourite reports, Computer games cause tooth decay! These reports have no references to how many schools have embraced this technology to the advantage of its students. They paint a very depressing picture of the use of ICT to enhance learning and are great evidence for the cynics and sceptics.
So has Education been fixed? Was it ever broken? Where is all this leading? Is a return to whole class teaching, testing knowledge and ICT as only a subject the only realistic way forward?
I would really welcome your comments and thoughts.
Interesting. Me personal view is that education is not broken. If I thought it was, then I may as well give up now. I find it interesting that those NOT in education often talk about it being broken. These outsiders undermine the professionalism of hard working teachers and write off most schools. If education is broken then it must be the fault of teachers and school leaders right? Wrong. This view just encourages teachers to leave the place where they are most needed: school classrooms.
I think that educational THINKING is broken. By this I mean the thinking of those that profess about what is wrong. These people are good at talking, but many lack implementation. I want to know HOW to teach better, not that I'm doing it wrong Mr Gove. Current thinking also undermines school leaders in taking away their choice of how their school is best run.
This is from the point of view of someone who arrived in a 'broken' department. It wasn't broken. It only lacked support from leadership which I believe to be the direct result of constant educational policy change.
I'll end on saying again the Gove, or anyone else who thinks our system is broken, are not in my classroom or department. The curriculum isn't creative - teachers are. And many teachers will be able to circumnavigate change as we aren't silly ;-)