We are once again losing the plot!
Schools are using NAPLAN as their excuse for turning themselves into efficient factories with kids having knowledge rammed into them reminiscent of Dickens’ HARD TIMES scenarios!
Of course we have to improve young minds, help children retain knowledge, remember facts and spell, read, write and do basic maths. Nobody would argue with that.
But…we also have to inspire, light the fires of curiosity, lead, excite a love of learning, teach how to know oneself and how to be with others. We are called to be EDUCATORS and truly educating a child is a complex task calling for highly trained, sensitive and empathic human beings to lead, motivate and awaken hearts and minds.
This young extremely intelligent 9 year old had some literacy issues and LOVED the school holidays because she could dream, imagine, make things (she was a gifted little artist), and just be herself. As soon as school started her imagination had to shut down.
She came in crying one afternoon and thrust these words into my hands. I could hardly speak. I asked her if she would mind if I shared her words with teachers and her reply? “I WANT YOU TO!” So here I am sharing this child’s honest comments.
Let me translate:
All my imagination has to be locked up. I feel sad about this. Because school has started again. I have no time to imagine any more.
Surely we should be doing the opposite? Surely we should be awakening their imaginations by reading them great literature, providing enriching experience in the arts, music and movement and promoting divergent thinking skills?
Is this the bleak future we are offering? In that case we can expect more children to tune out, lose interest, become sad, depressed and lose the ability to dream up the future. We need to wake up from this nightmare and give our children back their hopes, dreams and futures.