There is an alarming trend to describe kids, reading levels, mathematical attainment in numerical terms. We are assigning a number or grade next to each student in some vain attempt to make teaching and learning “safe” and easier. This will NEVER work. We are missing the point of education and we are not allowing children to use their creativity and grow- we are literally stifling their learning.
George Monbiot, writing in the Guardian argues that,
“Children earn best when teaching aligns with their natural exuberance, energy and curiosity. So why are they dragooned into rows and made to sit still while they are stuffed with facts?
We succeed in adulthood through collaboration. So why is collaboration in tests and exams called cheating?
Governments claim to want to reduce the number of children being excluded from school. So why are their curriculums and tests so narrow that they alienate any child whose mind does not work in a particular way?
The best teachers use their character, creativity and inspiration to trigger children’s instinct to learn. So why are character, creativity and inspiration suppressed by a stifling regime of micromanagement?”
Publishers are making a fortune writing formulaic programs that reduce teachers to little more than robots and put children into learning strait jackets! Schools buy these programs as they think they will force standards up and make sure teachers don’t make mistakes.
Teachers are being reduced to program administrators and not encouraged to use their valuable insights and judgement.
The whole explicit teaching movement was meant to raise teaching standards and ensure children were taught effectively so all could learn. It was never meant to crush children’s creativity and force children to learn in ways that don’t work for them.
Our unhappy children are paying the price. Everyday I work with children who are trying to fit this outmoded factory mode of education and giving up.
For the sake of our children, we need to utilise pedagogically sound teaching practices and encourage teachers to teach and not become program robots.
To read the whole article by George Monbiot: