Saturday, September 25, 2004

Schools more than in trouble?

Just listened to a debate on education on TV this morning. A lot of talk about students bullying teachers mentioned the presenter - no real problems, said the three guest principals! Then of course the usual debate about the NZCEA ( an approach that defines learning units into lots of individual assessment criteria; but one that at least gives all students an opportunity of success). There was also a brief mention about students entering into a very different world but the answers given reflected a self satisfaction , and no real questioning, of the current model of education. All it seems we need is some 'tinkering'.

Isn't it time to face up to the fact that our current secondary system is just is not capable of accommodating all the students ? Isn't it time to re-imagine schools and to recreate them as true learning communities.? Currently, in NZ, about 19% of all students leave secondary school with nothing to show for their time. This at least would seem to me to be a good reason to provide some alternative organization in every major centre to cater for these school phobic learners? Add to this the number of creative and innovative people who have succeeded in spite of school and there is a real need to create schools that place focus on developing the talents of all students.

We must believe that all students can learn given the right task, time and assistance? As Edward Hall ( the anthropologist) wrote, 'The drive to learn is as strong as the sexual drive'.

One book I would recommend is 'Our Schools Don't Work Anymore' by David Hood.

At least one of the principals said in the debate that the focus should now be placed on improving teaching - now there is a good idea!!Even our Minister of Education has heard of this! I guess this is a start!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

David Hood's book should be read by all secondary school teachers -and senior students, but most of all by parents.