Saturday, 8 August 2009

Suitable and efficient education

Someone asked me I think about education, and I had this to say in reply:

Education, to me, is what the child wants to learn. I believe that children have an instinct for learning what will suit them, and enrich them.

For younger children, I believe that introducing them to experiences that interest and intrigue them can only be a good thing. I also believe that we can never know what will be of value in humanity's future so we can never impress children with what they 'should' know. We are not that successful at predicting what the future will bring.

It is possible that carpet-weaving will be the primary need in the future (or anything really) and I think that a person who is accustomed to assimilating knowledge under their own steam will also learn to weave carpets.

I think it important that children learn not to be slaves (which I believe the school system trains them for), to have clear sight, to be able to analyse, to detect hidden motives in others, to care for people more vulnerable than themselves (not necessarily physically care for but consider).

I think that thinking about what you do in terms of how it would affect others is important, but then that's what I've always tried to do. My view of what suitable and efficient would probably not be what another person would see as suitable and efficient. So I think it is one of those things that LAs etc. can get hung up on. I also firmly believe that children learn only twisted values under our present system.

The best thing we can do for children is love and cherish them.

1 comment:

  1. This may interest you:

    This is a Commons select committee; at this stage questions are being asked about whether the intake of kids with Special Educational Needs by the English "Academies" is at an appropriate level, (q176).

    After replies by other witnesses, Graham Badman interjects, :
    "When you have a strong partnership between schools, authorities should not be afraid to use their powers of direction. We can direct admissions where there are special educational needs or looked-after children, and I do. That applies to Academies as well."

    A Committee member corrects him twice.

    Mr Badman's response at this point is most interesting, remember , this is in front of a Commons Select Committee.

    He does not continue to maintain his position.
    He doesn't admit that he is wrong.

    Instead he says, "Well, please do not tell them in that case."

    Was it said earnestly?
    Was this done with a knowing wink?

    What we can surmise is that by refusing to argue the point, Mr Badman, has tacitly admitted that he was wrong.

    It would be possible at this juncture for Mr Badman to have said, "I'm sorry, I have made a mistake, on my return to my desk I will inform my subordinates and the Academies in my county of my error." He does not.

    Instead he asks the others to join him in his subterfuge.
    The end of achieving the appropriate intake into the Academies of the "correct" number of SEN pupils, as defined by Mr Badman, is given precedence over the means; which is asking other parties to break the law; in front of a Commons Select Committee.

    If it was said in earnest, what can we conclude?
    That Mr Badman sees himself as above the law?
    That he has been careless in revealing this attitude in front of a Select Committee?

    If it was said jokingly, what can we conclude?
    That Mr Badman is accustomed to riding roughshod over the law in the privacy of the corridors of power and has revealed this by letting his guard slip and being unable to bring himself to admit to an error in front of a colleague?

    What would such a character do in a hypothetical situation where he was looking to marshal evidence in support of a particular argument?