Last year while studying educational theory, one of our lecturers showed us this video. Ivan Illich’s book Deschooling Society was probably one of the few uni books I actually read from cover to cover last year. At first I was defensive, but the more I think about how institutionalised education has become the more I agree.
Now about once a term one of my Rangers or Guides has to stop coming because of the amount of homework they have to do. After spending 7 hours at school. Part of this is that learning that would be far better done outside of a classroom situation is now being expected of teachers on top of teaching their subjects. Part of it is the ridiculous government assessments that are expected all year round which take up so much of teacher and pupil time.
Non formal learning is so important, it makes me angry that our government don’t give space for kids to take part in it. Why can’t school be left at school?!
Apart from the fact that so many children don’t have the support they need to do work at home. Yes, the ability to learn is important, but so often it is dependent on the resources at home and it puts privileged kids at an unfair advantage.
I have had so many young people come through school education believing they are destined to be unsuccessful because their skills and gifts are not developed in a classroom situation. They are the kids who struggle to read or are terrified of public speaking. And the most worrying part is that education has become about learning a list of facts decided by government workers and achievement is assessed on ability to memorise, agree with and spew back facts taught to them. Children are not taught that they can have a different opinion or that other people may have a different take on things. Perhaps the only exception is Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies, and even then they try and get kids to learn ‘facts’ about religions and worldviews that are simplistic and not representative of reality.
Surely, this is a problem. And I wonder how we solve it…a new take on learning and education needs to be found.
Because stating that what a words a kid should be able to recognise or which times tables they need to memorise by a particular age is not education.
(In my opinion).