Heres why what we teach matters

“90% of what we teach in school is a waste of time… It doesn’t matter.”

From reading this statement I do not agree with it. Some may say that certain topics being taught in school may be a waste of time, however, they may not see the bigger picture.

For example, some may say learning about a certain topic in school such as ‘dinosaurs’ is considered ‘pointless’. They may think “What does my child gain from learning about dinosaurs?” or “What is the point when dinosaurs have no relevance to our everyday lives”. The sad truth is that people might not realise that as well as learning about dinosaurs, the children learn about other things in the CONTEXT of dinosaurs. They miss the benefits of it.

Dinosaurs are very interesting to children, as I have seen on placement as my class has it as a topic. If they learn different subject areas through the context of dinosaurs, ultimately they will be more motivated to learn things like maths or English if lessons are in the context of dinosaurs as it will  attract them to the subject much more than if it were just an isolated English or maths lesson- the children see it being relevant to them as the context is of great interest to them as people.

From my experience, I taught language in the context of Harry Potter, which was a great success. The children were developing their reading and writing skills through the context of Harry Potter and through this it made learning more fun and enjoyable to them. The children always looked forward to my lessons which made me see how context-based learning works so well. Some may think that all they’re learning about is Harry Potter when in actual fact they are learning key skills needed for life and gives them the motivation to want to gain these.

Everything we teach in school has a purpose for pupils later in life. It is important to create a context for learning that does matter to the children in order to allow them to e fully engaged and immerse themselves 100% in every lesson because if pupils were interested, the lesson will be way more effective- pupils will be motivated to learn key skills needed for life.

1 thought on “Heres why what we teach matters

  1. Nikki Doig

    An interesting post Amy. Contexts can indeed be very motivating for children – but does that mean that what the pupils are learning within that context is all relevant? Does it matter? It would be interesting to merge your thinking here with what you say in your other post about concept-based learning. A motivating context is great – if the learning is deep, meaningful and concept-driven – because then the learning will be transferable beyond the context within which it is first learned…


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