One of our TDT’s this week was to watch this clip from RSAnimate:
This video discusses the fact that our education system remains very much unchanged from when schooling became available to all, whereas our children and the needs of our society have changed greatly. I was particularly interested in the part about Divergent Thinking and the fact that children start by being able to think laterally about concepts but this ability declines as they are ‘educated’. It reminded me of this cartoon which really illustrates the idea that we are not teaching our children to think for themselves, only to conform and think in the way that ‘we’ have decided is right. It also shows that a teacher cannot teach children to think in new and different ways if they continue to think in the same, closed and traditional ways.
I am a strong believer that this needs to change and children need to be allowed and encouraged to be individuals; learning in ways that excite and inspire them. I feel that the Curriculum for Excellence has begun to take steps in the right direction, placing more focus on children’s interests however this seems to become less important as children move through their school life and have to focus on learning the concepts and information which will be covered within formal tests and assessments.
By challenging our traditional approaches to teaching and learning, we may be able to open up education to those who are currently failed by the system, and (as mentioned in the above video) we can hopefully move away from sorting individuals into the two very narrow categories of ‘academic’ or ‘non academic’.