If I could give you one gift it would be to see yourself through my eyes and then you would see how special you really are.

Thursday, 6 February 2014

Education, schmeducation

Our education system is in the press a lot at the moment, Michael Gove is talking about about changing so many things. He wants children in some form of structured education from the age of 2, he is pushing the academy system out to as many schools as possible, he wants there to be no difference between a private or state school, he is looking at the curriculum, he wants more rigorous testing, entrance exams and wishes to extend the school day and shorten school holidays.

Free nursery care is already available for children in care or for parents on benefits from the age of two because there are concerns about their social and academic skills. It is hoped that providing a form of structured play will help these children to have a strong start in education. This is going to be rolled out for all children soon, not for the best interests of the children but to encourage mothers back into the workplace.
Academies whilest good for some schools, especially the secondary sector is not what is necessarily the best option for all schools. Rural primary schools will probably not benefit at all.
I am sure that those parents who pay substantial amounts of money for their children's education will no longer feel the need to if state schools can offer the same and not cost anything, however I am not sure how the state system that has far less money to spend on each child than the private sector will be able to achieve this demand.
More rigorous testing and entrance exams will not help any children except those that fall into the criteria of the testing, we are all very different, bringing different talents and gifts to life, not all of them have to be about algebra.

After listening to You and Yours on radio 4 earlier this week about holidaying during term time, I can't see how a narrow view on extending school hours and reducing holiday time will help our children.

Why is it necessary to change so much and is this what our society should be striving for.  For me, I want change but it needs to be evolving with our world not stagnating. My children won't thrive in an education that expects them all to be the same. They need to be able to try new and different things, learn about everything not just Pi, Shakespeare and the Periodic table. They need to find and hone their own gifts and talents, they need to spend really good, quality time with their family and their community, enjoying the art of giving time, playing games, learning respect and loving those around them.

In the possible future education system my children will spend their mornings in nursery instead of going on walks with me, baking with me, doing arty crafty stuff with me or building marble runs with me. They will then have their type of education, based on entrance exams at a young age, when they were still in the explore and experience stage of life not the ready to sit and write stage, a narrower curriculum potentially means losing the more arty, creative subjects, forcing the imaginative, inspirational and creative children to fit into classes where they cannot achieve their potential. Longer school days will mean less opportunities to attend after school activities where the creative could have an opportunity to thrive and shorter holidays will make it all the harder for all those working parents to take time off during holiday time to spend time with their children.

What will our society in reality become?

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