The other evening when driving home from work there was a report about a school in Somerset, Brymore School, the department of education has decided that the Btech in national diplomas taken in the subjects of horticulture and agriculture are not as difficult as "academic" GCSEs and therefore cannot be included in the results. Please listen or read the report from The Guardian - fascinating.
To me education means learning and teaching, not just learning about specific subject matter. We are all different and have different interests, life would be pretty boring if we were all the same. For the Department of Education to just determine subject matter in this way, to me seems fool hardy. Bankers and city workers may well have the potential to earn huge suns of money in the city but, we as a society need to eat, so surely agriculture and horticulture should be just as important.
Many children do not have the desire to sit at a table and learn they want to be outside exploring, learning through play and experience, in fact if you listen to Sir Ken Robinson on his TED talks you will be aware that many industries are struggling because they cannot find people with new ideas. He thinks that our education system stifles this creativity.
I worry about the changes coming in, child 4 will be tested as he enters school in 2016 so that his progress can be measured by the time he reaches year 6, initially parents were going to be informed as to how their child performed, but due to widespread opposition this has fortunately been dropped. I think that during the first three years of school life our children should be given the opportunity to learn at their own pace through play and exploration not to be expected to sit, listen and complete a task. When I watch my children play, I see them touch, feel, listen and question. They learn by experience and have no fear in just testing things out, they are not interested in "failure" only in what happens. I can only hope that the department of education listens to teachers and changes how they expect our children to achieve, or that the next generation of education ministers can think outside the box a bit more .