Monday, February 21, 2011

Our Education System Needs Help.

Unbelievable! Here in New Zealand a couple now have a criminal conviction because of their son wagging school. From the reports I've read it seems the couple did their best to get their son to go to school having been involved in numerous meetings with the school.

This is one of those stories where all the details will never be known and, yes. there are two sides to every story. But.....

Two thoughts come to mind.
The first is; How is convicting the parents going to change the attitude of the son?
The second is this. We are becoming a nation that is increasingly blaming parents when kids go bad. But what about the education system that many kids seem to find so disagreeable that would prefer to wonder the streets aimlessly all day or sit in front of a computer screen playing games all day.
The bottom line is that the education system of the western world is a major part of the problem. There are thousands of students in New Zealand that simply don't fit the antiquated academic structure.
The trouble with 'Tomorrows-Schools' is that they are based on yesterdays society.
Education should be like a recipe. The ingredients only taste good when they are all put together in the right amount. Unfortunately, our education system tries to feed the ingredients to our children as individual items. As an example, maths on its own is like eating a teaspoon of salt. English on its own is like a cup of flour. On there own these items will make you feel sick but when you mix them with other ingredients they become much more tasty. In education the 'other ingredients' need to be skills/trades/creative endeavours that have meaning for the student. Take for instance a student interested in cars and engines. They are far more likely to learn maths through cylinder angles and spark plug gaps than they will from the 'teaspoon-of-salt' approach of a maths text book.
A world authority on this subject is Sir Ken Robinson. There are a number of You-tube clips of him speaking. These links are to two of his best....

If these ideas were incorporated into our education system I doubt that we would have parents being convicted by such a stupid law.

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