What if education was different? What if we took the risk and actually did what lots of very clever people say we should be doing?
All too often we focus on education on the right things, we get creative, we care about the students, we help them when they struggle and we celebrate their individual skills.
Then we test them
All we focus on then is their ability to pass a test that ranks them in things that might not actually be very relevant to them, or have any real impact on their life (other than being a piece of paper that says they can proceed)
At this point we forget that creativity in favour of practice, repetition and this is what they want you to say.
Then we wonder why so many disengage, though we don’t really as all good teachers know why they disengage.
So why do we do it?
Is it a problem from the top? A government problem? Perhaps, maybe they don’t see the bigger picture, but when you see what is being planned in Wales, they actually do.
So what is it?
Possibly it’s the employers.
As long as they are asking for specific grades as a marker of how good a person is, the schools will try to get those students, those grades, then of course the government is under pressure to ensure the schools are doing that, so that the industries get the workers they need.
What a mess!
So much talent gets ignored or missed in schools, the creative, problem solvers that like to think differently may not always answer a numerical reasoning question the way someone wants it answered, they may see an alternative, a better way of solving it, we say think outside the box, then say they are wrong in a test if you give any alternative answer.
The future jobs of the world are unknown, jobs are becoming automated, we communicate in lots of new ways, beyond writing and speaking as it is traditionally known. Super computers of the past, now sit on our wrists. And yet we still state that maths and English are the true tests of intelligence.
Is a child whom can speak 4 languages and play 3 different instruments employable? What if they have no maths or english GCSE at a C grade?
So many teachers want to do the best by their students, to make them believe in learning, to see their individual skills as their way to succeed, but are they trapped by a system, beyond education that still believes in an outdated view of what makes someone employable.
When those employing students ask for something beyond the grades, maybe schools can develop more creative students that can change the world, believe me, these children are doing the creative stuff, it just often happens beyond the school.
What if we thought beyond the education system for a solution to the problem, what if employers accepted their role in the issue? What if there was a chance to push reset and do what is right, not just make a slight change?
If we only teach them to pass a test, some will always fail.
If we teach them to think for themselves, to be creative and that there is always an alternative way, they can never fail.