I read Dale Worsley’s post this morning and thought about how lucky I am to work in a primary school with a dynamic learning culture, where passionate teachers constantly seek the most engaging and meaningful ways for their young learners to take ownership of their learning, where the learning is for ‘now’ AND for the kind of future in which they will live and learn.
I recently received this email from a friend whose daughter has just started High School (She’s 12. In Australia, children move from Primary School directly to High School. We don’t have Middle School as a separate stage).
My daughter’s education to date has been nothing short of remarkable. She has soaked up and been enticed by all that the school has to offer.
She has inquired and pushed boundaries. She has investigated and wondered her way through the most intriguing PYP journey. She is a thinker and has loved being knee deep in creative expression and pondering units of inquiry that encouraged her to be open minded and inquire into things she wonders about. With amazing guidance, she whole heartedly explored her area of passion and with excitement and exuberance presented her findings at the Year 6 exhibition.
Now in year 7, her school bag is full of thick text books (which also sit on her iPad) which travel to and from school. She sits at night working through pages of maths problems from the text books. Just as I had done when I was in high school (a million years ago) … A little archaic.
I understand it is very early days yet, but where has that amazing transformative thinking gone? The creative learning that is so full of colour and excitement…
Please tell me Ed, that it is on its way????
My sad reply: ‘I cant’
And again I wonder about the great divide between primary schools and (many) high schools…
- Why is that as soon as our students turn 12, they need to start preparing for the demands of VCE and university entry?
- Why are the demands of formal education frequently out of touch with the reality of the world in which our students live and LEARN and contribute? (independently, without the assistance of school!)
- Why do many high school students still do the same kinds of things their parents and teachers did when they went to school, while the rest of the world changes rapidly and dramatically?
- Why did a parent once reprimand a high school teacher whom I know for encouraging the students to (gasp) think instead of preparing them for the exams?
- Why should the focus shift from learning (in primary school) to work (in high school)?
- Why should grades and results matter more than thinking, learning how to learn and contributing to the world in a meaningful way?
A thoughtful response by @alohalavina – Crossing the Great Divide