This week I have mostly been getting more and more incensed by the increased dominance of education spin from govt. corridors where people who have NOT had experience or proper debate about education continue to make loud proclamations saying it's about time we went back to less talk and more learning, no play and children should be taught their numbers sitting passively at desks.....like this child here? Should he have to sit at a desk and learn his numbers? What if he doesn't learn them immediately. What if he doesn't get it straight away?
What if he never gets a chance to play, to explore the world around him and follow his boundless curiosity? Oh, he can learn his numbers and learn how to read and write too actually but we just might be able to preserve his natural curiosity and enthusiasm if we place that at the heart of what we do.
We're testing children at a younger age, we expect them to be boosted if there's a chance they're going to fail....we sometimes expect them to come to booster classes in their holidays aged 10 or 11 so they can 'pass' their SATs and improve our data and we wonder why our children aren't climbing trees and doing all the wonderful things we used to have opportunities to do. Careful-childhood goes so quickly. Please listen to people who actually work with children, who talk to them, understand them, strive to find out what makes them tick, what helps them to learn and achieve their dreams. Don't dismiss US because as some 'hippies' because we don't think they should be in rows with the teacher standing at the front. I was taught Maths and many other subjects like that at secondary school. The teacher just 'taught' us our numbers, gave us pages to work through and sat at the front.It once took me 40 minutes to pluck up the courage to walk from the back to the front of the class, climb up on the platform where the teacher's desk was and ask for help. She was lovely when I asked but I'd spent 40 minutes fretting. I wasn't LEARNING.
I wouldn't want to put anybody else in that position especially 4 upwards!
Please click on the link above to read the letter sent by this brilliant movement TOO MUCH TOO SOON + Dr. David Whitebread from the Faculty of Education, Cambridge speaking on the 1 o clock news : http://www.itv.com/news/anglia/search/?q=david+whitebread
The folk who've signed it are not fly by night uneducated souls-they come from renowned universities, groups, organisations and they believe we are harming our children. Are we going to allow policy makers in corridors who probably haven't spoken to many children to make such important decisions OR are we going to allow our profession to speak up and speak out with research, experience and passion in our hearts and say what we know to be right?