Post 010 : What should education be about?

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http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/suli-breaks-the-secret-of-success-forget-exams–its-all-about-getting-the-breaks-8630036.html

‘I saw one of his videos a few weeks ago and it really struck a chord. As a fifty something year old, I feel that my education aimed to prepare me for narrowly defined roles within an ‘establishment’ society. It didn’t encourage me to think creatively, or to seek less conventional opportunities, or indeed to try to change society. When my son went to school a couple of decades later, much the same was happening, and I’ve no reason to believe it’s changed now. I’ve spent all my working life in a reasonably well paid job which I hate. OK, so its kept poverty at bay, but surely there’s more to life than that. It’s only recently that I’ve begun to realize that my so called ‘good’ education has held me back, and I’m finally doing something about it’

I read this when reading the comments after an article talking about spoken word artist Suli Breaks. He has a problem with the current education system in England. He basically believes that the emphasis on passing exams and grades is to the detriment of the children going through the system.

I agree with this. I am currently a teacher, and it is being turned into a place of cold efficiency, teaching tricks and uniformity. I was recently in a meeting with other teachers where we shared our practices and what we were doing with our children. More than ever before, there is a growing relentless drive on driving up standards of performance in the classroom. So much so, that teachers are feeling burnt out, tired, stressed and uninspired by the massive opportunities that they have to work with the future generation on a daily basis. The ironic thing is that in most cases, the standard of teaching that our children receive is good. However, if you read the media recently, you wouldn’t believe that.

On a personal level, I find the whole business  overwhelming at times because there are according to who you speak to so many ‘priorities’ that it can be easy to get lost in a black hole of paperwork and fads.  I think that this is the main problem with the education system in the u.k today. There doesn’t seem to be a collective spirit anymore of what education should be about. Do we want our children to be able to regurgitate facts, or do we want them to learn how to think? Do we want to challenge and expand their thoughts and feelings about the world around them or do we want them to focus on academics at the expense of building character and a world view. The education system will stay in a perpetual state of chaos until there is unity between all people who participate in it. Either that, or we allow the parents to choose the type of education that their children go on to pursue.

I feel that my time is coming to an end in the classroom simply because I’m not sure that I’m doing the best work that I could with the youth in there. I feel a growing need to leave the classroom and create something new and unique that could help children and adults focus on all aspects of themselves and to learn how to connect with who they truly are. I haven’t got it all planned out yet, but I feel that I will offer much more true value when I do this because I will be connected much more strongly to the principles behind my actions. Young people today need guidance in many areas. When I think back on my school days, the idea that your grades were everything was very strong. We were told on many occasions that the grades we got would be the passport to success. I now think differently. I believe that the character and values we have as well as the actions we take are the true determinant of success in the real world. School is so extrinsically based that the opportunity to go inward and discover ourselves and unique abilities can sometimes be missed.  I want to become a facilitator of that self discovery for as many people as possible and provide opportunities for this to take place in and out of the classroom.

I basically want to help create life long learners.

 What do you feel are the most important aspects of a first class education? 

I wish you the best

Shaun

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