Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A view of "what's needed in schools" in the UK (and around the world)

My partner Will Sutherland (www.QualifiedByExperience.com) heads a sailing school in England that is really a character training site (for teachers as well as students).

Here are some of his comments about school reform in England....

We all agree that every child is different and their needs are different, so why do we think they are all going to fit into the same educational box?

I see a very big need for children to be taught the basics (a general Liberal Arts) and then taught how to learn and what to learn.

They need to understand there is no such thing as a free lunch. They also need to understand they have to be of use to society in order to fit into society, and to earn a living.

They can do anything they want to do provided it is going to lead to an income stream for themselves and their families.

They need mentoring from someone who cares about them and who can help them deal with family or their personal environment problems.

Talk to today’s students and they will tell you they do not understand the logic of their education or where they are going, but they know what interests them.


My ongoing research into the effects of Aiglon college (and the philosophies of Kurt Hahn and John Corlette www.JohnCorlette.com) on the lives of the Alumni is revealing the basic student needs and ways of meeting them.


In summary the reformers cannot get out of their minds the traditional image the word “School” conjures up every time they use it or hear it.

What the 21st Century students need is a new concept education media centre: A resource for the whole community and everyone in it.

Within this there needs to be a core framework which provides a balance between academic learning and life skills, discipline, appreciation, respect and tolerance for others, sports and physical exercise etc.

We only know and are influenced by what we know. Therefore the programme should encourage enquiring minds, to develop innovation and experimentation.

Expeditions and cultural excursions have become extinct due to health and safety restraints. This problem needs to be overcome in one measure or another.

Above all, a path for future development, a light at the end of the tunnel, has to be presented to students and parents which satisfies their needs and aspirations.

A lot of what Tony Blair say is not actually happening in the UK and he introduced the most teacher-controlling regulations -- he has knocked the stuffing out of our good teachers and the new system leaves them totally disenfranchised. Central control and bureaucracy takes up more than half a teacher's working time and preparation hours have increased beyond any sensible measure. The results are lower standards and a weaker society.

Will Sutherland


Learn more by going to www.QualifiedbyExperience.com


No comments:

Post a Comment