A catch-all for things that have caught my eye, links to helpful information and the odd soapbox moment
I saw this some time ago, but someone recently drew it to my attention again and thought it was worth a mention here - it certainly still has relevance!
Sir Ken Robinson
Karyn, I keep a squashed 176x144 mp4 version on my phone. It remains an absolute inspiration to me. I've shown it to several people (over drinks, while traveling by car) who have been bowled over.
I can understand why you would do that, Ron. What frustrates me, though, is that while people like Sir Ken talk so much sense, no-one with any real power seems to be doing anything to change things. Make me feel kind of powerless.
At least I can do something. I have two pre-school children. I'm already encouraging them to take creative risks.
You stick with that, Ron, but let me sound a word of warning: you may have to be strong, and put up with some resistance when they get to school. My experience is that some teachers (not all, by any stretch, but some) consider involved parents to be interfering. When my children were in primary school, I used to ask what the themes were for each term's studies, and would plan family outings that supported these. I was told by more than one teacher that I was interfering and giving my children an "unfair advantage" (can you credit it?) over other children with "less supportive" parents. That really got my goat! Everyone has two biological parents, they make choices about their children's futures and the children are affected by those choices - sometimes tragically - but since when does the school get to prevent a parent from making those choices? Unless of course, the child is at risk as a consequence. Our view of the UK primary school system is that it seems geared to bring everything down to the lowest common denominator. What we call the "tall poppy syndrome" - anything that dares to stand taller than the rest must be chopped down. We didn't give way to the pressure, but it was stressful at times.
Ouch. I've just returned home from an orientation evening at the state primary school we have chosen for Gillian here in a suburb of Melbourne. It offers the International Baccalaureate and embeds in all its methods the social values we hold dear. They don't want our children if we parents aren't actively involved in their learning and development at school. We do believe this particular school is unusual and is showing real leadership in the public system here. So we have to be hopeful.
That sounds very promising, Ron! I wonder how they assess which parents are of the type you have described. In the UK state primary schools may not exercise selection or anything that remotely resembles it. I am familiar with the IB system - it is offered at some private schools here in the UK. It is not a million miles from the matriculation system I knew in South Africa.vi
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