Almost everyone starts kindergarten full of curiosity, enthusiasm and big opinions about things. And very few graduate that way.
Why is that?
Modern schools make pragmatists of all of us.
As an educator, I consider my primary responsibilities to be building students’ enthusiasm for learning and building their ability to learn on their own. I don’t like thinking that schools themselves are somehow acting against their own aims.
So what would a school look like that was designed by students and run by students? Honestly, I fear it would end up looking a lot like the schools we have already. Because we all, so easily get so used to the way things are already. It becomes hard to imagine successful alternatives. We need not only fresh eyes, but also the insights of geniuses.
The tide is turning though. Ken Robinson’s Ted Talk about school’s killing creativity is the most popular Ted Talk ever. He’s bold, admonishing and hard to disagree with.
Those of us who really believe in the potential of education to empower people need to do as much as we can to make schools places much more about freedom, confidence-building and fun. And perhaps less about pragmatism and assessment.
I’d like my own sons to graduate even more curious, more enthusiastic, more confident and more opinionated than they were going in. And hilarious –I’d like school to make my boys as funny as possible.
Photo credit: Sam Sherratt