I quibble with the suggestion that the education system makes children ‘stupid’. However, I believe that it is so structured that many students suffer from mental stress. And I believe that it misses so many opportunities to help students know who they are and, thus, potential is squandered.
Recently, I read 10 Ways Schools are Making Children Stupid and Depressed which was shared by a friend on Facebook. As I read many things came up for me – memories from my own school days and from my career as an educator. Here is what I read and my thoughts on each.
Their individuality is not treasured in school.
I love learning and I know that it’s the one thing that made all of my school days bearable. We sat in orderly rows and were expected to be silent and polite and biddable. Heaven forefend that any of us should question what we were being taught or how we were being taught. There were few opportunities, when I was a student, to create my own assignments to demonstrate my learning in ways which were meaningful to me. It was ‘read the book, answer the questions, do the test’ and repeat in every subject I was required to take.
As an educator, I strove to give my students choices when they were completing assignments. They could choose one of my creation or they could create their own with some input from me. I had the chance to create a course titled, “Gifted Independent Design”. And for the three years that it was offered at my school, the students who enrolled in the course could create their own independent studies to explore topics which were of interest to them. For me, it was inspiring to be part of that experience with those students. Given freedom to choose what they wanted to explore, they were liberated. Unfortunately, the demands of the provincially mandated secondary school diploma requirements eventually asserted themselves and the course, which did not fit into any one slot in those requirements, was abandoned.
On balance, I don’t believe that the educational system privileges or lauds individuality over the demands of curriculum.
To read more of this post, go to: https://authenticvibrations.wordpress.com/2017/07/18/10-ways-schools-are-making-children-stupid-and-depressed-my-thoughts/
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