As adults, there are some things we have control over and some things we don’t. For example, most of us have to have a job to generate income to support ourselves and our families. Not really a choice.
After work however, we’re faced with some free hours which we have complete control over. Should I read a book or watch a new episode of my favorite TV show? Should I cook at home or get take-out? These are some choices we make based on A) how we’re feeling and B) what we’re interested in.
Children, on the other hand, have very little control over their lives, open-ended play time being an exception rather than the norm.
A recent article published in the Guardian by George Monbiot, “In an age of robots, schools are teaching our children to be redundant“, examines the lack of choices that children are faced with everyday in a traditional learning environment, i.e. school.
He explains the set-up of the modern day school system in this way: “Our schools were designed to produce the workforce required by 19th-century factories. The desired product was workers who would sit silently at their benches all day, behaving identically, to produce identical products, submitting to punishment if they failed to achieve the requisite standards.”
Why don’t we, Monbiot asks, call upon the natural curiosity and wonder that children have for the world to allow them to learn by making choices? To follow their own interests rather than being subjected to rote learning imposed upon them by an adult?
“There is no single system for teaching children well, but the best ones have this in common: they open up rich worlds that children can explore in their own ways, developing their interests with help rather than indoctrination.”
What has your experience in school been? How does it compare to the modern system of education where you live? Share your thoughts in Chat.
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