For this week @Ecotrain 's question it is not really a question but it is an initiative -
The "Blow The Whistle Initiative"!
They are asking us to blow the whistle on something or someone and reveal a secret!
See the details here
I'm covering the topic of education, having worked in the school system for 15 years.
I worked in the Pre-K "Play and Exploration" program, a child centered program which was all about introducing the children to new experiences and scaffolding them to new levels.
It was disappointing to see the changes in the children as they go on to the regular school grades where it is all about the curriculum and is geared for preparing them for the workforce, not in bringing out the greatest potential of each and every child which I believe is what true education is all about.
It was bought to my attention that even to bring reforms and changes to the curriculum and such, it takes years because of all the bureaucracy. This makes it very hard to keep up with all the changes happening in the world that school is supposibly preparing the children for.
I find it sad to see the children stifled and pushed into a mold, loosing some of that enthusiasm for learning.
Image by Cole Stivers from Pixabay
My son went to the Open School that had two classrooms with mixed grades of Gr.1, 2, and 3 in one room and 4, 5 And 6 in the other, plus two of the parents working along with the teacher helping the children out. The kids could move freely in the classroom and older or more advanced kids could help other kids who may be struggling. The students progressed at their own rate of what they were capable of. They easily covered the curriculum in the morning and in the afternoon the students decided what they wanted to learn about and they would draw from the community to bring that experience to them or one of the parents would be sharing their knowledge and expertise with the children.
There was a real community feel as the whole family was involved and got to know each other, having lots of extra curricular activity or events to get together.
It's interesting that when my son was in the regular school for grade 1 and 2, when he came home I'd ask him what he did and often his reply would be "nothing" yet after school when he was in the open school, he was enthusiastic talking about what was happening at school.
After the closing of the schools for Covid, it got me wondering about how much time do the children actually need to be sitting in school. Most of the curriculum can be done online and the community can arrange for children to get together to socialize and make other arrangements to give the child more real life experiences with much better ways of educating the children than sitting in schools!
Image by Sasin Tipchai from Pixabay
There are many alternative schools popping up and ones that really interested me were the forest schools. Here the children's time is spent out in nature exploring and learning from nature. All the subjects that are taught in school can easily be incorporated into the children's exploration and plus they have the bonus of being aware of the lessons that nature teaches.
I think these outdoor classrooms are very relevant especially to these Covid times, to be outside in the fresh air and sunshine instead of cramming kids into stuffy classrooms.
There are many changes coming about because of Covid perhaps a change in the school system can happen too!