‘The school will disappear’

‘The school will disappear’

The above quote comes from David Loader, who has some interesting things to say about schools and education. David says that schools are a thing of the past. He refers to the idea of ‘island schools’, things separate from and yet surrounded by the world as it flows on past. And this he reckons is just not good.

David’s website reminds me of a pleasant primary school classroom…and that’s not a bad thing. And this similarity not withstanding, he says that:

‘Stepping into a classroom is like going backwards in time.’

He is not a big fan of the classroom.

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(Ta to Flickr for this pic)

And David has been a principal for some decades and so has what can reasonably be considered an informed opinion. He argues for use of the internet and computers and finding ways of educating that fit better with the here and now than a time gone by. For him, sitting in the classroom is ano longer the way to go. I think David might be onto something.

He also does not argue for learning in a social-less vacuum. In fact quite the reverse. He thinks being with others is important. But it does depend on the nature of the contact. In response to the argument that schools are about social learning and that personal contact is important, he says that:

‘A lot of our kids come out of school having learnt to be rebellious…be aggressive…be unhappy…to have low self-esteem.’

So social contact in itself does not equal whiz bang development. As someone who works with young people doing it hard, I can only agree with him.

Of the idea of a uniform curriculum David asks why are we so scared of difference? Why should all students learn the same thing? And this too has its appeal for me.

David reckons we need a radical shift in thinking about education…we need to embrace where the world is up to…take the best of the past AND the present and use it all for creating a better society.

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(Ta to Flikr for this pic)

He says that we need to do a lot better in schools to develop a more healthy, respectful, supportive society. This comment seems fairly consistent with what I read in relation to social determinants of health. So David, not bad at all really.

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