Reading this fantastic article on Truth Out (thanks again to my awesome uncle who sends me these). It argues that consumerism and consumption is killing the US schools.
However, I see the same things happening in Australia. I believe the current situation in schools is killing the creativity of our students in several ways:
- standardised testing promotes the recall of facts without the benefit of using those facts to promote the higher levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy (maybe another post?).
- the national curriculum is beholden to challenges in teacher preparation that mean that valuable arts education is suffering.
- the reintroduction of grades rather than levels encourages students to compete and fails to consider how each child is working at their own level in all subject areas
I’m not sure what we can do, but it needs to be dealt with. It’s not enough to encourage knowledge rather than creativity. As Holt once said:
Since we can’t know what knowledge will be most needed in the future, it is senseless to try to teach it in advance. Instead, we should try to turn out people who love learning so much and learn so well that they will be able to learn whatever needs to be learned.
And maybe that’s where schools go wrong. Maybe that’s what they should be focusing on rather than testing kids’ knowledge of something that someone, somewhere has decided they ought to know based on their values, their life journey and their beliefs.