The child’s world and the child’s classroom, part 2

buy Prozac In my previous post of the same title I described the immense differences between the world that today’s children inhabit and the classrooms that they enter every weekday morning. Below I have paired up the statements that I wrote in random order last time, in order to illustrate the striking differences between the two environments that our children move between. I wonder if you agree with what I have written?

Classroom: The adults control what is learned
World: The child can control what is learned

aleve 220 mg 20 film tablet Classroom: There are defined spaces for learning
World: There are no fixed spaces for learning

Classroom: There are fixed hours for learning
World: There are no fixed hours for learning

Classroom: The child develops relationships with a limited number of adults and peers
World: The child can contact and learn from a limitless number of adults and peers around the world at any time, day or night

Classroom: Change is slow
World: Change is fast

Classroom: Learning tasks are assigned to children in sequential order
World: Multi-tasking by children is normal

Classroom: Leisure and learning are separate
World: Leisure and learning are blended together

Classroom: There is a defined body of knowledge to be learned
World: There is a limitless body of knowledge that can be learned

So, what should we do about this?

With very few exceptions, schools do little to bridge the gap between the classroom and the world. That may not be a bad thing! I have come to the conclusion that schools should not try to imitate the child’s world for two reasons, as follows:

1. The child’s world is not a ‘better’ world than the classroom; it is just different.
2. For many reasons – generational, technological, professional – schools will probably not be able to catch up with that world even they wished to.

So rather than imitate the child’s world, schools should aim to complement it by providing joys and challenges that are not found in that world. Above all, they should be aiming to ensure that children become critical, creative and adaptive thinkers with the resilience required to help them be successful and content whatever today and tomorrow may bring.

Thank you.

Next time: a dip into some fascinating research on how children succeed.

 

The child’s world and the child’s classroom

Classrooms have always been behind the times. There has always been a time-lag between societal change and the findings of educational research on the one hand and actual classroom practice on the other.

There are many reasons for this. One cause is the professional inertia that affects teachers as much as those in most professions – a reluctance to change from tried and trusted methodologies that “have always worked in the past”. Another is the delay that occurs between the development of new methodologies and the ‘tooling-up’ necessary to put these into action in classrooms, not least the continuing professional development of countless teachers. A third, and justifiable, cause is an ongoing skepticism among teachers and school leaders about “the latest educational trends”, some of which have proven their worth over time while others have thankfully been discarded. It’s not always easy to separate the wheat from the chaff.

But in today’s world, change of every kind is increasing in momentum. The classroom is falling behind.

Every weekday morning the majority of the world’s children enter classrooms that no longer resemble the world outside that they inhabit. Whether or not we adults like it, children are being educated in ways that are increasingly irrelevant to them. In my recent series of posts I have been writing about the need to educate children for the future, but the fact is that we need to educate them for today.

What follows is a little game. Below, you will find a series of short statements, some of which apply to the child’s classroom and others which apply to the child’s world beyond the classroom. I have mixed the statements up, so they are listed in random order.

Try sorting the statements under these two headings – Lamictal cheap online canadian pharmacy The Child’s World and http://averagejoesmma.com/upcoming-events/?yr=2017 The Child’s Classroom. Here’s a clue to help you: the statements can be paired, thus a statement that falls under the heading The Child’s World will be matched by an opposite statement that falls under The Child’s Classroom.

  • The adults control what is learned
  • There are defined spaces for learning
  • There are fixed hours for learning
  • The child can contact and learn from a limitless number of adults and peers around the world at any time, day or night
  • Change is fast
  • Learning tasks are assigned to children in sequential order
  • There are no fixed spaces for learning
  • The child can control what is learned
  • Leisure and learning are separate
  • Multi-tasking by children is normal
  • Leisure and learning are blended together
  • There are no fixed hours for learning
  • There is a defined body of knowledge to be learned
  • The child develops relationships with a limited number of adults and peers
  • There is a limitless body of knowledge that can be learned
  • Change is slow

To be clear about the source of the statements above, I have compiled the list from my personal observations of schools and classrooms in various parts of the world as well as from my observations of the life-styles of today’s students. The list is not the result of specific research findings.

Have fun sorting out the statements. Next time we’ll see if you agree with my own thinking!

Thank you.

Next time: Implications of the dichotomy between The Child’s World and The Child’s Classroom; and a first dip into some important research.