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

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

watch 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

singulair paediatric 4mg chewable tablets side effects 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.


One thought on “The child’s world and the child’s classroom, part 2”

  1. Loved the contrasts between the classroom and the world that you have drawn out so clearly. I think it is great that the classroom “limits” the child’s world in a sense, because it allows their attention to be focused on a limited number of things and teaches them to delve deeper into chosen topics from their world and thus give a relative depth to knowledge gained rather than the superficial knowledge they skim in their world on a myriad of topics. Both the world and classroom are important in their own place for the child. Thanks Nick – thought provoking article!

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