It’s funny how people think. How people reflect, move about and wonder about the world. How do we think? How do we learn? I’ve been gnawing on this question for some time now, each day finding myself further and further from a satisfactory solution. I think that maybe it’s very complex. People seem to have a lot of opinions, and the statistics are fairly baffling (or at least they are to my small mind). I have been reading about the UK recent National Curriculum changes, pedagogical approaches, PISA and (of course) Finland.
I would like to start with saying that I haven’t read much, and I would like to read a lot more before giving up on coming up with an opinion I’m happy with.
As of yet, my critiques are naive, very uncertain, and in a daily state of flux. However, I am confident about these three things. I encourage you to take them apart and examine them, and think about them yourself (as I will make no attempt to prove them):
1. We should all approach this question with a very open mind, questioning every little aspect of what we are discussing and not be afraid to approach controversial or plain bizarre questions.
2. The entire educational system is extremely complex and layered on an International, national, and local level. This fact should not be underestimated, and should remind us to tread carefully and with humility (knowing our place in the big picture, that is).
3. Solving this problem will be more like balancing a see-saw than building a sandcastle.
That’s all I really have to say at the moment. The rest are a bunch of open ended, thought-provoking questions, like:
1. Where did the school system come from?
2. Do we really need education?
3. At what age should education start and finish?
4. Is university actually important?
5. Should the bar for teachers in the UK be higher?
If you intend to dive into this problem as I have, here’s a head start…
– What is the core subject, as far as you are concerned. I’m currently betting it’s Language (English) as I think communication should come before all others, though I do love math.
– What do different countries do, is that better, and how can we learn from it?
– Look into the PISA rankings. What are they? What do they say? Are they actually any good?