Thursday, November 20, 2008

What really matters

What really is important and what is not so important for children to have learnt by the time they leave school. It becomes more and more apparent that there is a complete disjointedness from primary to intermediate to secondary school. 

The secondary schools are forced to be result driven and primary schools are able to be holistically driven. Surprisingly though, even if us Primaries are allowed to be holistically driven we are still very focussed on our results in Literacy and Numeracy.  With this holistic philosophy we are able to be creative with the curriculum and are able to ignite thinking and creativity in classroom programmes. It makes for exciting teaching, fun in the classroom and a determination to be experts in the execution of teaching of Reading Writing and Numeracy.

I have dumbed down my expectations for my own son as he moves through intermediate and secondary school.
This is not, I hope, because of crap teaching but instead of the perception of what is valued and believed to be important. These schools are expected to be achieving results, gaining examination passes. The same old tricks of not letting the dummies sit exams, accelerating children into "Cambridge" classes as early as year 9 so they can "score well" for the school is the norm in our secondary schools now. Everything is about passing so schools can get a good name, and lets be honest schools are great at cheating. "Cheating" how dare you accuse schools of cheating, I use the word liberally, in the Richie McCaw sense, he obeys the rules but pushes them to the extreme limit every time he plays the game. A Principal who is not playing the game McCaw style is considered a poor principal.

The thing for me is that i don't give a shit about the actual exam results my son gains. Of course I'm proud FOR him if he does well, but I will be proud OF him if he succeeds in the things that really matter.

So what really matters.
How about: someone who thinks of and respects others
someone who is prepared to assess and take risks
someone who is a giver
a learner for life
a contributer to society
someone you are proud to call son

1 comment:

Bex said...

Secondary schools are just as able as primary schools to provide a rich, diverse and interesting curriculum regardless of the need to be "results driven". Primary schools are just as results driven and they could show secondary schools how to be results driven while ensuring school is engaging for kids. The curriculum allows secondary schools more flexibility than ever to change and move away from traditional ways of schooling, and I've seen secondary schools do this. I would always want my children to get good results in schools, both primary and secondary because we all know that if our kids achieve well, they will do better in life in general. I agree that building all those other qualities in kids alongside ensuring they achieve is hugely important. Not all secondary schools are solely focussed on grades and enrolments.