Friday, June 12, 2009

Life Long Learners

Do you believe there is one set of knowledge that every kid should learn? If this is the case what is that knowledge.?And what should schools do to ensure every kid gets that knowledge.?

Now if you were at primary school you may have a reading writing and maths answer.
If you were at secondary you may have an "application of knowledge" answer.
If you believe in Cambridge Examinations you may answer - a really good strategy for memory.

Maybe the KC's are the answer = managing self - thinking - relating to others - participating and contributing. If this is so then how can we teach these.
Its a complex issue, specific teaching of KC's is possible as a very small part, gaining understanding through doing, showing, living the KC's is an enormous part. It really comes back to loving learning. Teachers are funny animals, we are so different in many ways but scarily similar in the things that matter. We can argue over assemblies, prize giving, bike days, sand pits, dutys, timetables (my list is quite long, hmmm a bit too much information here) but we always seem to agree that teaching kids is more than just imparting knowledge.
Good schools have flocks of these teachers who give everything they have for their kids. I have heard many conversations where someone is having a dig at a kid who has been an egg, only for another teacher to pop up and defend the little sod.
Having a deeper understanding of our colleagues, a shared respect for the way everyone in your school cares for kids, knowing that everyone has a bit of the "fight for kids" inside them is so important as a teacher and as a principal. We may have our spats but nothing changes the respect we have for colleagues who live a shared philosophy, not hung on the walls, but a deeper respect for the actual daily implementation.
This is where these rambled thoughts are going.

If we are going to make it as a life long learner, if we are going to encourage all our kids to be life long learners then there isn't one skill set.
Every kid needs someone who will "fight for them". Leaders need to practice their own philosophy of life long learning. I know we aren't all perfect and we get things wrong on more than one occasion but shutting the door is not an option.

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