“It takes time for some children to realise what it is they want to study, what it is that interests them. Our current system dictates that children need to know what they are interested in by the time they are 16, that’s crazy.”
Teacher, West London school
From conversations with teachers, we know how hard they find it when they recognise that a child isn’t built for ‘traditional learning’ but have nowhere to place them. They watch that child struggle through the system.
The education system has been designed to focus on reading, writing and arithmetic but if your passion doesn’t lie in those very specific subject areas, you are never going to realise your full potential. If your child is constantly fidgeting in school or always running everywhere they might be a dancer or an athlete. They can no more concentrate on a problem for an extended period of time than a pure academic can break out a twerk or a perfect pirouette.
This week, the UK government announced loans for adults wanting to retrain making lifelong learning a reality for all. This is a huge step in providing opportunities and work prospects for everyone. Citizens can learn when they are ready to learn.
The good teachers inspire children to want to learn, they go beyond teaching the subject and instil ‘curiosity’ into the minds of their pupils. The younger a child learns to be curious the more likely they are to discover their passion and fulfil their potential. Our education system needs to evolve faster to teach more varied skills that prepare our children for much more varied carriers where a job for life doesn’t exist and the skills to turn their hand to a wide number of jobs will become essential.
The foundations for learning are instilled or destroyed in children at a very young age. Good teachers and good parenting can make all the difference and we need all the help we can get.
Find out more: The OECD have just completed an interesting study about the future of education and skills. They have interviewed a group of kids from around the world talking about the future of education, community, housing, environment and health. The videos are online and can be viewed here https://www.oecd.org/education/2030-project/teaching-and-learning/learning/well-being/.