I’ve recently been reading the book Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution That’s Transforming Education by Sir Ken Robinson and Lou Aronica. While I don’t typically enjoy reading books about education and its foibles and failures, and what each person decides should be done about it, this book has got me thinking about how we approach education.
Education has always been segmented in many ways. Students are separated by age, and their days broken into 40-60 min (or perhaps 80 if you’ve reached the secondary level) chunks. So much of the day is lost on transition times because the day is broken into many pieces, so that everyone can get their “piece of the pie”. Instead, Robinson proposes, why not engage students in projects that engage the whole curriculum? Projects that require them to be using skills from many disciplines, so that the time will not need to be divided, but students can spend more quality time on a given task, really delving deeper into what it takes to bring a project or an idea to fruition. What I really loved about this idea is how he refers us back to how children learn — they learn by “playing” adults. So why not encourage their inquisitive minds by allowing them to “play” at adult projects? Why not let them get their hands dirty as they explore and play in the sphere that only the “big kids” have been allowed into?
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