How schools un-educate children
The relentless focus in schools on academic achievement in its most narrow sense, means that the development of vital skills and attributes for learning and life are being sidelined. Over their time in school, most students will fail to make any significant progress in developing the skills of problem-solving, critical thinking, collaboration and communication; the very skills and attributes they need to thrive in the 21st century.
And what we can do about it
What is needed is a new approach to education, where learning has a real purpose, audience and outcome; where students have more choice over what and how they learn, and where developing skills is as important as developing knowledge. This book makes a powerful and practical case that project-based learning is one of the best ways to achieve this.
The author, Pete Pattisson, has been involved in education for 18 years, including seven years as a teacher in London. He is a specialist in Citizenship education and project-based learning. He was a Lead Practitioner for the Specialist Schools & Academy Trust, the National Subject Lead for Citizenship and is a widely respected speaker and trainer.
To download the book for free, just click on the image above.
Feel free to share it, reTweet it and comment on it!
Just a reminder that the deadline to respond to the proposed new curriculum, including the programmes of study for Citizenship ends on April 16th.
You can respond directly HERE or use the guide created by Democratic Life / Association for Citizenship Teaching HERE. If you haven’t yet read the draft programmes of study for Citizenship, you can download the document HERE.
If you’re stuck for ideas, here’s my response to one of the questions:
After two memorable years, I left Blackfen Schools for Girls on Friday. This film is a little ‘thank you’ to the staff and students of the school.
I’ve enjoyed sharing our work, ideas and resources on this blog. If you have found it useful and would like to make a donation for the time and effort involved, you can do so by clicking the donate button below. Thank you!
My brilliant colleague Lola Blatch will be taking over my role, and she’s planning to do a similar blog. When she’s set it up, I’ll send you a link.
Just to finish, here are 3 things I’ve learned from my time at Blackfen:
1. Children LOVE learning:
The default status of children is that they love learning. So if your students are not loving what they are doing with you then something is wrong – change it! Last week I asked my students to write down 3 words that best describe their Power Up! lessons and this is what they told me – the size of the words reflect the amounts of times students used them:
2. Get Real:
Probably the biggest thing I’ve learned (or re-learned) is how important it is to make learning real – learning that has a real purpose, a real audience and a real outcome. Not dress rehearsal learning, but live performance learning. What do I mean by that? Just have a look at this video.
3. If you teach in a girls school… learn to love Justin Bieber!
Some of you asked me to put this film on YouTube so you could play it for your students at school. I’m afraid it’s a little out of date now, but it might still work as a good introduction next year… or a little inspiration for you to make your own version! You can click here to view it on YouTube.
For the past few years we’ve run a project called Blackfen’s Got Talent, in which students choose something they are NOT talented at, and learn to become talented at it.
We’ve recently run a new project, which is the mirror image of Blackfen’s Got Talent – it’s called YouTeach. In this project, students choose something they are already good at, and make a video tutorial to teach other students.
The video above is self-explanatory, and the video below is an example of one group of the students’ YouTeach video.
This week Blackfen School for Girls hosted its very own TEDx event on the theme of, ‘What’s the biggest problem in the world… and how can we solve it?’ I think the video speaks for itself.
TEDx events are independently organised TED Talks. Anyone can apply to organise one, and there is a special category for youth events – click HERE to find out more.
This is a great way to engage young people in the big issues of the world, develop their public speaking skills and organise a high profile event which boosts your department within the school community, and your school within the community.
Below I have attached our lesson plans for the project. If you’re interested, get in touch and I can send more details and resources. Here’s the launch video we made for the project.
A few months ago I was invited to take part in a global audition to speak at the TED 2013. TED Talks are an international series of presentations on, ‘ideas worth spreading’. I hope you find my talk interesting.
Now for the favour! Obviously to stand any chance of being chosen to speak at TED 2013, I need people to rate my talk on content and delivery. To do this you have to click HERE, then register with TED. This does take a couple of minutes, but I hope you’re willing to make the effort as a little ‘thank you’ for the effort I’ve made with this blog!
By the way, look out for an up-coming post, in which we’ll be showcasing our very own TED event, which we have held at Blackfen School – TEDxYouth@Blackfen.