Doug Belshaw’s 10 ‘Home Truths’ about Schooling and Education

Education blogger Doug Belshaw posits his musings about schooling and education, at least in the traditional systems:

1. For there to be ‘good’ parents there must be ‘bad’ parents. The same is true of teachers.
2. It is almost impossible to effect a fundamental change in worldview in an individual whom you see as part of a class of ~30 for less than an hour per week.
3. To learn how to ride a bicycle you have to take the stabilisers off at some point. In the same way, Internet safety cannot be taught effectively in an artificially closed, filtered, environment.
4. More content ? more achievement.
5. Being good at passing examinations does not mean an individual will be of benefit of society or ‘flourish’ (in an Aristotelian sense)
6. Technology often serves to magnify talents and, moreover, weaknesses in pedagogy.
7. If some pilots knew the same about flying as some teachers know about ‘real’ teaching, the aircraft would never get to its destination.
8. It may be a cliché to cite time-motion studies that show that the majority of time in school, children are waiting for something to happen. This does not mean, however, that the situation has been rectified.
9. If the school is a business, then each department should know how the others fit into corporate aims and philosophies. If it is not, and is child-centred, it needs to have a holistic approach. Either way, most schools need to improve communication between subject areas.
10. One of the chief functions of schools in the 21st century is to babysit children for ever-increasing periods of time (think: extended schools).

#5 is especially noteworthy, at least for Malaysian attitudes.

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