Hopefully the debate on the education system/school will take off in winter. More than ever reality intrudes. Homework is perhaps the most stupid rest of the old school who should be the easiest thing to get rid of. Support the cause!
The own will is deciding
The word “Homework” itself does not feel right it’s duty, it’s control, it’s a tone of seriousness. Try it yourself and give your child (or your neighbours if you don’t have one of your own) homework to build LEGO. And then let him/her know there will be an inspection to see if all pieces are right and so on. Force the child to play with the homework while you eat ice cream or something. Set requirements on the playing and tells the child that the playing should contain people, some mission and a happy ending.
After a number if homeworks and tests (learn to remember the “manual”) you pass on a grade of how good the child is on building LEGO.
This is an extremely effective method destroy the happiness in something that is so genuinely fun.
I freak out – control, lack of knowledge of human nature, lack of trust and an absolute assumption of that one has to force children to learn and also force them to learn from a specific template – the template for ALL in the interests of justice. Everyone should have the same education so that the conditions in the public school are fair.
Interest and commitment
Another important aspect is interest and commitment around what you are supposed to learn. My oldest son has an intense interest of things (just like me) that is he becomes very into different things and focuses and investigates these things until enough is explored. Then it’s time for the next thing..
Translated into the world of schools this means that when he sits with math, that is fun, in 40 minutes he has to break this activity because it’s decided so in the plan.
Then we have calculated that the lesson has become boring so we have to change subject.
But it doesn’t have to be that way – as a matter of fact the next lesson becomes boring when another subject is in the plan – he has to suffer through 40 minutes when he’d rather finish the math or play table tennis. And then when the school bells ring then he becomes happy, he gets out of the class-room finally and gets break – and another nail in the learning coffin.
This switching between subjects not related I thought was the worst in school. No one had time to discuss properly. Everything was on a superficial level, learning without thinking – the deep useful had to cultivate itself – I read books, that was what I thought was the most fun. Moreover, it was never someone / something that managed to engage me in school so that I would have to make an effort. My interest was to get away with things as easy as possible – teasing everyone else was possibly the main subject. Homework could be done on the bus to school or you’d simply take a chance – the test was the important grade-setting tasks. No question that the purpose was to create a channel to the parents – yes, by the way, if you have not done homework, there was a reason for the school to bark at both student and parents simultaneously.
If the will is present enthusiasm and interest is created – the interest and commitment is creating own will .. yes, something like that. If desire is thwarted it dies after a while, I died there for a while ..
School is in the competition
The school isn’t the center of the universe anymore. Certainly students are there physically all day, but mentally you find yourself (on now am I not talking about those who think the school is excellent in its current form) all the time in other places – either playing computer games, or doing some sport or activity, or the usual focus on a certain girl / boy. Competition is fierce and it is not good enough to just sit and listen. To create enthusiasm and interest interaction is important – in a class, it is actually British parliamentary levels of sound (if everyone was on) the is the norm but because there is rules of silence it becomes a time to turn off the senses. If you are connected in a game, full interaction is the case – much like when being on a pub for some older students. To unwind, be numb and just listen to any lectures on China’s mountain types or the substances found in a person’s palate is not interesting if you compare. So even if you are a top-grader there is an opportunity to do so much more. For school to be the most fun place you have to compete with the most fun in their spare time – the school needs to learn what leisure time consist of what the children / young people enjoy doing from their perspective.
-But we are adults who are responsible and you can not really have fun all of the time!
Yes, you can actually. Interaction, commitment, interest and pleasure can actually be found and created if you allow it. A simple trick is to solving boring tasks together.. So, should you necessarily want the students to learn Chinese moutain types, you need to use other tricks than a pulpit, a classroom, a book and a test.
Connection to the meaning, context and interaction
Maybe it’s age or the Internet or all the choices we have in the future, or our everyone’s (almost) recognition of the fact that our small planet that we live on out in the cosmos is fragile and the only home we’ve ever known. There is always a larger context that we can feel secure with and we can lean on. Or is it somehow a compulsion. Compulsion (eg being forced to do a lesson you are not interested in) creates uneasiness today – so it was in the past also but then you could find comfort in the fact that the adults definately always knew better.
Now adults don’t know anything – they have currently zero track of what applies on the internet, in the gaming world, the music world, in terms of humor, etc. They know nothing – they are good at cooking, working, washing, cleaning and so but the important thing – Internet? They’re clueless. Moreover, they are so incredibly slow, they never get it and they simply do not understand.
In the past, the parents, the church, the teacher or village was the larger context. Today it could be the planet, but usually it’s the Internet or Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber or Zlatan Ibrahimovic. Because the Internet is so vast and complex we end up in confusion mode – we do not see the big picture of life for all the details. Everything is just a long list of to do things that are dead boring so we shut off. A single long futile wait, a pointless wandering in the journey toward the certain death .. or the school’s end and life then.
This, I have probably seen 14 times now:
The context, the meaning of life and personal development is something that can not be delivered on plates – it must be created. The interaction with life, with friends, with the adult world, with the globalized planet needs to be grown and nourished. Breeding grounds must be in school and from there need seeds to grow freely – not under constant surveillance, measurement and machine-like control, but through encouragement, kindness and by being very security that can show the context (outside and in the future) for example by sending out students to make assessments of the community can discuss issues and find out the facts.
Trust cannot be built these days or in the future by grades from school or a doctor’s hat -the future requires social skills and social networks – the old education paradigms are obsolete.
Should the mountain types of China be on the agenda it will needa a challenge and the question should be: “- How do you climb Mount Everest?” Should you necessarily teach about the human palate, you might want to connect it to the organic decomposition, biogas, dental care, the economy, or cooking (why are some pizzas tastier than others?).
It is found in all human activities, something everyone (actually) longs for – the feeling of being part of a larger context, a family, a group, a team, a neighborhood, a city, etc.. and then everyone appretiates a good challenge, wants to do the effort and work hard and then of course win! In school, everyone should be allowed to be a winner.
In games and play we can allow ourselves to shine
In the game of school , everyone would be able to win if only will, commitment and total interaction existed from all parties, but this requires the consensus of each role’s equal worth. We all need to reprogram our minds and start caring about each other, the future, and not least our own ambitions that died there some time in school – dreams are to be realized! Not that I want to be too cute, but the world has never been smaller and the opportunities have never been fewer. Try it – failure is probably second best way to learn – eventually you’ll find the right idea, the right formation and the right conditions for the dream to become reality. And if you can not be Zlatan Ibrahimovic you can always run Plan B and find the joy in having done the utmost and still be happy.
School have homework to do
When will the school do the homework and get out of old habits, ingrained behaviors and locked structures? There are many out there who really want to change and be changed but “the system is as it is.” Many students and former students express powerlessness and hopelessness – that gives energy to the occupy movement.
And if you do not want or dare to embrace the new era – who has trained you through all the years, so you ended up in this state? Would you have needed another type of training? Creativity? Innovation? Entrepreneurship? Self awareness? Cooperation? Mindfulness? Yoga? Artistery? Courage? Do you feel that you never got the chance? Or did you get a chance in 14 years but never knew even that you had the chance?