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Rethinking Education

A group for anyone who wants to help us develop an NTW approach to education.

Members: 129
Latest Activity: on Friday

Our Manifesto

To act as a catalyst in creating new networks to stimulate debate across arts, education and beyond

To provide a forum to discuss education in a language that encourages fresh and innovative ideas

To develop leaders and advocates from a range of backgrounds, working throughout the whole education system

To focus on creating long-term solutions to the problems of the formal education system

To encourage cross-curricular dialogue to promote the benefits of the arts at all stages of the educational experience

Come join us.

Discussion Forum

Sharing - Rethinking Education for the 21st Century 1 Reply

http://shar.es/131gVNNesta posted this on twitter this morning. It is an article written by Naveen Jain called School's Out For Summer. It was originally posted…Continue

Started by Jain Boon. Last reply by 4elements1 (Konstantinos Davris) May 31, 2015.

Going forward

What if there is a way to take any discussion group to impact the future, involve the group and conversation , by discussion, attitude, interaction be it voice visual impact, more engagement allows…Continue

Started by Gary Morris Feb 27, 2015.

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Comment by Christina Handke on October 15, 2014 at 12:53



Okay, so I have been reading the comments on here and I haven't been able to stop thinking about David Foster Wallace's speech "This is water." There are two paragraphs that remind me of this topic very much and they are:



That is real freedom. That is being educated, and understanding how to think. The alternative is unconsciousness, the default setting, the rat race, the constant gnawing sense of having had, and lost, some infinite thing.


It is about the real value of a real education, which has almost nothing to do with knowledge, and everything to do with simple awareness; awareness of what is so real and essential, so hidden in plain sight all around us, all the time, that we have to keep reminding ourselves over and over: "This is water.This is water." It is unimaginably hard to do this, to stay conscious and alive in the adult world day in and day out. Which means yet another grand cliché turns out to be true: your education really IS the job of a lifetime. And it commences: now

If you want to, you can find the whole speech here. 
I understand that these ideas are rather abstract and that they don't answer the "how" at all. But they do summarise in more beautiful and wise word than the ones I could ever use, what I believe about education. I believe that education should be about giving children the tools to live. The tools to acquire knowledge, to believe in yourself, to form and sustain relationships, to not only build a personal system of values and morals but to live it and to stand up for it. I think that way children will be able to grow into mündige (is the right English word here 'mature'? Or 'responsible'?) adults, who know who they are and want to be and what they can do.

Having worked in a school I see a system that treats children not as perfect children but as imperfect adults. A system that polishes them into whatever the curriculum and the people behind it consider as appropriate. It teaches them that there is a right and a wrong in this world and that it is universally true for everyone. It punishes them for making mistakes, rather then teaching them the value of it.
It doesn't teach them how to think, how to make decisions, how to believe in things, it rather needs the children to conform because only then the every day life and schedule of school works. It pushes them into a box until they all kind of behave the similarly and think similarly . It doesn't celebrate every child for who it is and the flawed adults it will become. 



I remember sitting in a lecture at University once and the lecturer asked a question and no one said anything and he just looked at us and said:" What happened to you? If I ask a question in primary school, all hands go up, everyone is so excited and here nothing. Somewhere along the line between primary school and now someone must have taught you that not participating at all is better than giving a wrong answer." I spend so much of my time unlearning what I had been taught in school. That's not to say that I don't appreciate all the things I learned there, it's just that I feel that they are not educating the whole child, the whole person, with all their abilities and I'll say it again" flaws" because I believe in flaws very much. 



Comment by David Evans on October 14, 2014 at 16:27

My education is one of the things that gives me my identity - it makes me interested in things.  I was lucky, up until I was 13 I was regarded as troublesome and stupid, then a teacher took a bit more interest in me and I flourished under that attention.   So much in education is about the teachers, yet teachers say they find the system so report and paper based that they are drowning under admin and loosing children.  

My limited knowledge of the system is that it is in a state of constant flux, just when a school gets to grips with one system the government changes the priorities and they have to restructure everything - how can children flourish and teachers teach under such circumstances?   

Education should be removed from political control, if educationists were to run education our children might stand a chance. 

Comment by Gavin Porter on October 14, 2014 at 16:21

Comment by Gavin Porter on October 14, 2014 at 16:13

http://chrisemdin.com/ 

You can also check #hiphoped on twitter - There is a twitter debate every Tuesday at 9PM EST

Comment by Gavin Porter on October 14, 2014 at 16:10
Comment by Ahmed I Hassan on October 14, 2014 at 15:55
A way forward for me would be an all inclusive approach. Children who are misunderstood are deprived when it comes to doing artistic things ect getting a main role in a school play or a school assembly. Yet I see them as some of the most talented children when it comes to speaking in front of a crowd. I'm not saying that the children who are always well behaved should miss out. What I am saying is the ship needs to be balanced. I think schools need to get the most out of children. They can do this by simply observing and then acting upon it. If a child is constantly joking about it doesn't mean that he's naughty. He's probably craving for attention and wanting to feel a part of something. So why not make that child a part of the school.
Comment by Devinda De Silva on October 13, 2014 at 15:07

Thanks Merel and Dan, some interesting thoughts.

I think it might be useful to let you know what our starting point was. Have a look at a report by Dai Smith, you can download it from here. Its worth a read, one of its main principals is that 'creativity' becomes a core part of the curriculum, which might go some way to addressing both your points. We're hoping that we can mix this kind of thinking with the work that NTW does, to develop our own approach to education.

As far as leadership goes, i agree, all good leaders should teach people to lead themselves, or at least see their own potential. Its a style that we've always promoted through TEAM and other strands of NTW.

Comment by Dan Lloyd (Flameholder) on October 9, 2014 at 15:36

Merel's comment intrigues me a lot. My opinion is education in general should be open source, like the way it is in the way we use the internet today. In the last six years I've learned so much about the way the world works through the free flow of information on the internet, the way you educate yourself using it is so intuitive - you get curious about something and you find the answer, it's that simple. It's the antidote to rote learning, which I think drains much more than it inspires.

Ultimately, we just need to educate ourselves when necessary. Do we need to rethink education? We already have education. What I think this subject is alluding to is the problems in traditional education which, once again, are compounded by the thankless task of trying to operate within capitalism. The kind of education that seeks to produce a person to perform a job in the economy (actually an anti-economy) rather than to produce critical free thinkers.

I'm wary of the use of the word leaders too, if someone thinks of themselves as a leader I think the first thing they should be doing is stripping themselves of the title by teaching other people to lead themselves. But not to get into disagreements too much, I think the answer to educational progress while we still have internet freedom is to protect the spirit of its open source educational model. I've seen countless times how it works like a dream, because it enables open cross-communication and when people can really freely talk things out with no time constraints I think the solutions we seek are always found.

Comment by Merel Prescott on October 9, 2014 at 11:45

As a qualified teacher and mother of 3, one of whom I chose to home educate from age 11, I can only say our education system is rotten to the core.  It teaches children to not be able to think for themselves.  I'm really glad you're doing this and would love to have an input :)

 

Comment by Devinda De Silva on October 6, 2014 at 15:07

The manifesto came from our first meeting in September where a group of us got together for an afternoon in NTW HQ. 

There'll be more meetings, but if you have any thoughts feel free to comment.

 

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