Monday, 21 January 2013

Kidb and Standardisation

Calling all teachers, parents and grandparents!
Do spare a few minutes to watch
this short video, I'd love hear your opinions.


Kidb from darren bartholomew on Vimeo.

10 comments:

  1. It is fascinating to imagine how the forces of standardisation would counter such a creative statement of a case. With a formula perhaps, or with an economic profit and loss account. All I know is that if Michael Gove was in one corner of the ring and that video was in the other, the fight wouldn't last a single round.

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    1. Well put, Alan. Speaking as the proverbial 'square peg', I long to see an alternative to 'sausage machine' schooling.

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  2. Watching this I felt so sad for Kidb. I was rubbish at maths at school - so bad that I was in the dunce group (as we were known). The education system should encourage and nurture kids in the subjects they're good at. As for Michael Gove - I agree with what Alan said!

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    1. I didn't 'get' maths either, Teresa. Equally, the teachers didn't 'get' that I didn't 'get' it. We still seem to be struggling to find the light switch, don't we?

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  3. It's not just Michael Gove imposing his own ideas on schools.This has been going on since the National Curriculum was first introduced. Successive teams of mandarins have dictated to teachers and not listened to what they had to say. As for depriving a troubled child of the healing powers of art in order to make her conform to a 'target', of course it makes the teachers despair, but, once again, who listens to their voices? A former colleague who was a much-loved Primary Headteacher would write an end of term letter to his staff. In one he questioned whether the Sistine Chapel would have been better painted for a set of performance indicators. He referred to Aesop's fable of 'The Wind and The Sun', where the wind tries to bend the man to his will, only to make him cling more dearly to that which is cherished, and the munificent beam of the sun coaxing him to simple acquiescence only moments later.

    Still the wind blows and Kid b gets crushed by its force, but where is warmth of the sun when she needs it?

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    1. Thank you for this, Nell. It's criminal that the likes of your much-loved Primary Headteacher are constantly swimming against the tide. I love his reference to Aesop's fable.

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  4. i love school when i was a kid. i always look forward to going to all my classes because i love learning. having a very nice and nurturing teachers might have encouraged that. even a very challenging kid would strive to be better in school if the teacher know how to inspire her and not embarrass her as what kid b had experienced.
    an education system may be put in place but a teacher should know that when dealing with students, since they differ in their learning capabilities, one should be subjective and not objective.

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    1. Odette, I have known some excellent teachers in my time, and you're absolutely right when you talk about their nurturing qualities that will inspire. One of the problems is an unhealthy obsession with standardisation, which results in the hands of even the most naturally gifted teachers, being tied.

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  5. I don’t know what the current education system advocates, my children are grown.
    Having had an education similar to the baccalaureate I can’t say that it turned out sausages.

    I think this film is a little simplistic; there must surely be more to the story than this. If the system is really as inflexible as shown here than teachers, who ought to have the best education for their students at heart, ought to rebel and tell the powers who lay down ‘guidelines’ and ‘rules’ where to get off - in a polite way, of course.

    I hated maths but had to accept it as part of the curriculum. A rounded education includes maths and art, and many other subjects.

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    1. Friko, the film offers a flavour of problems association with standardisation, that frustrate teachers up and down the country. As Nell points out in her comments, teachers just haven't been listened to by "successive teams of mandarins."

      No one would deny that a grasp of maths is important, but perhaps we should now be looking to redefine what constitutes a 'rounded' education for the children of the 21st century.

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