Thursday, 23 March 2017
Challenging Our Education System
Tonight I attended the Teach First screening of the documentary Most Likely To Succeed. The film explores our education system today, questioning why we still have subject silos, why we still have bells between periods, and why we are still running school much the same way we did 124 years ago. Some questions I have never thought about before, and really struggle to answer. Why are we still so much the same?!
MLTS demonstrates the possibilities we have in education through the lens of High Tech High, a secondary school in California, who are running things differently to what we have known for 124 years. High Tech High base learning around projects students create and then share at the end of a time period (e.g. term). Classes are based around learning content through invention and creativity, with a large focus on the development of soft skills including collaboration, determination and leadership, rather than learning purely absorbing and regurgitating information. I feel this is something many schools are guilty of, still.
I am trying to include opportunities for students to be creative, like the Junior's Hāuora PowToons, or my Year 11s Stressor Trees, but still have a long way to go! I can't wait to feel more confident in my own feet, and be able to include many more opportunities for students to be creative, and take away the focus of content and assessment. If I wasn't completing a dissertation this year, and teaching on my own for the first time, I would love to include some time for my Seniors to create projects like at High Tech High, investigating and creating something that they are passionate about. This is something I am interested in for future years, also similar to Hobsonville Point Secondary School's amazing projects.
The documentary reminded me why I became a teacher - I did not enjoy school because I felt I was regurgitating information. I felt like I didn't have time to explore, create and have fun, that learning was for assessment and not for learning's sake. I am inspired to make some small changes in my practice, keeping at the back of my mind that learning is NOT for assessment.
Here is the trailer for Most Likely to Succeed, which I would recommend anyone to watch, even if you aren't in education!