The Small School

‘Mainstream education has utterly lost sight of the child. It was hard to maintain any joy in teaching, and the feeling that you could change the world through education was lost to the stress and anxiety of Ofsted inspections and ever growing class sizes’ Louise Hopkinson of ‘The Small School’ 

I have been involved in education as a peripatetic music teacher for over thirty years and I enjoy the work that I do going in schools and teaching music. Not only am I teaching music but I am also, for those interested enough, am teaching creative thinking through music that they can apply to other areas of their life.

There has always been a debate around education to whether it is to train someone to a do a task or for it to broaden the mind, and currently the mainstream of education is to funnel them into a skill so that that they can get a job; unfortunately it is organised (and I use this term very loosely) by the government and therefore I believe this idea to be flawed.

Historically governments have been proven to be unable to organise a piss up in a brewery and the idea that governments can make the decisions about the education of your child is equally fallacious and that goes for either side of the political spectrum.

On the right we have a bunch of misfits that did not go to a state school so they have no idea what they are doing and as for the left the ideology gets in the way. By the time the Brown administration left office there was so much legislation in the pipeline that the skilled artist and teacher would have to have spent hundreds of pounds to license themselves as independent teachers, insane!

Fortunately because of the balls up in the economy the incoming shower saw fit to dump the proposed legislation to save money.

The education system in this country is failing most of the children unless they are so intelligent they learn in spite of the regulations and stress put on teachers in this country.

If we look at the idea that education is about broadening the mind then we can equip the young to think and be creative and this is what we need for the future. Unless the political puppet masters have a crystal ball to tell us what will exist as a job in the future the ONLY thing that we can do is enable our children to think and be creative and to communicate, be that with other humans or by computer code; every other skill may fall by the wayside as obsolete.

When a child finds learning fun, which most children do before they go to school otherwise they would not have learnt to speak, they have an insatiable appetite for learning but once they go to school it can so easily be snuffed out because of the ‘experts’ knowing was is good for them.

So let us foster that love of learning and discovery and stop thinking of education based on the style of the factory. This may have suited the ruling classes in the past but because of connectivity amongst the ordinary people that will not do anymore; it is time to take our learning power back.