Mark Gillett

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In reply to Kes – Current education is not for education

with 2 comments

Current education is not creative....

Thanks, Kes, for your direction to this article on creativity in response to my article on Performance….

Two things stand out to me…. Teachers  and America.

Firstly I believe teachers themselves have had all their creativity stifled because they have to adhere to strict guidelines on what is taught and how. This is not creative in anyway and makes teachers merely agents for passing (or selling in the case of private schools) on the information that is set for children to learn in order for them to gain their GCSE’s or A levels. This in turn is used by Government as a measure of its education system but has little to with the actual intellect or beneficial outcome of the student. No Government for the last 25 years has had any decline in exam pass rates so much so that they are now looking at downgrading (devaluing like currency) the exams.

In my opinion, much of our education system right now is designed for baby sitting reasons… The longer kids are in school, the longer the parents can work and the more productive the country becomes. The social ramifications seem to be ignored, however, and we se more divorce than ever, more child depression and a lot of drug and alcohol abuse..  Not a great trade off in my view.

I have witnessed in sport the benefit of academies that only have classroom time for around 5 hours a day, they play sport from 1 – 6pm then recover and rest. In contrast, our kids are in school till 5, get 2 hours minimum homework and then play sport. By 9pm they are wasted and by 17 they are vegetables! The academy kids come out with an equal and often a better education and a life! So, it is not the hours in the classroom that count but more the quality of work and ability to free the mind of relentless study that does not work. In fact, if you add up the time a child spends in productive learning in a full school day it rarely adds up to more than 4-5 hours. The rest of time is wasted with breaks, registration and moving between class. All the things sporting academies cut out.

If we lived in a true democracy, education would be an open book or blank page. We would likely have some exciting schools opening and a wide choice for parents and kids to make. We want to be educated so it would not fail. You would have a choice as a family to choose the method of your childs education and teachers and schools would be freer to be more creative and really get down to teaching, educating. Academies might set up everywhere, schools would vary in methods and our population would be far freer and more diverse.

Guidelines are of course important and it is a Government’s duty to provide an education system in return for the taxes paid and I suppose there has to be a measure of someones ability for the job market but surely the qualification these days means very little other than the fact they could pass an exam, may of which have been spoon fed so the system looks good.. It does not say much about the character, the creativeness, the willingness to learn, the intellect, whether or not they are likely to be an office bully. It says little other then “2.1 degree”.  When I read a CV, I look at far more than the qualification….

The real learning only begins when your mind is mature enough – at Uni. Being a lawyer or doctor would not be anymore difficult if you spend your early years playing sport, creative studies, arts and a bit more freedom as well as a few core subjects. In fact our legal system (which is a whole other topic!) would benefit from the creative minds that will re write some of our antiquated and ridiculous laws.

Then there is America…  Well, where do I start? I think the least creative and free thinking people in the world today and that from supposedly the leading democracy in the world? Just go sit in any parking lot outside a supermarket and watch. Its like watching Sim City… All the cars drive at the same speed, all stop at the white line, people all walk at the same speed, everyone says have a nice day, and and and and and ……..

Not much more I can say on that…

Written by markgillett

January 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Posted in Coaching, Life, News

Tagged with , , , ,

2 Responses

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  1. mark,

    I hate “me too” posts, however, I agree with your views. The desperation for measurement to drive improvement, rather than looking at the input has distorted so much, this can also happen in business.

    I never had any experience of a sports academy, however, as a child I went to school in saudi, our school day ran from 8am to 1pm, we crammed it all in with hardly any breaks and then got out and played, I swam 3 hours a day. It was a great life and a huge shock when i came back to the UK, I could never understand how the school day would drag out and then we’d try and grab 45mins of sport in the dark at the end of the day.


    February 2, 2011 at 3:41 pm

  2. Very interesting Mark.
    As the world increases in population and the ‘qualifications’ of old become evermore commonplace, we constantly seek for new ways to stand out from the crowd.
    It used to be that Universities didn’t give degrees, just going there was enough of a sign of advanced study and intellect. Then when everyone started attending a University, and higher education became more accessible, there had to be some other means of distinguishing and ranking people – hence the current grading system where everyone seems to strive for the 2.1. What next? It seems the only way we are heading is that you now need a post-grad degree, and then what? As a teacher in the states, I’m currently enrolled in a Masters program that’s nothing short of a joke but essential for me to be certified. We’ve spent 2 weeks looking at Mean, Median, and Mode – and this is a level of learning that’s meant to be beyond College! It does seem that instead of getting more difficult and pushing a scholar further, increasingly higher levels of learning just dumb down the rungs below.
    I will say this though, having taught in the U.S. system for a couple of years where there are no national standards – nothing like GCSEs or A-Levels. We graduate kids from my high school, technically one of the worst in the country, with incredible grades, but they won’t get a look in at more prestigious institutions because of the school they came from, because the grades are arbitrarily assigned by teachers in a school that a University would never trust and would merely assume has low standards. Unless we create a means by which there is a fair playing field for all our students – and I think the standardized programs in the UK are an imperfect but effective means of doing this – education will never be the great equalizer that it should be.
    But the cons to the standardization process, as you mention, are that people get so sucked into being the best at the measure that everyone will be judged against, that they forget about building the rest of the human character – which can only come from time experiencing realms of life outside of the study books.
    It’s tricky, so maybe the onus is not on the school systems or the governments, but on employers and admissions Deans. Maybe we need them to say, far more vocally, that just grades and exam scores won’t cut it anymore. Redefine what ‘successful’ looks like in an applicant and challenge our education institutions to meet those demands.

    Jordan Wilson

    February 19, 2011 at 5:48 pm

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