Is This Really What Education Should Look Like?

From time to time, I go into schools to take or observe lessons.

It gives me an opportunity to talk with students and teachers...

To see if things are changing.

These are my reflections from yesterday...

As I sit at the front of the classroom...

Not one I've ever been in before...

I look over the 16, year 11 maths set 4, students attempting a foundation exam paper.

Outside, the sky is grey and the rain hasn't stopped for almost 2 hours...

There's a  cascade of water pouring from leaky guttering above...

It's the only thing breaking the silence.

The students keep their heads down...

Struggling through question after question that have no relevance to them or their lives.

They don't have the ability to study maths at a higher level.

Indeed, they struggle to study the content on the current curriculum...

Let alone think about studying at a higher level.

Yet, government after government insist on putting out children through this misery...

Day after day...

Week after week...

Year after year...

All in the name of 'progress' and school 'league tables'. 

Is this really what education should look like...

Feel like?

A boy at the back of the room puts his hand up to tell me, "Question 14 doesn't make sense, sir".

He was right...

It didn't.

Our conversation created a brief interlude for the students as they all decided to chip in with a comment...

Anything to break the silence.

Anything to break the monotony...

The misery.

Work resumed.

Heads down again.

Anxious looks on the faces of most of the class.

The test is hard...

Too hard.

And not much fun, either.

Is this really what education should look like...

Feel like?

Still 30 minutes to go.

Everyone's still writing, but soon there will be some who can do no more.

Soon, there will be some of them simply sitting in silence, waiting for the lesson to end.

As I sit here, I remember when I used to do this full time...

Too many lessons were like this.

Too many days were like this.

Is this really preparing these young people for life?

Real life?

It's not the school's fault.

It's not the teachers' fault.

They're all part of a system that's outdated...

A system based on exam results...

Not individual growth and development.

Not real problem solving.

Not entrepreneurship.

Definitely not entrepreneurship!

Where's the joy?

Where's the purpose?

Surely...

Somebody...

Somewhere...

Has to realise this antiquated education system has to change.

We seem to be draining the life and soul out of our children.

We seem to be quashing every ounce of individuality...

Every ounce of creativity.

It's not all like this, of course.

Just about 95% of it!

Is this really what education should look like...

Feel like?

Keith Jones

Keith Jones

Living a Life of Purpose