I believe that the paradigm from which we create the ‘new school’ needs to have its foundation set in the incredible scope and capacity of human potential. We are raising and educating human beings; not products, slaves, a workforce or anything else. Our children are first, foremost and forever Human Beings. So let us begin there.
What do we believe about being human?
What is our capacity?
What is our potential?
Are there any limitations?
There is enough evidence that blows this right out of the water. There is NO limit to our potential as human beings. Instead, time and time again we see how extraordinary human beings are. We use only a tiny portion of our brain and yet we create masterpieces. If the scope, capacity and potential is limitless then I believe that is what education should be. Being human is about the mind, body and soul. If we limit our education to the mind, we limit our children. If we guide our children only along certain paths, we limit what is possible for them.
In saying this, I believe that education must be open and full of possibility. It must be a place that is dynamic and changing, always growing. If is does that then it will dance with the lives of our children, for they are forever changing and always growing. Let’s stop limiting what, where and how our children learn. Let’s throw that away and instead open our hearts and minds, break down the walls of the ‘school’ mindset and let possibility flow in.
If we focus on the full scope and capacity of human potential we open up doors that are so often left behind lock and key. There is no limit on what our children can learn, what they can do and who they will be. Therefore, our foundation rests in that extraordinary place. That there is no limit to learning, there is no right way. There is just a playground of infinite possibility.
In considering a new, dynamic direction for education, one that supports the very nature of being human and of life, we can challenge ourselves to look beyond what is, to what could be. There are a couple of changes we can seek to make, scary I know, but maybe the changes that can ignite true and meaningful learning for our children.
- We get rid of the predetermined curriculum.
- We cease to judge, test and put our children on graphs. Their education is about them, not about us and it certainly is not about how well they achieve what we want for them. Each child leads their own learning journey, the planning and the reflection.
As I write the little voice in my head says, “but hey, those two things are education at the moment! Without them we are left with a massive hole, we are vulnerable and we stand in a place of the unknown!” While this is confronting, it is also exciting, mostly exciting, because it gives us room.
Remember there are two ways to change education
- Reformed education, improving what already exists and
- Disruptive education, creating something completely different, something new.
The change we are embarking on is Disruptive education. We are blowing things right up, creating fireworks and something new. So allow yourself to say, “ok, what if there was no predetermined curriculum and what if we stopped testing our children? What would it all look like then?”