Total Education Blog

Why Are Our Schools Not Places of Joy?

Thursday, May 05, 2016

The APN press recently ran an article by Dr Ali Black, a lecturer in early childhood teacher education at the University of the Sunshine Coast.

The article was titled ‘Is Curriculum Pressure Killing Student’s Joy?’.  In it Dr Black reflects on her experience of her daughter not wanting to return to school because of a general lack of joy in the classroom.

She says that “instead of her love of learning being fostered, it is being suffocated by the prefabricated, exhaustively scripted and overly assessed C2C and ACARA lessons” and complains of  “teachers who are grumpy and unnecessarily gruff, of being subjected to never-ending assessment and testing, of daily death by PowerPoint”.

While Dr Black pulls all the negatives together in order to make a statement, she makes a valid point about the data driven world of education today and its negative impact on children, teachers and learning.

Fortunately at The School of Total Education we have a strong philosophy of creating an environment which fosters of a love of learning.  We can do this through such features as a low student teacher ratio, an emphasis on cooperation rather than competition and a focus on teaching through the children’s interests.

We teach the Australian Curriculum but in a way which is engaging and interesting.  We participate in NAPLAN but don’t see it as a judgement of a child’s worth.  And our senior students’ results are among the best in the State.

If a child is happy and can relax at school they will learn very quickly.  That is why choosing teachers who can practise values such as patience, tolerance and kindness is so important. 

Our students have the opportunity to find an area of interest and pursue it, often leading to an attitude of dedication and excellence which transfers to their other subjects. 

We have consistently found that this approach helps young people develop into young men and women who can think for themselves and have confidence in their capabilities.  Strengths that set them up well for their working life.

Click here to see Dr Black’s article.

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