#ukedchat Session 93

This evening’s #ukedchat session was based around the question: ‘Should the timings of terms & the opening hours of the school day be changed?’ Inadvertently, I joined half way through after reading some very thought provoking tweets about this subject with the following thought…

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Lots of thoughts came to mind when flicking through the tweets this evening and there is a lot to think about with regards to the issue of terms and timings. Many of the issues I tossed around in my head, relate back to wider ideas and arguments and I made many connections with previous professional discussions, many of which have featured as #ukedchat topics. Below is a brief list of some of the musings that entered my head this evening. These are just initial thoughts that I will contemplate further and consider in more detail at a later stage.

  • ‘Learning’ is not something that just ‘happens’ for 6 (ish) hours a day. In fact, nor does teaching. Learning and teaching are concepts and processes that happen across many aspects of our lives, consistently, and underpin almost everything we do. Do we need to be sat down in a room with 29 other people for around 6 hours a day to learn?
  • What works for one child, might not for another and therefore is it possible within an education system to truly cater for everyone’s individual needs? A massive question with ramifications across many aspects of educational or ‘school’ processes.
  • Children teach themselves and each other outside of school. With the influx of online systems of sharing and communities, children are able to create rich ‘learning’ content themselves; it is no longer the ‘job’ of just the teacher. A few weeks ago I learnt about developing apps by watching a TED talk given by a 12 year old; learner becomes teacher. 
  • Perhaps we need to rethink ‘how’ and ‘what’ we need to ‘teach’ children. The new curriculum, when announced, will certainly be interesting. Should we have a curriculum at all? Who should decide what goes into the curriculum? Should it be negotiated with the children themselves?

As I write this and refer back to the #ukedchat stream, this popular tweet perhaps sums up one of the key issues that needs addressing:

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There are many fantastic examples of innovative and progressive teaching and learning practice happening in schools currently, that provide great models for bringing our education system in line to better serve the learners within it. Perhaps the main issue is how to make such practice wide spread and fit within a ‘national’ model of education. Perhaps, there are many other factors tied up in education systems that prevent such progression from becomming wide spread. Perhaps, some people do not want this to happen. Or, perhaps, I’m thinking too much for a Thursday night during the Easter holidays! Thoughts welcomed…

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