Who is Smik?

Tuesday, 27 July 2010

Are you part of the cyclone?

Just recently I read a novel where one of the characters is a 10 year old with Asperger syndrome. On Monday mornings he inevitably has a tummy ache and has to be persuaded with end-of-the week rewards to embark on yet another week in the local school. One night his uncle is waiting for him in a car outside the school gate and eventually the boy dawdles out, well behind the others, a picture of abject misery. The uncle reflects that for those who don't like being there, school is worse than prison.

Perhaps that reading experience might explain for you why an article I came across this morning, which I've just noted is quite dated, struck such a chord with me. In Innovation in education Geoffrey Maslen observed

Higher education is just one industry among the myriads of businesses and professions whose practises have been dramatically altered by the no-longer new technology and its awesome power to transform. Yet many schools across the nation have still to feel the earthquake that has rocked the world beyond their front gate..... Yet change is occurring in the way many schools are run and the way students are taught. In the far-sighted places, the upheaval began years ago and this will become a system-wide cyclone as the full impact of the reshaping of the world outside, driven by the electronic revolution, hits every classroom.

I think there are a couple of questions I'd like to know the answers to:

  •  In the first 3 case studies in Maslen's article, the children he talked to responded that they hated school.
    I wonder if schools ever really ask that question. What do kids really think about school? Is there any research?
  • My second question relates to whether the cyclone has yet hit, and whether it has swept you up with it. What changes would you describe as cyclonic? [I note here that Maslen wrote his article in December 2005, and so you might like to think about what has happened where you are in the last 5 years] Have we seen "cyclonic change" in pedagogy?

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