I meet a lot of parents, teachers and students. All have the same questions about school policies and they want to hear my visions about how schools can improve and how to meet the needs of the students in the best way.
People often ask me what I stand for when it comes to education and school policy and my answer is that schools should be better in finding out the students’ interests and what level of knowledge they have. Teachers and the schools should stimulate our kids to feel motivated learning more and wanting to explore things. Going to school and learning things should be fun!
Anything that prevents our children from having this kind of learning environment will create insecure citizens in the future. If we don’t give them these opportunities, we can not expect that the kids and their school results will change!
Honestly I do not know how a school based on punishments can lead to good citizens. I don’t see how politicians can believe you can get children, teenagers or even adults to develop if you oppress curiosity, the main thing for developing as an individual. Curiosity makes us want to know and learn more. Our thirst for knowledge is the ground for that we constantly are learning more and more. Killing curiosity will kill us as individuals!
While the politicians keep blaming the teachers for poor results, meaning it is a the schools’ who make our kids learn less, I would like to hold the society responsible for it. I am totally convinced that everyone can learn things. The reasons of the current situation with unmotivated pupils having problems achieving the knowledge skills according to the curricula is simply that our schools do not fit all kids.
In the political debate about the education system, politicians and the ministers of Education want to have more tests, more homework and grades from early years in school believing it will lead to a better understanding of our children and youth.
Unfortunately, media play the game of the politicians and gives us a false picture on how to overcome the problems in school. By endorsing this point of view we miss the whole problem that a large proportion of students who fail out of school really perceive school as meaningless and that they can not learn anything worthwhile in school. These kids weaken as individuals through more homework and more tests.
The reason that politicians and other decision makers who advocate greater control and more tests themselves, as a group, belong to the ones who did well in school, and therefore lack in experience and find it difficult to understand what it is like to fail in school.
Why can’t we focus less on quantity learning subjects such as English, Math and History and more on subjects that stimulates creativity? The reason that politicians do not put so much effort on the other tasks of our education systems where we should stimulate creativity, increase self-confidence and a belief in the own ability, is simply because these are qualitative knowledge and can not be measured in a quantitatively way. That is why we choose not to measure them.
But we need strong individuals. Individuals who dare to be critical and who dare to question! I want to see human beings who feel safe because they always know how to acquire knowledge about things they do not know already. People who are constantly continuing learning new things, no matter how old they get, also develop as people.
With young people, full of passion and creativity, we get more people who dare to invent new great products, who also dare to express themselves even more artistic in different ways, and people will discover things we never dreamed we could achieve.
All these things create free individuals, and these individuals will enrich their countries with knowledge. And with knowledge follows success! By creating learning situations that feel real and meaningful to the kids, their motivation for learning will increase. Showing commitment to these kids and seeing them as individuals and listen to their interests we can turn something negative into something meaningful.
School can once again become a motivational place. But first we have to get the pupils to increase their self-image by giving them the tools needed. Sometimes it may be enough that listening, sometimes it has to be done by creating a relationship with the pupils giving them time to learn and believe in themselves, saying it is possible for them as well to achieve their goals.