Read something funny for Christmas; pop over to this article in the Guardian and have a laugh!
It’s a light-hearted look at what Ofsted could do to Christmas. It’ll be familiar to many teachers! The comments are enlightening too!
Light-hearted it may be, but it certainly makes you look at the way in which we measure every scrap of our children’s education and through such nit-picking are in danger of ruining it.
None of this kind of superficial box-ticking happens when you home educate, as much as the government is trying to enforce it. But home educators are fighting for the right to the educational freedom it offers, free from the omens of Ofsted.
Because it is exactly that freedom which makes home education so successful for most families; the freedom to use approaches that suit the child’s learning needs whatever they are and whenever they arise; to avoid the stresses from over-assessment; to maintain an inspirational learning climate by avoiding prescriptive objectives and a stultifying curriculum; and the freedom to take their learning out into the world and enjoy the multitude of learning experiences it has to offer.
Home education engages children with the real world, creating opportunities for them to learn and develop and acquire the skills needed to live in it. Whereas the system educates for the school/academic world and requires the child’s learning to conform to its structure and restrictions.
Freedom in education may be a concept that many parents find too intangible to even contemplate. How can children learn without structure and without measurement?
Yet they do. (A brief article on how here) The thousands of home educated children now growing up and moving into higher education or work are living proof. Living proof that educating without constant measurement and structured assessment can work just as well as a systemised schooling and Ofsted.
We want schools to do the best for our children and inevitably some assessment process is needed to achieve that. But the dire and in many cases inappropriate nit-picking that Ofsted has devised to do so does more damage than good.
The kind of measurement described in the article would clearly ruin Christmas. Sadly it’s doing the same to education.