Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Michael Gove in fiery debate with caller over Baccalaureate

Interview on the BBC.
I have to say it was rather amusing when Gove claimed to not interupt people and then a minute or so later did it himself and had this pointed out to him.

This caller has been added to my list of personal heroes right next to Sir Ken, it was great to hear someone without any obviously noticable interest in HE be so passionate about learning.


It was saddening to listen to this as this person claims to be an educational guru (as per his twitter account)yet has absolutely no idea about learning.
Just to be clear about the difference between the two:

Educating as defined by webster

transitive verb
a : to provide schooling for b : to train by formal instruction and supervised practice especially in a skill, trade, or profession
a : to develop mentally, morally, or aesthetically especially by instruction b : to provide with information : inform
: to persuade or condition to feel, believe, or act in a desired way
intransitive verb
: to educate a person or thing

The definition of learning as defined by webster

Definition of LEARNING
: the act or experience of one that learns
: knowledge or skill acquired by instruction or study
: modification of a behavioral tendency by experience (as exposure to conditioning)

Now Mr. gove in the interview claims that people learn because of the national curriculum. I would love to know how the (British for that matter) National curriculum ensured that I am the polyglot that I am today? Seriously I dropped all languages as soon as I could in school because the way they where forced onto me was boring as could be. Yet here I am fluent in more languages than the average Dutch person.
I would also like to know what the National Curriculum did for hubby? He stopped with his education took on a mindless job and then found his passion and became one of the best in his field. He has been to more countries doing his job than he could ever imagine he would when he was stuck in a school that  could not go with his interests because they where stuck with the National Curriculum.

And what does the National curriculum do for all those kids that have different learning needs? be it the so called "gifted" children or those with the lovely named "learning difficulties"? Not much as far as I can see from the growing numbers of people who keep these kids at home and come to HE lists to complain about the horrendousness that was school. And a lot of these schools score high on all those crappy tables, schools that those middle class families with their shiny 4x4's fight over.

I think Mr. Gove needs to wake up and see real learning take place. real life long learning takes places when the person involved is passionate about the subject, has a love for what they are doing. Real life long learning happens very little in a school building. I have found that cramming happens in school buildings, learning for testing and sometimes when you are lucky and you have a teacher who know how to bring a subject to you in a way that makes your heart sing even if it isn't your favourite subject or even if you don't really enjoy it then real learning might take place.

Next time I see a shooting star I will wish for a learning minister (not education!) who understands learning, who will not look to a girl who was abused and killed as a way to put limits on home educators, who will get rid of tables and websites and whatnots telling people which schools are "good", who will instead work to enable children to become the best they can be doing a job that makes them truly happy. Doesn't matter if this job means being a binman or a doctor because we can't do without either.

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