Through the mystery of Twitter I engaged in an interesting conversation with Daniel Edwards aka @syded06, who asked the question, “Why do educators sometimes seem at odds with colleagues when they all want the same thing – the best for their students?” This was to no one in particular but I responded.
As a consequence of our short twitter chat Daniel pointed me in the direction of a blog written by John Tomsett, a Headteacher in York, which is well worth reading. You might also want to follow him on Twitter at @johntomsett.
I, in turn, pointed Daniel to a book that inspired me as a Headteacher. It’s called, ‘The Big Picture – Education Is Everyone’s Business’ by Dennis Littky. Early on in the book he talks about the ‘Real Goals of Education’ – these describe how he would like his students to be once they have left his school. He wants them to:
- be lifelong learners
- be passionate
- be ready to take risks
- be able to problem-solve and think critically
- be able to look at things differently
- to be able to work independently and with others
- be creative
- care and want to give back to their community
- have integrity and self-respect
- have moral courage
- be able to use the world around them well
- speak well, write well, read well and work well with numbers
- truly enjoy their life and their work
A great list – but how many of these worthwhile attributes can we measure in a standardised test? Thankfully very few. How many of them would we, as educators and parents want our children to acquire? Hopefully all of them.
What are your ‘real’ educational goals?