On Education, testing not required…
…or even relevant.
The links provided will offer a view into what system changes are succeeding elsewhere. The video below says it all.
Let’s get out of their way, stop lecturing and test less. Let’s motivate and challenge our young people to show us what they can do!
In Ireland, both in the Republic and in Northern Ireland we accept the unacceptable, which looks like:
- stressed students overwhelmed by testing
- under-utilized teacher talent constrained by rigid curricula & curriculum overload
- curricula and methods at odds with the needs of 21st century workplaces
- sectarian schools doing little to advance the active citizenship and future leadership required to thrive in an increasingly diverse Ireland
- inadequate access to neighborhood schools, particularly in the Republic of Ireland where lack of a baptismal certificate is an obstacle to entrance into a state supported school
What needs to change?
Noted education expert Sir Ken Robinson has written and spoken extensively on the subject. Changing Education Paradigms is an excellent summary of the issues at hand.
In Ireland, I invite you to follow the work of ChangED a new think tank focused on challenging us all to drive reforms in education across the island.
You can follow their work on Twitter @IRLChangED and watch for their position papers to be published this fall. The papers will address:
- Mental Health in Education
- School Admissions
- Technology in Education
You can help:
Follow the good news stories, and when a school or a group distinguishes itself, please bring it everyone’s attention. People fear change and nothing alleviates that fear like the success stories.
Like this one:
In Dublin at Donabate Portrane Educate Together, they’re Teaching Empathy, Leadership & Confidence. It is one of 12 Changemaker schools designated by Ashoka Ireland, an international network of social entrepreneurs.
It is when we demand this kind of innovation in education at every school in all levels that it will happen. Empower teachers, principals and parents by getting involved.
There is a wealth of information out there about innovative programs from around the world.
- Ireland’s Tech leaders are saying that we must remove obstacles to innovation and creativity.
- A Harvard University study asked: What common characteristic or trait is seen in successful individuals? Why aren’t we teaching this – at home and in school? Apparently it’s self control and it can be taught.
- This playlist of TED Talks reflects the discussions that are taking place worldwide.
I will close with a summary statement of the goals of ChangED and suggest that it be a goal every citizen embraces.
ChangED aims to ensure that education in Ireland has equality of opportunity, excellence in teaching and learning, accountability, sustainability, a global outlook, wellbeing, resilience and an appreciation of the richness of different cultures and languages as its hallmarks.