We have a dreaming problem.
Dreamers are dangerous. Dreamers can be impatient, unwilling to fit in. Dreamers are a nightmare for our current education system, a system that wants everyone to do the same thing. To conform, en masse. This doesn’t work for the dreamer.
A school’s function is to create the workers we need to fuel our economy, therefore we need to change the whole education system, because the workers we require now have changed. The mission used to be to create homogenized, obedient, satisfied workers. This is no longer the case.
Times have changed but our education system hasn’t. We must give our talented teachers the freedom to help your kids believe in the beauty of their dreams.
The government judge our schools on their GCSE pass rate. Forget the content of your child’s character, can they remember what they’ve been drilled on? We have been seduced into believing that this is the right way. We shouldn’t be buying this.
As well as academics, we can teach people to make commitments, to overcome fear, to deal transparently, to initiate, and to chase a dream. We can teach people to desire lifelong learning, to express themselves, and to innovate.
We can also unteach bravery, creativity and initiative all because we haven’t got time to harness these qualities as ‘WE MUST PASS THE TEST.’
Constant drilling to conform, dilutes our natural creative ability. The government (maybe even teachers themselves) will say “we do encourage creativity”. Maybe, but only within the parameters that suit the system. To enjoy true creativity, the shackles must be off. Totally off. No rules.
The subliminal message of our current system that our children are learning is heartbreaking.
When I’m invited to speak to teenagers at a school one of my first ‘go to’ topics is always their dreams. What do they want to become?
I asked a school in Ashton, Lancashire, the following question.
“When you leave school, which of the following jobs would you most like to have?”
The boss of a major company
In the military
The Prime Minister
A Head Teacher
The personal assistant to a famous singer
Among girls, 9.5 percent chose “the chief of a major company”; 9.8 percent chose “in the military”; 13.6 percent chose “The Prime Minister”; 23.7 percent chose “A Head Teacher”; and 43.4 percent chose “the personal assistant to a very famous singer.”
They were happy to be the assistant of someone who lived the dream!
Is this the best we can do? Have we created a twelve year schooling cycle to take our best and brightest and snuff out their dreams? Is the product of our massive schooling industry an endless legion of robotic assistants?
Dream snuffing has to end.