Rethinking secondary education. Imagine a school…

 

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Imagine a school where, alongside the traditional range of subject disciplines, students are able to choose from a range of short, optional courses in topics such as those suggested in my last post, at a range of levels (introductory, intermediate, advanced and self-managed, say).

Imagine a school where, every summer term, there is an open day where these courses are explained and pitched to students and their parents/carers. Where each family sits down with a dedicated personal tutor to arrive at an informed decision as to what courses the student will take in the coming year, and at what level.

Imagine a school where students are grouped together in classes because they share an interest and/or an aptitude for a subject, rather than because they happen to have been born in the same year.

Imagine a school where each subject has assessments available at a different grade, like piano grades or karate belts. Where all grades are recognised as an achievement, rather than exams being used as a mandatory filter for ranking students along a scale from success to failure.

Imagine a school where students take assessments if and when they feel ready to do so, instead of sitting exams in all their subjects in the space of a month at age 16.

Richard Buckminster-Fuller once said “You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.” The only thing I can’t imagine is why we haven’t built this model already. It really wouldn’t be very difficult to do.

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