Tiny Dancer (08-03-2016)
Now the Kinder I went to is pre school. I'm really not a fan of the move to the constant testing particularly the standardised stuff. I would like to see the Education Dept take a huge breath and follow the Scandinavian model of starting at 7 and basically scrapping NAPLAN type assessments. IME most teachers agree with us. The problem is that have a curriculum to fulfill. Plus now days they are expected to do sex ed.... personal safety.... social and emotional learning. But I digress lol
My concern with some of these approaches that don't take a 'bit of everything' stance is what happens when they reach high school, university, employment? Unfortunately they are all geared towards performance based stats, standardisation. Kinders now days have crazy expectations placed on them and by high school the academic and behavioural demands are huge.
I'm not sure what the answer is. Honestly I think we need to completely overhaul our education system and how we define achievement and learning.
Then this creates a teach to the test environment...
So much I am nodding along in agreement to in this thread. As a prep/reception/ transition teacher, I 100% believe kids should start school nearing age 6, never at 4. The problem here is usually not the schools - its the parents pushing their 4 year olds in to school so young.
I also dont have a problem with the national curriculum. The NC contains the content to be taught, & the teacher/ school can choose to do so with whatever method they choose. In my (private) school, we were already exceeding most areas when the NC came in, we certainly didnt have to add any content.
My experience as an early childhood teacher is that play is now emphasised MORE in the classroom, not less. My entire teacher training revolved around learning through play, & play at the centre of the curriculum. I think its just used in a more efficient way than in thr past. Most kids wont need a nap at school at 6yo, but again, when we send 4 year olds to formal schooling, they will often struggle.
Montessori does provide some choice, but yes, it is limited in other ways. Children cannot choose to use a material until the previous one is mastered, for example. The can choose activites lower than their current level of mastery, but never higher.
I agree that any good school or teacher will choose parts from a range of different teaching and learning styles.
For sure BRV. I also believe naplan is just a symptom of govts (both lib and labor) placing numbered benchmarks for performance on an occupation where solely numbers on a page don't define performance. You see it in social work nursing etc too. Of course there has to be a way to know we have good teachers teaching well. I just don't think standardised testing fairly measures that
As for what happens with high school and university DS2 will attend Steiner through to class 12 and then (should he choose to) go to university via an alternate entry provided to qualifying Steiner students.
I am not concerned that the environment is different in uni. It is self directed learning - which he will have spent the majority of his years at Steiner doing anyway. Also he will or should have the emotional maturity to cope with the demands.
I'd love to get some feedback from the IB parents if possible as we have 4 different options for primary school (3 independent and 1 state) and I'd especially like feedback for how it suits little boys in general.
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