Posted by: carlsumner | March 27, 2016

Still Missing the Point

Education, as with all areas of public life and service, is such a divisive subject, not least within the profession itself as to what best practice should look like.

Personal viewpoint, pedagogical opinion and social complexity create a foundation for debate that engages many to question their own practice and to look constantly at improving method and processes. Too often the debate can turn political as agendas are hijacked for greater social constraining but the point is still that the conversation always looks to further educational causes.

However, much of this appears to miss the point of what education truly means to people and what it is fundamentally for.

“Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish and he will eat for a lifetime”

If the concept of learning, wanting to discover and mentally grow, is instilled, promoted and endorsed then learners will look for opportunities to do this.  They will actively engage with what they need and want. They will be self-driven and motivated.

This becomes a much wider issue.  One of social acceptance that education, in its wide-ranging forms, is a positive thing, a good thing.  And can look different depending on the individual.  This will challenge the concept of standardised testing. It will challenge how resources, in particular adults, are utilised, how timetables are managed, how this is measured through ‘value’ and how the nurture and development of our professionals should be enabled to provide the very best learning opportunities for all and a system that is itself looked up to.

It should challenge the very fabric of what we consider education in this country to look like.  The complexities of how best this is delivered almost become moot points.  Because the learner decides, identifies, creates their own challenges for what is best for them and what works for them.

By respecting education, you will also, by definition, respect educators and all those related to the practice. As a young teacher, I will never forget a conversation with a parent of a local musician who had performed at our school one summer. She enthused over the work that we did and proclaimed that in her native home in Asia the work of people in education was held in the very highest esteem.  She simply couldn’t comprehend why this was not the case here.

The best school system in the world?

This article is far more articulate in making the point that our whole approach seems flawed and the future direction even further away from an ideal – and thus individual arguments over best practice appear redundant.

The question is how do we get there?






  1. Ok so why aren’t you keeping this up-to-date Mr Sumner Ive just read it and its such a great article and in fact they all are
    Go on lets have some more – you’ve loads of time !!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: