What should we really be teaching our children?

This term my son, who is 10, was sent home with a "food technology" homework to "design a sandwich". i.e draw and write about making a sandwich. He was sent home with a "science" homework to draw a cartoon-strip picture story of the life of Edward Jenner (who developed the vaccine for smallpox). An important scientist, granted, but drawing pictures of him is not science. These idiotic pieces of work have been set in line with national curriculum objectives, from a respectable independent school in Kent.

So I've been wondering a lot, if this is the nonsense that passes for education today, what should we be teaching our children?

The more I think about it, the more I come to the conclusion that content is less and less important, and that more than ever it is the capability for independent thought, originality, creativity, adaptability, and interpersonal skills that matter. Thinking back over a wide variety of projects I've run and worked on in multiple industries, what I notice is that the most successful individuals in any organisation are rarely the most technically qualified. The Finance Director of a major corporation will never be the best technical accountant. The Head of Chambers will rarely be the best lawyer. And so on. What these people invariably have is outstanding social skills.

With some trepidation, we've now decided to remove our son from the treadmill of modern test-driven schooling and transfer him to a Steiner school. This means he won't do any public examinations until at least 17, when he can do a small number of GCSEs. But he will learn to work creatively and collaboratively, and he will develop his already strong individual character, to become a mature and thoughtful person, hopefully ready to cope with the complexities and unpredictability of the modern world.

While he and his class were studying "Food Technology" by "designing" sandwiches, his peers at the Steiner school he will be going to were learning about "Textiles" by visiting a farm to help shear sheep; washing and bleaching the wool; spinning it; dying it; and knitting socks.

I think we are making the right decision for our son, but more generally - what do you think we should be teaching our children today?

Melinda M. Sörensson

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What should we really be teaching our children?

Self reliance and absolute trust that they will make the right decisions when confronted with difficult situations and that we will support those decisions no matter if we the parents think it is not the right one for them. Melinda Melinda M. Sorensson, Ph.D. Author, My Journey to An Integrated Life Co Administrator, Manifesting Magical Moments Self Growth Expert Ezine Articles Expert Author

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Jeff Mowatt

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What should we really be teaching our children?

Jenner for us in Gloucestershire is one of the local celebrities and when one considers the story which pushed the margins of ethics, in deliberate infection of children and then exposed him to ridicule, to eventually be proved right must be quite a story. I can see how being tasked with creating a cartoon strip might well stimulate thought about a bigger picture than simply memorising that smallpox vaccine was derived from cowpox, which was all I'd have learned about it as a child.

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Iain McGuigan

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What should we really be teaching our children?

Whilst I don't quite get the task on the sandwich the task on the comic strip for Jenner is, for me, inspired. Some of the great commentry is done via comic strips and pictures and the best ones have a knowledge of their subject. For a great comic strip on this fella your youngster would have to find out a bit about him and think about what was achieved and how it could be put across in a comic strip. Certainly more fun than reading a science book on his achievements. Education is a very emotive subject, especially when your own kids are involved, not having children this is something I don't have to worry about in a literal sense. In terms of what we should be teaching them, to read, write, spell, add, subtract, multiply and devide, question, debate, problem solve, banking, budgeting, teamwork, individual endeavor, listen, evaluate, construct, deconstruct, manage, be managed and along the way have a little fun which is not computer related. Good luck with the new schooling, sounds interesting. Iain Liverpool Business Club Helping Liverpool Businesses Make More Money

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Simon Jones "Web Wizard"

simonjones12-217922

What should we really be teaching our children?

I think the story of Jenner is quite inspiring. It's about a man who made an observation which went against the grain. He tested his theory and became famous for inventing the treatment and word Vaccine. His work has gone on to help billions worldwide. The comic strip is a great way to show the children learned it without copying text from the Internet. After my young adult experiences, young people should be taught more about money. Money is a very complicated thing which can make or break people's lives ahead of anything else. Follow meWeb designHostingImage UploadEcky HTMLBlog#zakomain {border: 1px solid #cccccc; padding: 0px 20px 0px 0px; background: transparent url(http://www.sipa.co.uk/ecademy/miniventure.jpg) no-repeat scroll 0% 0%; color: #444444; line-height:160%;}#zakotext {margin-left:120px;} #zakolinks {list-style-type:none;padding:0; text-align:right;} #mainContent #zakolinks li {display:inline; padding: 0 10px;} #zakolinks a {color:#ff0000; text-decoration:none;}

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