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?