A quote to make us think….

“Almost every child, on the first day he sets foot in a school building, is smarter, more curious, less afraid of what he doesn’t know, better at finding and figuring things out, more confident, resourceful, persistent and independent, than he will be ever again in his schooling, or, unless he is very unusual or lucky, for the rest of his life”  (Holt 1971)

How should we as educators react to this?  My first response was one of disappointment that education could be described as subtracting so much from something so wonderful, so full of potential. Then I felt annoyed, irritated that anyone could  be so pessimistic about  places of learning, places many of us pour our lives into so intensely and so often; surely we are better than this and surely it’s not just schools that have the capacity to take so much away from children? I know that schools can also be sanctuaries for many children and it makes schools sound like Dickensian work houses – a very far cry from the rich, vibrant, happy learning environment I work in. Then I thought that perhaps as teachers we need constant reminding of that fresh, five year old standing at the school gates; we need to remind ourselves of the limitless potential in all children and that from day one they come to us with everything that they need in order to learn, but require everything from us to protect and keep that safe.  Sometimes it’s good to stir things up a little… to shake the dust off…

One thought on “A quote to make us think….

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