Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Overprotected and Underprepared for Life

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Overprotected and Underprepared for Life

Article excerpt

What keeps me awake at night is the fact that so many children aren't given the opportunity to be independent. We live in a society that seeks to protect young people. But in many instances, we are expected to live their lives for them. Where is the room for mistakes, for discovery?

When children become young adults, they are expected to be able to cope with the myriad issues that life throws at them - from simple tasks like form-filling to big decisions about personal relationships.

How are we preparing them for this when lots of primary-aged children can't even help themselves to glue and scissors?

At my school we champion a creative curriculum and independent learning. Our children choose how they will show their learning. They are held accountable for their work. They are always engaged, as everything is linked to a key topic question. Most importantly, they have ownership. They know what they need to get better at.

The teacher works with a guided group, while the rest of the class works independently.

I look at some schools and I despair at how controlled students are in the classroom. …

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