14 July 2010

Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today

Written by Published in Book Reviews

We live in rapidly changing times, a digital age where many of the jobs being done in 20 years’ time haven’t been invented yet, where brain and child development is progressing fast. Yet our schools are dinosaurs. 

Our education system resembles the model suited to fit the Victorian age, when schools churned out pupils shaped to meet the demands of the Industrial Revolution. Health and social services are leading in understanding individual pupils’ needs, leaving schools behind.

This is no polemic, but the insights of former headteacher Richard Gerver, whose radical approach dramatically turned around a failing primary school. Starting with the belief that education is personal, he discusses the four main roles of education – individual, economic, cultural and social – questioning what kind of future we are preparing our children for and lamenting that the system demands conformity, which produces children who assume the teacher will give them what they need. 

This is a system based on outcomes rather than process, where SATs testing creates unnatural pressure and takes any delight away from learning. We must prepare our children for the challenges of tomorrow, writes Gerver, where adaptability, and emotional, social and intellectual awareness, are vital. If you want to understand that future, read this book, and join the revolution, now. 

Creating Tomorrow’s Schools Today by Richard Gerver (Continuum) £16.99 

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