This article, discussing the value of incorporating performance into senior school, first appeared in Teach Secondary magazine.
My thanks to editor Helen Mulley for allowing reproduction, and if you want to know more, details of this and their other magazines and resources are available at:https://www.teachwire.net
What a Performance!
It’s a curious dichotomy we live with when it comes to the notion of performance, I think. On the one hand it feels like every other young person you come across is all set to win the X Factor and become the next big thing, and on the other hand we’re brought up being told that no-one really likes a show off. . . talk about mixed messages. . . where does this leave us with our attitude to performing within our school environment?
Following on from last week’s blogpost, I’d like to draw your attention to a speech given by Jack Ma at the World Economic Forum earlier this year.
Jack (also known as Ma Yun) is one of China’s most successful, powerful, wealthy and philanthropic business leaders who lectures widely about how to, in his own words, “help more people to make healthy money, 'sustainable money,' money that is not only good for themselves but also good for the society. That's the transformation we are aiming to make.”
Recently, the CBI (Confederation of British Industry) released a statement criticising the current education system in the UK for being too focussed on testing, results and tables. The result of this, they claim, is that children are not learning the skills that are required of them by the world of work.
Last week I spoke about how children are often willing and able to embrace complex vocabulary, and I’d like to expound on that here.
Never be afraid to use a long word with a young child. Children love playing with language and long, complicated words can be fabulously alluring.
There is a school of thought which says that if you can create the right conditions, children are able to take care of their own learning and development.
You may be aware of Dr Sugata Mitra’s project, “Hole in the Wall”.
In 1999, whilst working teaching people how to write computer programmes in New Delhi, he dug a hole in a wall bordering the urban slum next to his office, installed an Internet-connected PC, at child height, and left it there (with a hidden camera filming the area). The children from the slum learned how to use it (with no adult intervention) and how to go online - teaching themselves some English in the process - and then they taught each other.