We've all seen and heard Sir Ken Robinson' s famous talk on education. While posing the question "Do schools kill creativity?" he discusses the hierarchy within education. Maths, English and Science, with the creative arts falling in behind. This also reflects the time given to learning in these areas i.e the creative arts being time poor.
The research into numeracy and literacy shows that if a learner hasn't got basic structures and strategies sussed by age 8 it gets exponentially harder to bridge the gaps as they grow. In Dr Betty Edwards book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain" she discusses our development as an artist through our drawing development. We all start at the same place and develop in a similar way. Like with numeracy and literacy, at about age 8 a gap starts to appear. How many of you say you 'can't draw?' Betty suggests that it has nothing to do with talent, which you are about to suggest and all about positive feedback which leads to more practise and negative feedback leading to less practise. Hold these thoughts.
Now back to the hierarchy. In a traditional school setting students are time poor when it comes to spending time immersed in the arts and it is this situation which Sir Ken is suggesting is effecting creativity, a quality we need in todays world.
The structure of learning at Rolleston College Horoeka Haemata is going to be different. We are wanting to be a school that doesn't kill creativity. But how do we ensure that curriculum areas don't have the same time poor issues as the past?
Maybe we need to embrace hierarchy? Maybe we can't do without it? Maybe, in the range of cross curricular projects and bodies of work our learners will create, we need the project lead to be shared equally by all curriculum areas in the beginning. Over time, this will allow our learners to create their own learning hierarchy as they progress through their time at Horoeka Haemata with the subjects they are passionate about at the top.
To do this we are going to have to create a really good map that is transparent to allow learners, educators and parents the ability to see the learning that is being done.
Some of the best PD discussions are had in the staffroom over a coffee. My posts are intended to be like one of those conversations. Feel free to join the conversation, we just might help each other out. My opinions are my own.