Saturday, September 26, 2009

It feels wrong

It all feels wrong to me. I wonder why do I feel so uncomfortable when my staff is talking about gaps in our students skills? We need to identify gaps in order to build a school development plan. This should be a good thing shouldn't it? If we want to support our students to be confident participants in the world we need to know what they are doing well and what is missing from their skill set. However I was shocked when what was written on the white board was there needs to be a balance between play and academics in kindergarten. A balance? When did it become a dichotomy? Play vs School? How can we possibly pull the playfulness out of learning as if it where something unrelated? Is "play" a thing now? How can we use an Inquiry approach without playful exploration?
In this blog I have made my view of knowledge well known. I do not think that play is a form of disengaged, disinterested activity of subjectivity. Play is a very serious path to understanding. I think my discomfort indicates that my philosophical beliefs are clashing with the dominate view of the school. While I find myself almost angry my curiosity is taking over. What is the philosophical beliefs of the school? What are the roots of this thinking? How are teachers like me coping with this disconnection? My plan is to now approach this phenomenologically. Why so much emphasis on behaviour? Why so much time spent on testing that will sort our students into leveled learning? How can a scientific model of quantifiable data support inquiry? What does inquiry mean to a behaviourist? What good is inquiry if we have not invested in creating collaborative environment where curiosity and exploration are valued as a way of being in the world?

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