Pupils in the UK are among the least happy in the world, according to a 2017 Pisa (Programme for International Student Assessment) survey. They are increasingly spending more time in school, more time doing homework, have less time for play and self-direction, have less freedom and control in their lives, and our schools are facing a mental health crisis.
Long school days and a five-day week can bring unhappiness and discontent. It means minimal time for family, friendships, socialisation, creativity and innovation, health and fitness, community involvement, engagement in the real world, philanthropic involvement, culture, the outdoors and nature, the arts and entertainment, exploration and adventure and the broadening of horizons.
“Research has not established a clear link between long school days and better test results or a more positive learning experience. While too much time at school can lead to frustration, tiredness and disappointment for students, parents and staff.
And in this digital age, children surely no longer need to spend five whole days each week at school, sitting in classes, being taught together in large groups.”
Fiona Carnie, 2017
We need to ask ourselves, ‘what is school for?‘ Is it for education or is it for child-care so that parents can contribute to the workforce? Either way, school doesn’t have to look like it does today.
Conventional school is such a dominant part of our culture that it’s hard to imagine that it could be done differently. Most people think that if children and young people aren’t in school all day, five days a week, then they aren’t being educated, but there are other ways of providing an education. Maybe the current system is outdated and it is time for a change.
Please visit 15 Ways to Reimagine Education