Towards a Shifting Paradigm

Infant 3 in our Forest School

In last week’s poll on our school website, 65.5% think humans are causing global warming. 31% don’t think so. 3.4% don’t know. On the strength of these results it appears that the large majority of our own community recognise our impact on the environment.

Recognising that there is an impact is the first step in the process of being able to do something about it. I was able to attend to meetings this week that clearly demonstrate that the momentum in education is increasing to seek ways of effecting this change. The first was a working group brought together by SEEd to establish the foundations for a curriculum in schools that would establish a core provision in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The other was as a group of Heads and IT teachers from our association (IAPS) that we brought together to understand more clearly how the use of ICT will shift our approach to education and ensure that learning in schools provides opportunities for collaboration and challenge. Radical stuff.

It is this paradigm shift in our thinking about curriculum and the meaning of schools that is essential for us to have the impact on young people that we hope will lead to a more just and fair future for them all. We want our children to achieve the best they can and this means addressing ALL aspects of who they are. We want them to be excellent learners, able to read with understanding, express themselves in writing and understand the language and use of mathematics. We want them to be physically adept and recognise the need for a well-balanced and healthy lifestyle and possess a sense of well-being. And we want them to relate in a positive and constructive way to each other and their environment, caring for all living things and understanding how to conserve our dwindling resources. The challenge then is to accomplish this as soon as we possibly can. Standing still has never been an option. I feel we are long way forward in seeking out the definition of what this paradigm shift means and our aim is to continue to address how we prepare children for their lives ahead.