Freedom, Power and Control

Today I want to talk about freedom and control how it relates to a holistic approach to education.

I’m wondering, in what way does the curriculum and our approach to teaching and learning respect children’s right to freedom?
When we recognise them as whole beings, we recognise their right to freedom and to be agents of their own learning.

How do we as schools, teachers and parents ‘free’ the child to be themselves and pursue their own quest for knowledge and purpose? This is for every child, but particularly for those children that have been traditionally prevented from being who they are.

A friend of mine who works at a national park recently shared with me his experience of interacting with students when they came on school trips. He could tell by looking at the set of children whether they were economically advantaged or disadvantaged. He saw the difference in poise, and agency but what stroke him as the most telling was how free they felt to use their voice, in asking questions, and inquiring further. Regardless of which country this took place, it is a common story across the world.

To me, the purpose of education is definitely NOT to model and tweak children as future financial tools.

So as educators, I believe is our responsibility to examine the role we are playing in children’s day to day life. To what extent are we fracturing students in our subjects, our lesson, our classroom management? How are we creating a learning environment that is liberating instead?

My invitation to you is to share knowledge, to share questions, to embark on a collaborative inquiry regarding how can we yield control and allow them to find and use their voice? How can we design learning experiences that help them explore their identities and empower them to be fully themselves?

A wholesome human.

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What questions did this spark?


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Until next time, and

Keep igniting learning.

“Are you good at sensing?”

That was the question posed to me by my boy this morning, after his sister had been upset over breakfast options. Are emotional dispositions a “teachable skill”? Can we “teach” affective skills the way we now are teaching thinking/cognitive skills?

Given the importance that even employers are placing in a workforce that is emotionally competent, why is it taking us so long to integrate Emotional Intelligence research and evidence to our mainstream teaching approaches and curricula?

Frameworks like the International Baccalaureate include Affective Skills in their
Approaches To Learning, but the implicit teaching and instruction of these skills within the group subjects has still a long way to go.

As a school or as a teacher, what curricular applications of the field of Emotional
Intelligence have you found to be effective?

As a parent, how relevant do you think emotional intelligence is to the development of your child as a whole person?

My son seems to believe that a person can be good (or bad) at ‘sensing’, as he puts it. How can we know?