Setting young people up to fail

I am new to blogging,  so bear with me, however I thought I would share some of the current journeys myself and Young Gloucestershire are experiencing. Here are my first reflections on setting young people up to fail.

As a proprietor of an Independent School which works with young people excluded or at risk of exclusion from mainstream school I have been watching the conversations taking place around education carefully. The young people we work with are capable; they have skills and knowledge that society needs. They however learn in a different way to that of traditional education.

How do you learn? Personally, sit me in a classroom all day and I am the mischievous one at the back. Am sure many of my colleagues will confirm my inability to sit still when in meetings. I would like to think though that I have useful skills, and experience that impact on the lives of young people (the job I do).

I find it difficult to accept that different ways of learning are not celebrated. The young people who attend our Youth Achievement Foundation are there because they find sitting still in a classroom challenging. They like to learn from doing, being active and understanding how what they are learning is relative to everyday life. Does this mean they will be less able to contribute to society when they leave school? No it probably means they will undertake a practical job such as a mechanic, builder, or nursery worker. I don’t know about you but I couldn’t repair my car when it breaks down, but I also couldn’t live without it!

I wish there were more opportunities for young people to learn in a variety of ways and I wish that there were frameworks that recognise this so we could stop setting young people up to fail.

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2 Responses to Setting young people up to fail

  1. kokkieh says:

    I wouldn’t say the school system is setting young people up for failure, I’d rather say it’s failing young people by not recognising their different learning styles and even their different intelligences. I think you’ll find this manifesto by Seth Godin interesting:

  2. tracyclarkyg says:

    I agree the school system is failing young people by not recognising learning styles, I also feel valuing just academic qualifications rather than vocational as well is setting young people up to fail.

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