Putting together a good education system isn’t too hard to do.
Step 1 – Fund it properly.
Step 2 – Pay Teachers well.
You only get brilliant teachers by attracting in the best. Our kids are the future. They deserve the best. If you want to attract in the best, brightest graduates you have to have a well-paid career with opportunities for advancement.
Step 3 – Provide Support Staff and Time
Teachers need time to prepare materials and lessons. They need time to carry out all the administration and marking.
Ste 4 – Provide good facilities
If you haven’t got the equipment you can’t do as interesting work.
Step 5 – Provide excellent buildings
The design of a classroom so that it is ergonomically designed for learning is essential.
Step 6 – Create a welcoming, friendly and inclusive ethos
All students should feel welcome, valued and important.
Step 7 – Have a wide-ranging Curriculum
Students should experience as wide a range as possible. The curriculum should be geared to providing knowledge and experience in a range of Arts and Sciences.
Step 8 – Make sure each Syllabus is interesting
Education should be fun, illuminating and have room for creativity, discussion, skill development, teamwork, Groupwork, active learning, experimentation, teamwork and independent learning.
Step 9 – Ensure Teaching is Active and Varied
In order to engage students one has to involve all the senses and learning styles.
Step 10 – Ensure that Teachers are observed regularly assessed and helped to develop
Teaching is a very difficult set of skills and it is dynamic. A teacher never stops learning and developing. They should be assisted to develop.
Step 11 – Provide Diagnostic Testing of students as regularly as possible
Diagnostic testing enables students who are struggling to be identified and support brought in to assist them to make progress.
Step 12 – Keep class sizes down
A class should be of large enough size to generate a group dynamic but small enough to enable personal attention. Twenty five is a good class size for most things.
Step 13 – Have a supportive hierarchy
There should be structures and support in the school to deal with problems – especially student behaviour.
Step 14 – Manage change
Too little change and a school stagnates. Too much change and stress levels undermine everything that goes on.
Teaching has come a long way from chalk and talk and is so much more than feeding in facts for examinations. It is about expanding student minds, getting them to think, reason and question, providing skills, encouraging creativity and turning them on.
When I was young, schools were mindless exam factories. Teachers were boring authoritarians. Classrooms were moribund.
Now classrooms can be fun places of great activity and interaction where lively minds are encouraged to grow.
That’s real education. It’s not cheap and it’s not easy.