Skip to main content

Is fun disappearing from learning?

Image courtesy of Penywise


I've spent 20 years of my life in educational establishments as a learner and I'm currently on my 14th year as a teacher in them. During my learner years the most vivid learning experiences I recall centred around individual and group projects, themes, and fun. As a teacher in these establishments I can safely say my best teaching has occurred when I have not followed a curriculum, nor taught to achieve end of year targets but solely because the teaching was centred around the needs of the learners, project based and fun.
The word fun is quite important in my life as a learner and teacher. It has helped me and those around me to make sense of the world we live in, to understand the questions posed of us, to enrich our learning and teaching experiences. Learning does not require rigour as one politician would have us believe. Nor does it need pointless constant testing that only satisfy analysts and their league tables. Assessment is vitally important for the right reasons but somehow, education has fallen victim to a data driven standardisation of learning which uses assessment to victimise and blame. It is also being used to push forward a change in education that could, quite frankly, push learning back to an age of rigorous learning by rote.
Does fun still exist in learning and teaching today? Of course it does and quite rightly so. We must continue to keep fun in our teaching, to keep fun as part of the learning experience. We must never let the mindsets of the few in power think they can remove fun by insisting on rigour. We must remember why we became teachers and continue to breath life into our classrooms through engaging, inspiring and fun filled learning experiences.

For if the fun was ever removed, learning and teaching would become nothing more than a monotony.

N.B. Fun will never disappear from my classroom. Learning is too exciting to ever let that happen.

Popular posts from this blog

How to use proxy setting with Linux Mint

The dreaded proxy server has reared its head again. If you read my post about Linux OS for old tech you would have found me advocating Ubuntu, Elementary and Linux Mint. Unfortunately, I have found Linux Mint to be problematic if your school server uses proxy settings to get online. Ubuntu and Elementary also require changes to the network settings if you use a proxy, but this only involves a simple change in the Network Settings panel. This doesn't work in Linux Mint, the settings can be entered but will not remain saved.

So, here's the 'how to' courtesy of the askUbuntu Q&A section - if you're not keen on using terminal commands I suggest you either don't bother using Linux Mint and stick to Ubuntu or Elementary (or any other Linux distro) or swallow your fears and give this a go.

Use terminal to open /etc/environment using a text edit app as superuser - e.g. interminal type sudo gedit /etc/environment     (enter password when asked)Add the following line…

My latest lesson observation feedback

This was the outcome of my latest lesson observation - I received Good with Outstanding features (whatever that actually means). The form is based on the 2013 Ofsted criteria for a whole school observation, such criteria is not meant to be used to grade individual lessons so why are schools doing exactly that?
To achieve an Outstanding grade on this form I would have needed to do the following in the length of time the lesson observation took place.  Almost all pupils make rapid and sustained progress across the curriculumMarking and feedback from the teacher and pupils is frequent and of consistently high qualityTeaching of reading, writing, communication and maths is exceptionalUse of well judged and often imaginative teaching strategies that match individual needsTime taken to develop skills in other subjectsAppropriate and regular homeworkNow to pick some of these apart. No teacher can possibly be expected to ensure all pupils make sustained and rapid progress across THECURRICULUM

Marking in primary schools is verging on the ridiculous

Marking in primary schools used to be done with a red pen or whatever colour happened to be closest at hand. I've even marked in pencil once, but most of that marking was rubbed out by the children. What's happened now however has been steadily creeping in over the last few years - red pen is seen as bad, a terrible colour to mark with. Children view it as negative even if their work is correct. Red is now a banned marking colour in many primary schools across the land and has been replaced with a plethora of colour coded marking schemes, all followed to the colour due to the ridiculous nature of some primary school marking policies.