The poverty of learning
Part of the problem is that “knowledge” has been incorrectly defined as “grammatical concepts.” Children’s author Frank Cottrell-Boyce tells me he has done readings in primary schools where the teacher says afterwards: “Now class, let’s identify the wow words, connectives and metaphors that Frank is using here.” This is not the fault of teachers: “I see amazing work all the time,” he says, “but it’s in the teeth of what they’re asked to do—they’re having to gouge moments out of the day and twist the curriculum to be able to do it.”
Cottrell-Boyce believes the value of listening to stories is being missed. “It’s a strange thing for a writer to say,” he tells me, “but I think we really overvalue writing”. A lot of the writing that’s done in the classroom is to create some physical entity that can be assessed. It has no intrinsic value apart from the testing—and kids know that.” [emphasis added]
I was just going to say: some people seem to hate children — and it is not the teachers. But it is more than that: some people just seem to hate the idea of childhood.