Food for thought: I wonder if it will take a generational leap for MLE/MLP schools to really take off? Don’t get me wrong, I know there is a lot of interest in them already but I wonder if it will take more time for them to become the norm in our education system.
The reason I say this is threefold:
- I don’t think most parents are ready;
- I don’t thin most teachers are ready; and
- I think it will take my generation (or later) having children to see the overdue potential and necessity for MLE/MLP schools.
I was having my bi-weekly meeting with my current supervising mentor (I am just a newbie teacher) when the topic of MLP camp up. He said “I can understand what they are trying to do, I’m just not sure I agree with all of it.” I can understand what he meant. The four weeks I spent teaching and learning at MLP school made me realise the type of environment I want to teach in, the type of teacher I want to be. However, I only scratched the surface of all that goes in that school and I can fully appreciate, and understand, that the concepts and ideas are scary, unnerving and not practical to some teachers. This thought is further backed up by an open day the school held for expressions of interests in teaching positions. Through the grapevine (I was unable to attend), I heard there was a lot of muttering behind cupped hands (so to say) about the openness of the school and the “new age” concepts it puts into place. This leads me to conclude that some teachers (perhaps most) are not ready for the dramatic shift that MLP schools display in the ways of education and whether we like it or not, it is going to take time, understanding and results for these teachers to join the “wave”.
My second point – my sister is 11 years older than me, she is married and she has three sons. My oldest nephew is 8 years old and for a while now my sister has been discussing and looking at different secondary school options for him. This of course has led to frequent conversations about education at family dinners.
While on placement at HPSS I remember having one of these conversations with my sister about the school and it’s MLP: “But Mickie (my family nickname) why does any of that matter? All the boys need to know is the facts so that they can write it down in an exam … That’s what I had to do in my Biology exam, write down everything we had learnt that year.” Now, of course, I advised my sister that she might like to do some research on NCEA and how it works and the key competencies that are a part of our curriculum. But regardless of that, this conversation got me thinking about how many other parents think the same way my sister does. I recently attended an event at HPSS to watch Most Likely to Succeed (great documentary, I would highly recommend it!) and many of the parents in this film mirrored my sisters thoughts. “Where are the textbooks? How much homework are they getting? What do they need to know for the test?” etc. Again, this got me thinking that perhaps it will take for my sisters generation to move on for MLE/MLP schools to really take off. Maybe it will take until my generation or my nephews generation grow up and have children for this “new” type of education and teaching to become the norm? – My only question then is, will it be too late?