Has education lost sight of children?

Lidchi, Victoria G (2018) Has education lost sight of children? In: Positive schooling and child development: International perspectives. Springer, Singapore, pp. 41-68. ISBN 978-981-13-0076-9

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The reflections presented in this chapter are informed by clinical and personal experiences of school education in the UK. There are many challenges for children and young people in the modern education system and for the professionals who support them. In the UK, there are significant gaps between the highly selective education provided to those who pay privately for it and to the majority of those educated in the state-funded system. Though literacy rates have improved around the world, many children, particularly boys, do not finish their education for reasons such as boredom, behavioural difficulties or because education does not ‘pay’. Violence, bullying, and sexual harassment are issues faced by many children in schools and there are disturbing trends of excluding children who present with behavioural problems at school whose origins are not explored. Excluded children are then educated with other children who may also have multiple problems which often just make the situation worse. The experience of clinicians suggests that school-related mental health problems are increasing in severity. Are mental health services dealing with the consequences of an education system that is not meeting children’s needs? An education system that is testing- and performance-based may not be serving many children well if it is driving important decisions about them at increasingly younger ages. Labelling of children and setting them on educational career paths can occur well before they reach secondary schools, limiting potential very early on in their developmental trajectory. Furthermore, the emphasis at school on testing may come at the expense of creativity and other forms of intelligence, which are also valuable and important. Meanwhile the employment marketplace requires people with widely different skills, with an emphasis on innovation, creativity, and problem solving. Is education losing sight of the children it is educating?

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Violence, Bullying, Sexual Harassment, School, Children
Subjects: Groups & Organisations > Groups/Institutions/Organisations
Learning & Education > Learning & Education in Psychology
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
URI: https://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/348

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