Friday, 4 November 2011


This last 2 weeks I have been working on a couple of arts projects within schools and the children are always brilliant, work hard, laugh lots, and have fun. So why is it that schools leave me with a shiver? A prime example this week was an art teacher using some kind of crowd control techniques that wouldn't have been out of place in a riot situations. Blowing a whistle to crowd control. that whistle was blown 55 times in a 45 minute lesson. So what did those children learn and why were they so unhappy in that class?  I came away feeling very sad. So was it the content of lesson, teacher, the way the lesson was delivered, sterile environment, the hospital green or sick bay yellow paint the awful smell of classrooms. I don't know. Maybe one maybe all. It made me think of the classrooms in a very poor rural province in Cambodia where a school has been built with government  funding. They learn in mother nature's classrooms open rooms created outside to learn. I spent some lovely days there working, with some children who had never encountered paint, brushes, and glitter things, working with teachers who were as excited as the children to be learning about new things. The children were very happy to learn, well behaved and full of fun. So does the space in which children learn effect their want to learn? I know for me personally those classrooms in Cambodia were richer in learning  than a lesson delivered by a smartboard over here.

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