Battery hens or free range chickens?

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This topic contains 3 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Avatar of wayne alsop wayne alsop 1 year, 5 months ago.

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  • #1465

    I’ve heard John mention the battery hens versus free range chickens idea a few times but this week’s and last week’s podcast seem to have helped cement my thinking around this. It is a good analogy. I find it depressing that our government is determined to keep our kids cooped up when we know this is not the answer. The whole exam fiasco this week in the UK is just a sideshow – the real issue is not going away which is why we need a fresh approach to education. I wish other politicians would understand this. Maybe time to start a new political movement?!

    Avatar of Richard Corlett
    Richard Corlett

    I would agree that something has to be done but I don’t think a political movement is going to do it. Not yet anyway.

    In my opinion the first target group has to be educators, parents and children.

    It is schools who have to implement the education policy; if they can see the benefits of a new system, know how it would work and can have some input into how it works then they can add more weight to the argument.

    Parents could potentially be the biggest backers. They want the best for their children and if they can be persuaded that change is really necessary then they can add a lot of pressure. After all the government are elected to represent the views of the majority aren’t they?

    Everything we aim for is for the children so helping them understand what the issues are and involving them in resolving them is essential. Even if nothing is implemented in there school lifetime they will grow up to be the parents, policy makers, workers of the future so will want change for their children.


    I agree that the one thing that is common across parents, communities and even governments is the aspiration for our children to succeed. But what is success? I’d argue it is having a child that is free thinking, questioning and keen to try things out and brave enough (or confident enough) to follow what they feel they are good at, or would like to be good at.

    Even that idea of success is contested, which is why parents, schools and politicians say they aspire to a common cause for our children but at the same time have very different ideas of what that should look like. I agree parents could be a good group to start this change but there are some serious tensions at play ie the cost of living is high in the UK so parents work longer which means they need schools to provide more pastoral care. Children need their family time too, which makes it so tough for parents who are having to work longer to make ends meet.

    Do you think this is a barrier to parents bringing about change?

    I’m agreeing with you but am thinking that if I was the Prime Minsiter of the UK I would have it in my powers to make significant change for the better! I hope also that teachers see their status lifted and the rule book slashed so that they can get on with inspiring our children in they ways they feel (and know) are best.

    Lots to think about.

    Avatar of wayne alsop
    wayne alsop

    I am a teacher with over four decades teaching experience in Canada. While it is true that school meets a wide variety of needs, depending in part on the values of the parents, I have found that Canadian parents today are more willing to choose a school that is aligned with their values. Several years ago, I was Principal of a First Nations school in the interior of British Columbia. Many parents chose to bring their children to our school rather than to the schools in the local school division because of our philosophy. This centered on hands-on learning, spending time outdoors, learning about the culture, and language of the First Nations. The parents that we attracted valued independence, hunting and fishing skills, and originality of thought.

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