This past last week I have had about a dozen people chat with me about that the fact that they didn’t ‘get’ school. They each had their own unique stories but they also had one common theme. Every person felt that they would have done better had their learning environments been able to capture their uniqueness rather than ignoring it.

The industrial method (‘one-size fits all’) of education has well and truly met its match with many leading educationalists making fantastic data driven cases against it. One of these cases has been viewed over 1.4 million times. You might like to watch it too.  Sir Ken Robinson highlights the urgent need to change our education paradigms and in my mind it has to start in the early years e.g. preschool.

If we are going to make a real difference for our young learners we have to start the paradigm change by measuring thinking and not being distracted by behaviour. This is the first and most powerful step to start engaging with the learner. So often, as educators, we come to the learning space with a set of prerequisites, or a list of activities we what our children to complete in the hope our learning objectives will be met. We then get distracted, and frustrated, by unengaged behaviour and lose sight of the heart of the matter – thinking.

Thinking is what drives investigations, shifts dispositions and empowers agency. It is thinking that allows opportunity for real change to be owned and embedded into a learner’s way of life. If our time is spent collecting and analysing ideas, collaborations and insights we end up with new ways of thinking about the learners with are working with and consequently are better in tune with their uniqueness.

What is the result of this type of analysis? Learning opportunities driven by the learner’s uniqueness which is engaging.

When the learner’s uniqueness is combined with the professional knowledge of the educator the outcome is two fold:

1. The change to everyone’s thinking and idea generation. Engaged thinkers become super curious about their content. I am sure you have seen it in your children; they simply can’t get enough information and ask loads of questions.

2. The change to positive and focused behaviour, demonstrating the engagement level of the learner and showing us that they do ‘get’ it and we ‘get them’. Believe me, this one shift can make a world of difference for everyone, children, families and educators alike because everyone has the opportunity to ‘get’ it!

If you’d like to know more about this paradigm change then come along to Thinkers.inq tomorrow night to our Information Evening or give me a call on 1300 697 737 and we can work through your thinking together.