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Should children help design school systems?

Discussion in 'Education news' started by TES_Rosaline, Dec 10, 2018.

  1. TES_Rosaline

    TES_Rosaline Administrator Staff Member

    A Unesco envoy believes that pupils should be given a greater say in the curriculum, education spending and the development of school systems:

    'Children should be at the “very heart” of how school systems are designed, a UNESCO education envoy has said.

    Princess Laurentien of the Netherlands today said adults have to “get off a high horse” and open themselves up to the learner.

    The royal, who was appointed UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy for Development in 2009, founded the Missing Chapter Foundation, a non-governmental organisation that “facilitates inter-generational dialogue between children and decision-makers in the public and private sectors” through “kids’ councils”.'

    Do you agree? Should children be given a greater say in how school systems are designed and implemented? If yes/no, why?

  2. Doitforfree

    Doitforfree Star commenter

    No. They're children. They'd want to give all the money to animal charities and then complain that they had no crayons.
  3. aypi

    aypi Senior commenter

    And its a no from me.
    agathamorse, damia69 and BetterNow like this.
  4. drek

    drek Star commenter

    Well you put a princess in charge....you will get airy fairy suggestions of one whose bottom is probably still being wiped by others. Jeez!

    Spend all the funding on cookies and ice cream......

    Actually the princess might have a point.......!
  5. phlogiston

    phlogiston Star commenter

    And after the MAT director's eaten the cookie and thrown the ice cream out of the window, what then?

    More seriously, listening to kids doesn't mean saying "yes" to every ill conceived idea they have.
    We have a lot of miserable kids at the moment. We have a lot of miserable adults (particularly teachers).
    I think that one of the problems in our society is nobody listens to anyone else. Well used power isn't a patriarchal system of command and obey. This includes education.
    Sir_Henry and damia69 like this.
  6. blazer

    blazer Star commenter

    They asked the kids at my last school for suggestions on how to improve. One girl wrote that she would like the school to have a swimming pool....filled with Prosecco!
  7. sparkleghirl

    sparkleghirl Star commenter

    Does Eureka still post here?
  8. bonxie

    bonxie Lead commenter

    Whenever they're asked, children always want a swimming pool, extra play time and to give donations to animal charities.
    Maybe she get off her own high horse and open herself up to the ideas of the thousands of dedicated professionals who have many, many years of teaching experience between them. Teachers have a much better idea of pedagogy, curriculum, budgeting, organising, planning, implementing strategies etc than learners. That's why they are the teachers and the inexperienced learners aren't.
    colpee, agathamorse and blazer like this.
  9. balletomane

    balletomane New commenter

    Giving children a say isn't the same as adopting every idea they have and it doesn't mean ignoring teachers' expertise. My school has recently created an area for Y11s to use for private study. Some students led a consultation on what should be included. Maybe they did get some silly suggestions from their peers, but the ones they presented to staff were pretty good and within budget. We might never have thought of desks with partitions without their suggestion, and the desks are proving quite popular. I think the key is to make sure kids are asked for their opinions on things that are within the scope of their understanding. It wouldn't make sense to ask them for their detailed take on the school's finances.
  10. install

    install Star commenter

    No. Any ideas on Kids councils will be easily manipulated and influenced by adult councils anyway.
    bonxie likes this.
  11. peter12171

    peter12171 Star commenter

    You mean she should do what successive education ministers have done... :rolleyes:
  12. colpee

    colpee Star commenter

    First thing to remember is that a Unesco Envoy position is often enough a sinecure, that does not in itself indicate any expertise in the area represented.

    Secondly, I would really like to think they were being ironoc to juxtapose “UNESCO Special Envoy on Literacy” with the cringingly pseudish “facilitates inter-generational dialogue between children and decision-makers in the public and private sectors”
  13. Stiltskin

    Stiltskin Star commenter

    It's not a great idea for decisions that could have a lasting effect on people's lives be made by those who have little understanding of evidenced based pedagogy but get caught up in the latest fads, and that will make choices that only benefit their own short term interests. Still, we let politicians do this. Letting pupils have some voice in decisions can't be much worse....
  14. scilady

    scilady New commenter


    'Children should be at the “very heart” of how school systems are designed, a UNESCO education envoy has said.

    Do you agree? Should children be given a greater say in how school systems are designed and implemented? If yes/no, why?

    NO, a thousand times no. Children know too little about the world to know what they need to know and what the country needs them to know. Imagine the obesity rate if parents let them eat what they like...oh wait a minute.……….

    They are also obsessed with celebrity culture and need to be taught critical thinking before they get anywhere near a decision.
    bonxie likes this.
  15. Oldfashioned

    Oldfashioned Senior commenter

  16. CheeseMongler

    CheeseMongler Lead commenter

    I'd rather see ice-cream, swimming pools and donations to animal charities than obscene wages to MAT bosses...
    hammie likes this.
  17. drek

    drek Star commenter

  18. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    Could they possibly do a worse job than some of the Heads and management teams out there.
    13 assistant heads in one medium sized Comp, is just one example from my personal experience. On top of 3 deputies and all the usual heads of dept. Thankfully the HT was removed within a year just before the school went bust.
    Asking for ideas does lead to some plainly daft ideas but also to some obvious and simple ideas too.
  19. moscowbore

    moscowbore Star commenter

    In answer to the question, no. They are children.

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