I found this picture (below)in the TES, in an article about whether or not we should allow children a period of sleep during the day, as many Infant schools used to do. I recall lying down on a blanket on the hard classroom floor, as instructed and asked to shut my eyes and relax or sleep while listening to classical music of some sort. I do not remember if I slept or not but I can remember listening to the extraneous sounds around and feeling very calm and relaxed by this in what was otherwise quite a hectic day. Maybe schools should try to introduce such a calm period during the school day now. I am sure many teachers would welcome it!
The picture also made me think about how inspired or not children are in our main stream schools today. I am sure there are many children who enjoy their school and “skip to school”, to quote one headteacher I knew who had this as a priority in his school! but, I am sure, there are others who feel like sleep is the only safe or reasonable response to their teaching diet!
Surely the main aim of educating young minds should be to inspire them to achieve great things. What appears to be happening, however, is teaching to help them pass assessments which are designed to create conformity and obedience to norms set by the government via the National Assessment systems. These systems promote competition and seek to test the individual in isolation. I am sure that in most successful workplaces, if an individual is stuck and has a problem they are encouraged to seek the support of others, perhaps banking is an exception where bonuses rule and mean that one individual is in competition with his colleagues to get a bigger bonus! ( I am talking about successful businesses , not those who fail and then receive huge amounts of our hard earned taxes to rescue them!)
So let us promote and education system where the needs of the learner , not the government come first. Or let us continue to perpetuate a system where the needs of the learner is dictated by what the government want, which is where the majority have to conform and obey while the few work out what is needed to keep the system working for them!
Sleep well my child and dream of a future where those dreams can become the reality!