What do we think school should be like, to prepare us for life? – Discussion with Intermediate students.

I had a great chat with a class at Northcote Intermediate recently and thought I would share some of their insightful ideas with you.

Firstly, we had a bit of a talk about some current ‘push factors’ on education, that people talk lots about at the moment – technology, wicked problems, changes in the job landscape etc. Following this, the class got into groups and had a good discussion about what this means for schools – what should they do to prepare the students of today for life? What should change and what should remain the same?

Here are their ideas, in no particular order:

  • Teach science.
  • Up skill us to get into jobs where we can find new planets.
  • Lower the cost of education.
  • Learn the right things to match the jobs we want (here we had a bit of a debate about when it is best to move from a broad education to more specialisation).
  • Learn about sustainability.
  • Learn history so we can apply this in the future.
  • Have the opportunity to apply new learning.
  • Learn from the teacher, not just the internet.
  • Have supportive teachers.
  • Learn about robotics, computers and technology.
  • Learn the basics of reading, writing and maths.
  • Have more of a focus on careers counseling.
  • Don’t forget PE!
  • Have a focus on health.
  • Learn time management.
  • Become good questioners.
  • Learn patience.
  • Have more choice.
  • More of a focus on students’ passions.
  • Learn practical skills like cooking.
  • Don’t just focus on the academic. The social aspect of school is important too.
  • Learn social studies.

Thanks to the class at Northcote Intermediate for all your great ideas. It is so useful for us adults to hear kids’ perspectives on these things.


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