SMH OPINION: TEACH PHONICS, YES, BUT DON’T PIGEON-HOLE TEACHERS

Friday 31 Jan 2020

By Jane Mueller. Published by the Sydney Morning Herald, 31 January, 2020

Formal education has been distorted to the point that it is often viewed as a delivery, control or management system. These systems are social constructs carried over from the first and second industrial revolutions. They are "out of sync with human nature", writes Daniel H Pink, yet our education system is structured so our teachers and students are managed. Society has become conditioned to believe a cookie-cutting, one-size-fits-all approach is wholesome.

Asserting there is one single method for nurturing literacy is misguided. It resembles a narrow-minded understanding of children and their development. Children are not objects to fit neatly on an assembly line. They are a complex joy of quirks and brightness of colour. They enter educational institutions with differing organic makeup, diversity of family background and an assortment of experiences in their formative years. When they start school, their brains have already formed synapses that affect their ability to absorb formal learning through a pre-determined curriculum.

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