School’s out

So Dream School has finished.  The experience is over and the kids now have to go back to their old lives.  But how many have been changed?  How many have grabbed the opportunity presented to them?

From the show it appears quite a few have been inspired to do something with their lives, which is great for them and hopefully that will continue (though a ‘visit’ in 12 months’ time would be interesting).  But really what is the legacy of the programme?

From watching the series I got very little that I wouldn’t have done before:

  • teachers have the power to make lessons great or crap
  • teachers need to make sessions more interactive and relevant to today’s youth and not be handed down strict curriculums
  • disruptive kids ruin it for everyone
  • there is no sense of discipline or respect between students and from students to teachers
  • the kids are expecting to be spoon-fed everything

However the one lasting memory I will have is not a positive one. I feel the programme failed to teach these kids about responsibility & consequence – twice the teachers had the opportunity to make examples out of student who didn’t follow the rules and twice they went back on the rules they had set.  Lesson: do as you please and all will be forgiven. No consequences.

The overall problem with Dream School is that it is a bubble and didn’t tackle the issues of why they were disenchanted in the first place.  Whilst it was an extremely noble cause, we cannot build 4000 Dream School and hire ‘celebrities’ to teach at every single one.

I would’ve loved to have seen experiments as to how to make schools more effective at teaching and facilitating learning – much more along the lines of The Classroom Experiment which the BBC ran last year.  That showed how to teaching standards and traditional classroom dynamics have an effect on what kids get out of it.

Below is the final episode and also some of the Twitter chatter/buzz around the programme – good and bad.

I think the cause was great, but the execution was a bit superficial.

https://twitter.com/#!/jennitonic80/status/58279686123429888

https://twitter.com/#!/GemmaCasey/status/58287795684380672

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