Last saturday I had the opportunity and great pleasure to participate in the international workshop ”Why school?”, led by the people in the Eu-project LiFT (liftsweden.com).
People from different corners of Europe landed in Stockholm to talk about #schoolspring’s question ”Why School?”
The model for the workshop is called ”fishbowl”. I was asked to be a part of the inner circle in the first part of the workshop, where I and four people with me were placed in an small circle and the other people sat around us in bigger circles. The assignment for us in the inner circle was to answer theese questions:
1) If you look at the question ”Why school?“, what are your thoughts from the perspective that your experience gives you?
2) How should school prepare young people (differently than now) for being able to make their way and contribute to society?
I will here write my answer in short:
I believe we have lost our vision – our answer to the question Why School. I belive we know that we have lost our ways, and we know we have to do something. We are fumbling in the dark, trying to find our path, but we don’t have the tools to light our way. Nervously we look back and try to use yesterdays solution for solving tomorrows problems. But in a world that are constantly changing, yesterdays solutions will not be the answer. We live in a society that are constantly changing, and so we need to change with it. That means that we need to create ways for the people who lives in this constantly changing society, to also be in constant change. And we need to give people the tools to take an active part of that change. Because, for change to be a good thing, it needs to be organized and managed, so that we can find what works and build on that, while we stop doing what doesn’t work.
Schools could have this role today. The important and most definitely needed role of being the system that creates the organized lighted paths of change, and in the process gives people the tools to take an active part of an always changing society.
To be able to do do this we need to create many different paths. We need to stop sorting people by birth date and stop demanding that everyone have to know the same thing at the same time. We need to reorganize our outdated school system, that was built on the thoughts of the industrial age – and worked well for that purpose. And we need to find out what this ever changing society that we live in today needs to be a better place for all of us.
To sum it up;
We need to create possibilities for the people in an constant changing society to be in constant change. And school could be this possibilitie!
During the workshop, I got to share ideas and thoughts with large company managers, graduates, dropouts, dreamers, enthusiasts, professors, entrepreneurs, teachers, school managers, leaders, idéa-makers, and social promoters. All of them possesses more than one of the epithets! I have been challenged in thought, I have been challenging and we’ve climbed together to the goal of creating a better school and a better world.
I have been offered to step outside my comfort zone, and adopted the challenges.
I have been fascinated and amazed by the great things that happens when we work together towards a common goal, with openness and willingness to listen and understand.
I’ve understood that there are CEO´s out there who believes that the most important thing a school can give a student is healthy values.
I’ve gained the insight that education, in a society that is constantly developing, must have opportunities for the people who lives in that society, to constantly evolve.
I have reinforced my belief that the school not only can be a path to a goal on the horizon; if we constantly focus on the goal we diminish the present.
I’ve had a chance to talk to others about my believes that the goal of being the best, in relative values, is not a good enough goal. If you are going to be the best, someone else needs to be the worst – but all students have the right to go to the best school. So the only way to be the best is to be the best together. The only time we can say that we have fully succeeded is when everyone has reached the top.
To be the best in relative measure says nothing about how good you are, just that you’re better than others. And who says that is good enough?
And one of the most important conversations I take with me from this workshop is that young people are not the future – for young people are here and now! ”You need not to be grizzled to be able to change, participate and shape society. The young has so much potential and so much to give here and now. You must use their potential right away, so their talents doesn´t go to waste.” As a true hero expresses him self!
(Victor Ganguly, 20)
I want to thank everyone who attended and participated in the workshop. In a fantastic context, we all get the chance to be fabulous. You are all my teachers, and I am so grateful for all that you teach me!
This day made me awstruck!
#LiFT #LiFTsweden #skolvåren #schoolspring #varförskola #whyschool