Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Curriculums or should I say Curricula?

Which reminds me, I did a couple of terms of Latin at the grammar school I went to before I moved to an area which had comprehensives. How much of it can I remember v little, except that it opened my eyes to the world of grammatical tables and maybe has helped in a small way with other languages I have studied.

I have been thinking about different attitudes to what children 'should' learn, i.e. curricula. This is highlighted in the link about Black History. I've been noticing the different attitudes according to people's own educational experiences as well as the countries they have lived in. Also the difference in how they should learn has obviously been highlighted by my experience of the LEA here in Sweden as well as different opinions from parents from Asian and Arab countries. Autonomous certainly doesn't appeal here (although my own DH can easily see many flaws in the way he was taught (parrot fashion, fear of the cane etc). Letting them learn by themselves does produce results but maybe not what those in charge of curricula making would want.

When I think back to my education, I spent so much time learning organic equations, memorising French quotes for French lit exams etc How has this helped me in life? How have I benefited from it.? At the time it felt like this was just something that had to be got through, not learning because I wanted to (which is of course the natural human instinct) but there are things which I'm glad I was taught, e.g. the maths which I do use pretty often. There are things I wish I could have been taught, touch typing, how to change a tyre, how to cut a wriggling child's hair (or a stationary one's), and these all thought to be subjects for the 'dim' kids. Academia leads to good jobs? leads to happiness?! But some of the academia of course has benefited me, I mention the maths and I think there are some subjects which I would have got a lot more out of if the teaching methods of the teachers had been somewhat more inspiring. That's probably why some parts of history I find more interesting and remember more of than others. Now I do feel I need to know more about more recent history. I gave it up at 13 uninspired at that time so my learning of history ended around the 17th century. English classes bring me memories of fear of the sarcastic teacher I had and the boys always mucking around or dropping off having had too much cannabis. Now I have little time for literature but when I do get a chance it now is much more enthralling especially as don't have to produce a 4 page essay on characters and themes and memorising quotes. I think I'd be more suited to a 'book club' type thing where this could just be discussed.. This is where the old chestnut comes in that certain things are best learnt at a young age (languages, memorising Quran) but the child may not see any immediate benefit to it and be very reluctant to do it. That's when I find myself dressing g it up with crafts and rewards if it's not the metaphoric cane method. Otherwise I'm thinking it should be something that we just do so start young so it's the norm. When I was potty training S I was just so glad he did it in the potty I didn't move on to washing hands etc until later, and then it was a struggle to get these things done. With Biryani its part of the whole deal so she doesn't want leave the bathroom without drying her hands on the towel. (the actual potty training bit is another story, though I hope inshAllah will eventually have a happy ending).

Anyhow I'm all in a tizzle as kids are back at school and how it will be doing stuff with them, tired and grumpy, and if anything I've just written makes any sense alhamdulillah


ummi said...

Salam sister,

I just got a call from a sister whose malaysian. She just arrive in sweden for study three days ago. She didn't meet any muslim yet at the moment and not sure where to find them. I just remember about you.

I really appreciate if you could help me to help this sister as she and her family quiet worried as she's there alone.

This is my email: sofie_75@yahoo.co.uk. If you can email me than I will send you her phone number or if you can email me your contact number and she can give you a call to get some infomation and tips about living in sweden.
JazakaAllah hu hairan for your help.

Anonymous said...

This is a very thoughtful post. Your brain is as clear as a bell, all praise due to the Beloved.

My head still pounding but I want to come back and read this again just so soon as the pain killers work (yes, I succumbed after 24 hours of the headache).

By the way, I love the PJ trousers you made! You have inspired me to get on with some more sewing xxx


ummrashid said...

I think the thing is that nothing suits everyone. I loved lessons given in the dictation/copy diagram from board style.
The more you get to try, the more likely you'll find what is useful.

UmSuhayb b David said...

EF- these early starts for school and arranging pick-up times and timetables have already had me reaching for the headache tablets

UmmRashid-that's why I imagine Home ed can be so effective as you have a chance to try different ways, if it's no good you can just leave it. You liked dictation (and exams)? a traditonal teacher's dream pupil I think!