I teach music to second years (14 year olds). Maybe studying Drama and Theatre Studies at university completely spoiled me, but I can never understand why our education system requires nothing more from the pupils than to sit an absorb the information only to regurgitate it later in an exam. What’s the point? That’s not learning. That’s glassy-eyed recitation.
Their lack of motivation and team-skills astounds me. Out of two second year classes, I can only trust one in a practical situation not to just start screaming and banging things. They don’t want to listen to me, maybe because all they do all day is listen to teachers. They are actually so used to the classroom situation that as soon as it changes, they get out of control.
It’s quite sad. It’s sad for me to see but it’s really sad for them because they are missing out on so much. They need teamwork exercises. They need to learn to respect each other and to respect the teacher.
The weird thing is that they don’t actually understand why the would benefit from listening to each other and listening to the teacher. And I completely understand! I was exactly like that when I was in secondary school. We all were. We didn’t know anything different. But having been to university has just completely opened my eyes to everything that could be done to make school a better, more educational place for the country’s teenagers.