Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trust and Faith in Children

Perceptions. Everyone has them. We perceive thoughts and ideas from things we hear or say or see. These perceptions foster our thoughts and actions. And if we are not careful we fall into traps that our perceptions lead us to. We often have difficulty in overcoming our preconceived notions. We believe them strongly, sometimes forcefully.

The problem with perceptions is that often they allow us to cut off ideas and explain ideas away before we take the time to examine them. They limit our growth.

A school such as a Sudbury School or using SOLE, Self Organized Learning Environments, requires a new way of looking at issues. In education we build upon the premise that education is the way we have been brought up. It works because society says it works. It’s not perfect, there are some bad points but essentially it works. When we examine a different type of school where the kids are in charge people don’t believe the kids can do it. People believe the kids will wreck it, be lazy and do nothing or worse not learn. Our preconceived notions come into play. Social pressure looms. People do not want to try something different, don’t want to be seen as different, don’t want their kids to be seen as different and do not want to defend their choices.

The way of growing requires trust and faith. We need to learn to trust children to be the best they can be. They always are. It is our perception and handling of right and wrong that sends them in directions, searching for answers. If we believe our kids are good they will be good. Of course they will make mistakes but if we don’t treat it like the end of the world things will remain calmer and interesting.

The same thing applies to their education. If we can trust them to grow from birth to the age 4 or 5 on their own with some guidance from us we can trust them for the rest of their lives to do the same thing. It is the formal school setting that is the issue.

Doing something outside the norm takes tremendous courage. From tremendous courage comes great passion, and tremendous belief in a philosophy that not many are exposed to. Are you ready to take this step?  

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