If you haven’t seen the Lego Movie, take it out, make some
popcorn and watch it with the kids. Let me know your thoughts..
We watched the Lego Movie over the weekend and it got me thinking…
There seems to be two messages here.
One message is to encourage kids to explore, be innovative, original and think out of the box.
The other message is to stop those who want to control, keep things neatly in a box and micro manage.
I loved the way the Lego movie portrayed those who want to build their world completely according to the instruction manual. Instruction manuals keep things simple and organized, especially for those in power, especially for President Business. It is all under control and the outcomes are predictable. It’s what a bureaucracy loves. Neat packages, rules kept, people under control, no unknown factors.
However, the child in the story wants to push the boundaries. He likes to go beyond those defined lines – he wants to explore – to see what happens if he joins one piece to another. “Keep Out”, “Do Not Touch!” are the signs which destroy his creativity and he doesn’t understand exactly what the problem is if he were to design a new spaceship or add a Star Wars character into a western theme.
Kids are inherently creative. If we limit them to learn just what we think they need or what we determine to be a comprehensive curriculum – we fail to see that excellence comes from the freedom to be diverse and unique. Yes – open the world to them – and then let them explore, cross boundaries, research, play around, deepen their knowledge and grow according to their personalities.
Some regulatory authorities who oversee us as home educators don’t get this.
They believe that prescriptive regulation is the key for all children. They somehow think one model is good for all children; that one set of lessons, syllabus, and curricula meets all children’s needs and interests.
Unfortunately, this narrow-minded approach to education will not bring educational excellence.
Recently, Professor Ian Young from the Australian National University in his speech, “Imagining an Australia built on the brilliance of our people”, about the de-regulation of universities, said,
Although the Professor is speaking about Australian Universities, and how “de-regulation will enable Universities to differentiate and play to their strengths” I believe the same thing can be said about education in general. To give our children an outstanding education means we need to educate to their passions and needs, give them real options, real choices and provide unique experiences.
An institutionalized schooling model does not work for all children and our governments should acknowledge, support and de-regulate those who wish to home educate and provide a unique educational experience for their children.