We are back in the hunt for schools due to our move back to England. In our interviews with the schools we were reminded of what appears to be two contrasting approaches to education, and perhaps to life.
1 – Nurturing the child, listening to them and identifying and working with their strengths to build a sense of inner confidence.
2 – Strategically identifying a child’s most effective route to exam success and gaining qualifications that give a sense of confidence based on documentary evidence.
It is hard to know which is actually better in our world, but both paths have their true believers.
Given my experience with exams and lack of qualifications I find it easy to go with the inner confidence, but then I have no personal experience of the qualification route.
The inner confidence is certainly valid in far more situations – personal relationships for example. However some true believers in the qualifications route can find those without qualifications hard to accept in certain situations, like job interviews.
We hope that we have chosen a school that offers a better compromise than mine did. Mine pursued the qualifications route, but left little room for those who this route suited less well. The school we hope our kids get into sees qualifications as an outcome of the pursuit of confidence, rather than as the primary objective – and perhaps, hopefully, this is a good balance for our kids.
Life is an experiment we all participate in without knowing the results. Parenting is the art of learning to let go gracefully. We are experimenting and learning.
Please share your stories and examples here.
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