Alan November: forget homework and lesson planning

Watch this short but direct video by Alan November. He explains that the world has changed and schools need to change with it.

I particularly liked his statement that homework was no longer necessary. I couldn’t  agree more. In this age of 24/7 connectivity there is really no point in whole class homework. The true learning experience is about developing passions outside of school. If this happens to coincide with schoolwork then great, otherwise the learning goes on and does not need a particular task set to a whole group of students, probably in order to fulfill the needs of passing a test that really means nothing in the long run.

November also discusses the fact that the classroom of the future will not need lessons planned ages before with specific tasks to be done by everyone present. The personalised curriculum will eventually arrive and the outdated factory concepts of time, specialisation, set homework tasks and lessons geared to the mass will need to die.

Alan November is a visionary who has led many of us to acknowledge the way that education will eventually have to go, kicking and screaming away from its current obsession with grades, tests, factory timings and single subjects. If you haven’t the time to watch his longer lectures then this video will cover many of his main ideas in a  neat 4.5 minute package. A gem.


Questions for consideration

I recently received an e-mail with a number of questions that I would welcome any answers to.
It just shows what a strange world we live in.

Why do  supermarkets make the sick walk all the way to the back of the store to get  their prescriptions while healthy people can buy cigarettes at the  front?

Why do people order double cheeseburgers, large fries, and a diet

Why do banks leave vault doors open and then chain the pens to the

Why do we leave cars worth thousands in our driveways and put our useless rubbish in the garage?

Why don’t you  ever see the headline ‘Psychic Wins Lottery’?

Why is  ‘abbreviated’ such a long word?

Why is it that doctors call what they do ‘practice’?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavouring, and dish washing liquid made with real lemons?

Why is  the time of day with the slowest traffic called rush hour?

    You know that indestructible black box that is used on aeroplanes? Why don’t they make the whole plane out of that stuff??

Why don’t sheep shrink when it rains?

Why are they called apartments when they are all stuck together?

If  flying is so safe, why  do they call the airport the terminal?

The above reminds me of the never-ending questions of young children. It is so sad to see this curiosity disappear. We should be asking questions all our lives.

50 Great Books That Will Change Your Life

Below is a link to a really interesting selection of some “must read” books by a variety of people.
It made me think about the transformative power of a book and time and again the stories that accompany the recommendations talk about a book coming at a particular juncture of the person’s life and letting them see their past clearly or prepare them for their journey ahead.
My own recommendation would have been “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee which is still the most perfectly written book I have ever read and which taught me so much about the innocence of childhood amidst the realities of our adult world with its cruelty, bigotry and problems of history.
Whatever you do this summer (at least here in the Northern Hemisphere) try to make time to read a book whether it be a new one or an old one and experience the power that reading a book has to change your life.