Most of the stuff they study in school is completely useless. But some incredibly valuable things you don’t learn until you’re older – yet you could learn them when you’re younger. And you start to think, What would I do if I set a curriculum for a school?
God, how exciting that could be! But you can’t do it today. You’d be crazy to work in a school today. You don’t get to do what you want. You don’t get to pick your books, your curriculum. You get to teach one narrow specialization. Who would ever want to do that?
This makes me think of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland “Tech Camp” which is usually covered by AlanInBelfast but I can’t find out much info about the 2010 delivery as the PCIYouth web server seems to be down. Bing has this:
For all its wires and wizardry, PCI’s Tech Camp forces me (and probably the other leaders too) to annually re-evaluate what it is I’d like the campers to go home having experienced, learnt and understood.
What if fourteen campers all ended up voxpopping, making videoing, animating, blogging and ringing out their PA systems to eliminate feedback in each of their congregations?
This brings out a sense of envy in me. PCI Tech Camp (religious connotations aside) is a model for something that could easily be replicated as an addition to school – either during the summer months or in the evenings. But is this not what the Digital Circle community already does with Refresh, XCake, Code4Pizza and even OpenCoffee and BarCamp? Is this not what the clever folk over at the Trans Urban Arts Academy manage each year?
We may not be able to easily manipulate the curriculum of the state-run school but we can certainly manage to enrich the extra-curricular. We should make all of our events not only accessible for those less physically able but also restrict our use of bars and locations which are not open to the young. Speaking with Paul McLean (@eightlab) about the educational exclusion that some young people experience – it reminds me of the exclusion we are working to resolve with LiveNet (part of Mencap) and the mentally- and physically-disabled (and therefore excluded).
What couldn’t you do armed with the right people, the right skills, the right passions?