When & Where Does Learning Occur?

Part of the series Mostly Honest… Isn’t True
Written by Léo Gaumont, published on 2014-03-03.

Some of our parents have expressed a desire to better be able to identify the tricks being used to convince them to believe things that may not actually be true. This series will provide applicable examples of such.

We often refrain from being honest because we do not wish to offend those who need to hear the truth. Opinions expressed in this blog series are intended to offend those who would advance anything, other than the truth, in order to benefit themselves.

Bible Reference: Deut. 6:6-9

I heard a rather intriguing story on the news last year. It got me thinking about how we are led to come to the conclusions that we do. The story was about a northern Alberta community that was considering going to a four day school week. They would increase the number of hours per day which would allow schools to be closed on Fridays. A few questions came to mind as I listened to the story.

The first comment I heard revealed the typical response of that political party that sees everything as caused by a lack of government funding. They saw a four day school week as a travesty of government insensitivity to children’s needs. Really?

The second comment of the story indicated that this would cause parents undue hardship as they would have to find alternate arrangements for childcare on Fridays, indicating that some see schools more as day cares than institutes of learning. There may be more than an element of truth to this observation!

The third comment really caught my attention. It was stated that the greatest concern of a four day school week would be that the children would be left without opportunity for learning for a greater amount of time! If we are not listening carefully, this can easily be passed off as a legitimate concern when, in fact, it is rather laughable that anyone could come up with such a ridiculous statement. When does learning start and where does it happen? This statement implies that learning only occurs within the confines of a school. What happens as students leave the institution? Do their brains shut off? My personal experience as a twenty-five year veteran teacher is that a lot of students shut their brains off before coming to school, not when leaving! Believing that learning starts at birth and continues wherever we are until death, should lead one to understand that reducing the school week to four days would probably increase the opportunity for learning, not decrease it, as implied by this misinformed statement.

The next lengthy series of blogs will question things being advanced as educationally sound, not only by those opposing home education but also by those purporting to be advancing it.

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