What did I learn at school today? How education shapes us

Mags Casey & Frances McDonnell
March 5th 2011 10am-4pm
As Carl Rogers developed his work, he became more interested in the political structures around us, particularly around education. When I think about my behaviour, and the situations of students I work with, it seems that the education system has helped to create many of the issues that they and I are still looking at years later. It brings to mind things like:

  • competitiveness valuing being the best and the race to achieve this
  • I don’t belong or I’m stupid or I’ll never amount to anything
  • I’m only any good if I pass the exam

Rogers talked about the need for a radical shift in the approach to learning, developing a community of learners, rather than the power/control inherent in the pupil/teacher relationship. This workshop will aim to look at our experiences as learners and what we need for ourselves and our clients in order to flourish. Some ideas for this might include:

  • do we need measurements? Do we need exams?
  • school experiences and introjects
  • how do we work with young people who are struggling with the system?
  • what can the experiences of young people teach us?
  • the world of competition from school to workplace
About Mags
Over 25 years ago, I trained to be a primary school teacher and ran away before I became one. Interestingly, my work experiences have been mostly around the lives of young people who are struggling – including 15 years carrying out research and evaluation around young people’s encounters with the youth justice system and 6 years working with university students who are training to become classical musicians. Although I’m older, I’m struck by how much our struggles are similar – I’m still learning. I lived in Manchester for 20 years and recently moved to the countryside, where I’m learning jam-making, ukulele-playing, and tai chi.
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