Thursday, 12 August 2010

Development comes from appropriate pedagogy and upbringing

Celebrate these

In default of a yellow-brick road today, I have been following a trail of URLs to see what magic may be found at the end of the line:

Celebrate Every Step is an exciting new web-based tool that will enable practitioners and parents to celebrate and track the progress of young children with physical, sensory and learning needs.

Some by-ways open up along the way, including one that mentioned the possibility of my paying money, but I averted my gaze and stuck to the straight and narrow for as long as it would permit without my paying to go further.

What is it all about? As described in the above URLs it looks like the old English disease of 'assessing' what a child can do, without having anything concrete to offer in the way of what to do about finding out how adults might move that child on to wanting to do rather more. In Vygotskian terms, it is documenting the child's present level of development and then, er... that's all folks.

Of course, this is nothing new about this, and nothing specifically English either. In fact Vygotskii himself had something to say about it, a long way time ago and in a very different world.

Here there are two twenty-first-century twists that Lev Semenovich did not know about, that (here in respect to children with various developmental disorders):
  • the results of this this can now recorded with a computer and broadband access, and
  • parents and untrained care staff may be persuaded to pay good money for thus documenting what children might do in 'play' (what that?) by these means.
(And by the way, LS bequeathed us a rather superior model for understanding play, that might also come in practically handy here.)

Yes, this is the twenty-first century but at all levels and in all sectors of our education system, the elementary point has still to be grasped that whizz-ding technology is no substitute for relevant pedagogical science.

1 comment:

  1. I dislike assessments of all kinds.

    Six months ago one of our littlies who was about to get labelled “autistic” is still without the tag since the shoe-maker made him high splints, I gave him a rollator (he now walks around the playground for 30-40 minutes some days) and got him pedalling away on his bike and playing with Lego bricks, and my colleague got him drinking and eating and playing with his mates.

    He has so little time between doing all these things that he has no interest in flapping his hands in front of his eyes so no one actually thinks about him perhaps being autistic anymore.

    How could people working as up-bringers, teachers, psychologists, social workers not have seen that he was just going crazy with boredom and his hands were his only toys. Those autistic- labellers had not even got out the technology the flapping hands were enough proof for them.

    We just showed this little soul that life is quite interesting after all, like for all of us, as long as you live it.