What did the parents have to say…

…about learning and schools today?

“In the world we are living in now, things are completely different. We live in a completely different society. Our generation started a new society in Spain. Our children are in a completely different one. It is not easy to know what can be in their minds. They live in a completely different world.”

“When we were young, the teacher would say A and you think A also. Now, the teacher says A and the child says, why A? The child says, I don’t think A. They have curiosity that we didn’t have.”

“We are investing in good education so that our children succeed in the future.”

“To have a happy life you need many things. One of them is to enjoy what you do.”

“Nowadays [it is] not [possible for students to experience good learning in school if they are not having fun]. In our day, yes. Now it is more intensive. The system has changed. The way they learn has to be fun and have passion and be enjoyable.”

“If lessons are fun, children are less likely to get bored and stressed. If they are not having fun, then they will tire more easily. If we are stressed, we don’t learn.”

“School is place where we are building individuals with knowledge. A more important thing is to build a solid person with good values, scholastic worth and to learn as much knowledge as possible. But I think schools nowadays are too rigid with too long hours and not enough fun. We need to have a better understanding of what they are learning and why.”

“English education is good. They learn how to think, how to investigate – in a different way than is usual in Spain.”

“I am unsure that we are preparing children for the real life but giving them knowledge. My son has bad handwriting. At the beginning he was struggling. But his teacher said, don’t stress: you are not going to use handwriting, you are going to use a computer. So relax. We need to prepare them for the real life – not the Victorian life. Our educational system is old fashioned.”

“…we have to update the school and change as the world changes, and be flexible.”

…about marking and assessment?

“We should know if they are reaching the right level… by how they feel, how happy they are. If we don’t apply this sort of idea, perhaps we don’t see real situation of children.”

“If grades are well managed, then, yes, they are a good thing. If not, they could be stressful for children. My daughter had a problem with maths. Grades were a dreadful thing for her. It took a psychologist to break down the way she was thinking. With the help of a psychologist, we found that the way she was learning was different from the way the others were learning and then she improved in Maths.”

“There should be different methods of learning, teaching and assessing for different kinds of intelligence.”

“Grades are like the competition that exists in the world. Students will have to deal with competition in the future.”

“As parents, we have to change our approach to the grades. Low grades are not a tragedy.”

“Society is organised into grades. Higher grades mean better job prospects. In future it will not be like that.

…about Democratic Education?

“We can’t know what is in the minds of very small children, unless we let them talk. I like to take children to school, just to listen to them in the car. “

We must listen to the children. I ask my children what they do in class and they tell me the positive and negative things. We must listen to the children, but sometimes we need to say that the teacher is right. Sometimes their teachers are right and sometimes not.”

“[Children at democratic schools] are trained to live in real world. Schools have lots of rules and when students get in to the real world they are lost. The best idea is to live in another country, learn another culture. Schools have to change because companies and jobs are changing.”

“Perhaps we should give them more autonomy in some way. The school day is very long: they could have some lessons in the traditional way and others in a more experimental way. Autonomy is important.”

“…teachers [should] follow every child not just in what he is learning but how he feels.”

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