Students Speak: The School That I'd Like By Edward Blishen

An excerpt from the book The School That I'd Like by Edward Blishen a collection of opinions of students about their preferred education.

THE SCHOOL THAT I'D LIKE. By Edward Blishen, ed. Baltimore, Md.: Penguin Books, 1969.

About the book: With all the controversy about what should and shouldn't be taught in school and all the discussion about education reform, it is easy to forget the opinions and feelings of those who are most affected--the students. In December, 1967, the London Observer ran a competition for school children to describe "The School That I'd Like."

From the book: "I don't think I would get on very well in my ideal school because I am too used to being told what to do."--Frances, 15.

"The music department would be in the shape of a violincello, the music books kept in the thinner part of the building, and the remainder of the rooms having instruments which people could learn."--Sally, 14.

"Youths from 12 to 18 years of age are the most rawly aware, most dissatisfied and most rebellious age group in society. As soon as such and such an activity is compulsory, it becomes an unattractive thing to do. If every school activity is optional, even the boy who always 'hated' sport will go to a games lesson 'just to see what it's like,' and probably attend again when he finds that it's fun even when one does badly, as long as one takes everything in good heart.

"The staff would have to be ready to accept almost anything, from watching a boy read a German novel throughout French lessons for a week, to giving incessant homework to a girl who has nothing to do at home. Even the most rebellious pupils would be found to be quite quiet and well-behaved, simply because they feel that they could escape at any moment should they wish it. There is no feeling of being fenced in, which can send the delicate and developing emotions of a teenager into frantic tempers and tension."--Vanessa, 17

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