Katharine Birbalsingh: making children responsible

Katharine Birbalsingh has certainly caused a stir in Education circles with her views on what is the best way to help children succeed. She states that the education system is broken, because it keeps poor children poor by making excuses for them.

She believes that certain values are important, including being responsible for yourself and not allowing children to excuse away bad behaviour. Children should be held to account for what they do, so that they can be responsible for themselves.

She sees failure as an important part of the learning process and argues that because we don’t want children to fail we keep making excuses for them. She also believes that exclusions are not helpful as it gives children yet another excuse for failure.

Children should feel responsible for their own results, not the teachers. Until we get children to feel this responsibility then schools will continue to fail. This is a very different viewpoint than that held in many schools, and a very challenging one. Where does this responsibility come from? Certainly the home for most children and it is very difficult for schools to change attitudes without the backing of the home.

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