Education does not happen just in the classroom. Education begins in the classroom and spills over into every other part of our lives.
A key part of the teacher’s role is to help students realise this interconnectivity and learn to spot for themselves the links between what they have experienced in the classroom and what exists in the real world outside school.
Sometimes the links are quite obvious. You may be writing a social media message to a friend in Paris using the French you learned for GCSE. You may be using your maths skills from IB Maths Studies to calculate your holiday budget. Yet sometimes the connections between the classroom and the real world can be more subtle and this requires you to open your eyes and make a more concerted effort to recall what you learnt at school. Why are the colours of the leaves changing? (Biology) What process allows that to occur? (Chemistry) How is this restaurant adding value to the ingredients? (Business) How does the writer of this newspaper article present her opinion? (English, History and others).
There is something very satisfying about being able to apply the knowledge or skill you have developed in one classroom in another. This could be a ‘hard’ skill like essay writing structure, or mathematical processing, or a softer skill like persuasion. It could be an example from literature that applies to your other studies, for example “Of Mice and Men” was set in the Great Depression, a fundamental starting point for Keynesian Economics.
It is more satisfying still when you are able to routinely spot and understand the connections between what you are learning in lessons and the real world outside, and only when you master this, I believe, can call yourself truly educated. The world we live in is complex, beautiful and transdisciplinary, and we must provide education which reflects this. That is the mission of Taunton School, and I am proud to be a part of it.
Tom Brodie, Head of Business Studies and Economics