Term 4 2014.
Welcome back to term four. The holidays already seem a distant memory as the new term fires up.
Term four is such a vital term in the learning process. As we move closer to the end of the year we
begin to see the fruits of our year’s efforts.
It is interesting that in the Australia, in fact all of the Southern Hemisphere, at this time of year,
we are driven by the renewal forces of Spring as at the same time, we move toward the resolve
processes of the year. While nature is blossoming into the new spring our learning processes are
maturing and consolidating, almost an Autumn process. This can create within us a very unsettling
feeling and often children will feel a nervous energy, even insecurity rise within them.
At this time of the year the teachers will be working with children in a way of confirming, ( we often
call it revision) going back over what we have learned and sowing seeds for what we are going to
learn and do next year. This process helps the children feel secure in their learning journey and
gives them hope and vision into their future. The end of year then comes as a celebration of all the
wonderful things that they have done and learned.
There are always questions about the future and how do we prepare the children for the uncertainty
of what the future brings. There are some things though that we really need to take responsibility
for. While, we as parents give into the pressures of our children and buy them the latest phone with
all the wiz bang technology to keep them current in the world, we are giving them a very powerful
tool that can work for them and against them. I often ask myself why would young children and
adolescents be given a tool that can be so potentially dangerous to their long term well- being.
I would like to share with you some of the problems we have at school and how we may be expected
to deal with them.
1) Wi Fi access to the internet. The school has Wi Fi in many areas of the school as it is
convenient for the senior students to access the internet for their IB studies. Unfortunately
this also allows them and other students to download movies, music and even access
prohibited sites. I personally have felt strongly about the removal of Wi Fi for unknown
health risks, as many ‘Healthy’ schools are now doing. This is now being seriously considered
as the abuse of the system continues to escalate.
2) Students with phones at school. It seems that the phone has become an essential part of
modern life, a reflection of our insecurity and ever growing need to feel connected. If you
as a parent have given your child a phone for safety reason, that is one thing, however if
that phone has internet access then that is a whole different realm of responsibility. I have
heard of students accessing pornography off the internet and showing it to other students.
This is absolutely unacceptable and if your child has such a device then you need to take
that responsibility. One way around this could be that all phones must be handed in at the
front desk every morning. Again it is put onto the school to police issues that are created by
the parents. I know that parents text their children during the day while the children are at
school. This works directly against our efforts to maintain high levels of engagement from
With the ever increasing issues around technology and its place in education we must remember
some of the very important and fundamental principles of the school.
Steiner Education is centred around the relationship of students and teachers and their engagement
in learning. Modern technology is a distraction from this fundamental process as it servers the
umbilical link between the teacher and student. The school has clear policies and ethos around the
use of technology and the parents need to work actively together with the school in the protection
of children’s innocence and learning processes, if the pedagogic practices are to be of any value.
Please take the time to think about the topics I have raised and share your thoughts with me.