Often I have conversations with my mum about education. It’s funny that she often has a very contemporary view about how children (in particular) should be taught; however, little does she realise how innovative her teaching really is. She runs a group of young journalists (aged 11 and younger) who report on important narratives in the local community. in 2010, their journalism won them an award at the LAFTAs, the Lincolnshire version of the BAFTAs for young film makers and animators.
The LAFTAs is an annual black tie event which celebrates and awards primary and secondary schools in the county of their creative achievements. This is really is fantastic, but how can this be embedded in other areas of teaching and learning? One might suggest badges? Which would be fantastic, but still how significant are badges from primary schools in the long run? How can badging be put in place so that it can actually matter and encourage children to learn? What’s great about the LAFTAs is that it is supported by prestigious actors such as Oscar winner Jim Broadbent; having an opportunity to have work seen by him must be so exciting (boy I would be really excited if my photography was seen and I am supposed to be an ‘established’ photographer, but that’s another story).
Affiliating earning badges with something that great would be amazing. Instantly I’m thinking about Phonar Nation – any high school student who earns all the badges automatically gets an interview for the Photography undergraduate course at Coventry University. Bryan Mathers (of Wapisasa) also is making courses (with badges) which are recognised by companies so that there are real gains for young people. But it’s down to teachers to make something exciting, something that it means completing a class can make a difference and tangible difference kids can see!