Given that from the age of 4 these self same children spend ever greater amounts of time growing in nursery and school, it would make perfect sense for these experts, natural or otherwise, to continue to be wholly involved in the education of the community’s children. One would have thought so.
Unfortunately, and for myriad reasons, this is not the case. The super soft border between home and school grows harder with every year, so much so that by year 4 the involvement of parents in the education of their children is governed wholly by the concerns of a system creaking under the weight of accountability, directed workloads, SATs and league tables. Properly utilising parents depends on the vision of individual schools and teachers.
Which is why parent-orientated events like upcoming Kidcrafters are so vital. A day organised by ‘engaged dad’ Nick Corston, Kidcrafters is, as he says, ‘a bunch of talks; a gathering of parents and a few people who, like mum, might just know best.’ The talks, centred on education, technology, creativity and skills, mine not just the thinking and practice of four keynote speakers, of Professor Guy Claxton, Google’s Creative Director, Steve Vranakis, the Observer’s Daniel Tomlinson and parenting author Noel Janis-Norton, but also of a selection of 20-odd parents, all of whom will be given just 6 minutes to share their ideas.
Utilising a Pecha Kucha format, the event promises to be fantastic, covering everything from encouraging young people to find ‘out what they want to be great at’ to the virtues of coding to art in tech to the rewards of ‘descriptive praise’ to being a creative dad to encouraging resilience to designing schools to the joys of homeschooling to family screen-time management (a hot topic) to turning consumers into creators to the importance of narrative to the stage as alternative to screen. Designed to be dynamic and innovative, the ‘thinking,’ says Corston, ‘is all about going beyond the mindset.’ It’s parents helping parents help children to unfold and grow gloriously, unexpectedly, fully. It’s going to be wonderful.
When? Sunday 11th May, 2014
Where? Royal Institution of Great Britain, London
Tickets? Still available here.