7 years down the line – “We told you so!”

BBC screenshot

Over the past 7 years on the JamesWilding.blog, I have raised a number of sensitive issues, one of which was the permissions parents have chosen to give to their children with regards to the use of mobile phones.

Here’s me back in May 2011 – https://jameswilding.blog/2011/05/23/what-on-earth-is-going-on/

“The thing we do know as teachers is that we would not give our children mobile phones under secondary school age – and most of us find it incomprehensible that children much younger are permitted to have so much contact with their microwaves – see here from the horror movie – http://youtu.be/V94shlqPlSI.”

Alternatively, here I am writing 2 years later in 2013 –   https://jameswilding.blog/2013/05/31/education-is-a-big-yawn/

Screenshot 2013

23ff5-1507803264540At the start of the Autumn term, I introduced  the work of the Learning Scientists, lead by Dr Megan Sumeracki, and Dr Yana Weinstein, both Cognitive Psychological Scientists over the pond at Rhode Island College, Providence and University of Massachusetts Lowell to both the Academic Faculty and the wider school community. We commenced use their work to inform explicitly the teaching of the “Six Strategies for Effective Learning”, and we follow their advice pretty closely. Last October I posted in a blog entitled “another-fine-mess-you-could-be-leading-us-into-but-we-dont-have-to-follow” that the learning Scientists are as strident as I about the use of mobile phones – you can see that in their blog post entitled: “Separation From Your Cellphone Boosts Your Cognitive Capacity”

I really don’t mind that the Eton Head, Simon Henderson gets some air time in June 2018 reminding parents they should be brave and take their children’s phones of them at night time. Dear Reader, if you are around a dinner table or at a garden party or indeed anywhere else where the significant media are present, please highlight to them that there is one school principal at least in England that speaks with purpose and informed by science on these matters and does so over a significant period of time. To that end, I share with you a picture of myself in a previous incarnation as Henry VIII, captured digitally at our playing fields in Taplow, circa 1533, shortly after his marriage to Anne Boleyn.  OK, actually the picture was taken last Friday during our reincarnation of the late Medieval period for Year 7, a whole day spent outdoors with the technology of the age rather than of the modern day.  I suspect no-one missed their phones too much!!!


About jameswilding

Academic Principal Claires Court Schools Long term member & advocate of the Independent Schools Association
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2 Responses to 7 years down the line – “We told you so!”

  1. Paul Farrell says:

    Great article, James. I wonder whether it is just about humanity growing up. No parent would disagree if you suggested that their child should not spend time doodling with pen and paper into the early hours or sit drawing a picture whilst sat at the dinner table. This is because we have grown up to lo-tech and manage it sensibly. Maybe it will happen with hi-tech! We all know the great work you do so keep raising your voice above the clamour and eventually it will be heard.

  2. Esme Bates says:

    … and from parents….

    From Good, Bad and Ugly Poems by E.J Bates. It will be live in 72 hours

    Look Up and Around! by E.J. Bates
    I would love to be commissioned/paid to write adverts. I think this would be a fab advert.

    As I look up from my screen, from this thing we call social,
    I realise it is anything but authentic, caring or noble,
    Twinkedin, Litter and other virtual, friend feeds,
    But what are our real demands, commitments and needs?

    When the door shuts -it’s all an illusion,
    Photos and posts are insane delusion,
    Really they tell stories of isolation,
    A robotic nation.
    Everything appears shiny and glistening,
    Is anyone really loving, caring or listening?

    From since they were born ,
    Children think being robots is the norm,
    Not skipping, climbing and playing on the lawn,
    Does anyone still know the art of stringing conkers or fishing for frog’s born?

    Can all Dad do is play with their child on an iphone or pad?
    What happened to truth or dare and being a lad?
    Don’t stare at an inbox and flick on your phone,
    Look up and out and ensure you have a home.

    This way I promise you will never, ever feel alone.
    To these children I say-
    Children fall off your bikes!
    Be a messy tyke!
    Graze your knee and make a treehouse!
    Do not just tip- tap away on that infernal mouse!

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