Are children being robbed of their childhood by the education system?
Ana Lorena Fabrega is a former teacher who gave up her job when she became profoundly disillusioned with the way she was expected to teach.
Since then, she has become a prominent advocate of education reform, calling for a radical shake up of the curriculum and teaching methods.
“We keep putting kids in these education systems that were created 200 years ago for a very different type of purpose,” she told Newstalk Breakfast.
“They go directly against what we know about kids and how they develop and the things that they need in order to grow into individuals that will be happy and successful in the current world that we live in.
“[It’s] a world that is chaotic and changing, where they need to figure things out for themselves.
“Instead of following instructions, they need to learn how to think independently and question things and learn how to fail productively and pick themselves up and pivot.
“These are all things that we train them out of once they get into the school systems.”
Ms Fabrega also wants the school day should be shortened, believing that ‘less is more’ when it comes to educating children.
“These are the most important years of their lives,” she said.
“They should be outside playing and releasing energy and moving and exploring.
“These are all natural instincts that come when we are born.”
She also feels that the emphasis on learning facts by heart “doesn’t make sense” in the digital age when so much information is available online.
Instead, she wants children to taught how to process this information.
“What we need to teach kids is how to access this information, how to consume this information productively,” she said.
“How to assess the veracity and validity and make ethical judgements about the information they’re consuming.
“Really, the best way to teach them is through projects and problems.”
In the spring, the Government announced an updated curriculum for primary school pupils that included a greater emphasis on wellbeing and foreign languages, as well as less time spent studying religion.
You can listen back here:
Main image: A group of primary school children during a school assembly. Picture by: NorthScape / Alamy Stock Photo