Make school day longer to stop pupils joining gangs and give them a ‘safe haven from broken homes.’
Speaking at the North of England Education Conference, Mr Twigg said a number of schools had taken up the initiative of extending class time – and it appeared to have positive results.
I applaud Mr Twigg for his innovation and his willingness to do something different and I have to say that there is some truth in what he is saying. However, this kind of measure is only needed for a few teens, not all teens. What he is really talking about is constructive cultivation.
In his book “The Outliers”, Malcolm Glasser talks about how middle class parents do with their children what he calls constructive cultivation, meaning that they care, push and expect of their children, enrolling them in extra classes, asking about homework, attending Parent Teacher Association meetings and just being interested in what their child is doing. In studies, he shows that a child’s intelligence is not linked to success and what is more important is how that child is cultivated and what opportunities they are given along the way. So genes do not predict if a child will do well, but their parents do.
Again, it is interesting to note that this cultivation is linked to class and a child from a working class background is less likely to receive this cultivation, however intelligent they are and therefore, is more likely to fail later in life. He even goes as far as to say that the way the current school system is set up is failing our working class youth because they do not have the advantages in the summer holidays that the middle class kids get. He refers to a project called The Kipp Project, where the performance of failing school students has been turned around by challenging cultural legacy and giving these children the constructive cultivation they need inside the school system.
So, Mr. Twigg, a great idea but you may need to re-think it a little.