I didn't take a lot of big risks as a child. I was shy and my mother was happy to let me sit back; she was disabled and couldn't run after us. She adored being a mum and doing everything for us. I remember being scared about learning to swim, playing with children I didn't know and catching a bus by myself into town.
All that changed when tragically, I had to stand on my own two feet. I became a risk taker. I had to. I couldn't wait for someone else to do it for me. I couldn't wait for someone else to lead me gently by the hand.
My husband to be took it to another level; he was happy to kayak over water falls or leap out of an aeroplane. I white water rafted and took a kayak course (not my thing but I had a go). I went from the initially scary arena of publicly speaking in a classroom to speaking in front of a hall full of people.
Having my own children brought home to me how much I needed to demonstrate risk taking: I tried things I had never dared do: luging, roller coasters, water skiing, leaping from a high jumping rock. I wanted my children to be risk takers. I wanted them to give things a go.
The New Zealand Curriculum document has a similar vision for our young people:
|Ministry of Education, New Zealand Curriculum, Crown 2007, page 8.|
It's something I think about a lot as I watch the widening digital divide and the polarities between traditional schooling and "modern learning" pedagogy. Take the news article from AGS in the Herald last week: