It was an amazing event, 2 days later I am still on a high. It was satisfying to complete a physical challenge of running, walking, swimming, climbing and crawling over 20 kilometers, through mud, water, hills, mud, electric shocks, walls and more mud. It was great to have an excuse to get muddy and I have never been so dirty in all my life. I now understand why kids play in mud, there is something liberating about it and it has a sensual feel to it.
This created an amazing community event. Everyone was happy (like pigs in mud, well actually..), everyone went out of their way to help each other, it didn't matter who you were (you all actually looked the same; grey uniform, white pearly smile and 2 bright shining eyes). If you were in any difficulty (which happened, not suprisingly, often) someone was there, to first laugh with you, then grab your hand, arm, leg or backside to pull, push, or manhandle you out of the situation. But, just as importantly, it was so satisfying to help, encourage, pull, push others. Which was always followed by a smile, thanks or pat on the back.
So, what is the link to education?
If the event had been an individual timed event, yes, you would have had a small number of people who finished in some great times, but most people WOULD NOT have finished. I wouldn't have (I'd still be there, stuck in the mile of mud obstacle).
Education at the moment seems to be like a race, one student against the other. What is important and encouraged is who scores the best result, who came first... leaving the majority to flounder in the mud. Again, some finish with excellent results but... what about the rest, overall does the group achieve less? How many do we lose along the way?
I think students would learn more if education focused on challenging yourself, doing your best, doing something you have never done before, learning by helping, supporting or encouraging others.
It's time to stop playing the numbers game and muddy the waters a little.