BATS and the Pedagogy of Joy

One of the reasons that BATS continue to grow and thrive is that we expound a Pedagogy of Joy that stands in sharp contrast to the Pegagogy of Fear and Pain which dominates current education policy. The Arne Duncans and Michelle Rhees and John Kings of the world advocate using schools to “whip students in shape” to meet the demands of global competition. Their vision turns teachers into straw bosses and disciplinarians, forcing students to sit silently and absorb information lest their future be compromised. BATS, by contrast, nurture the creative and joyful aspect of learning, found in play, in exploration of new experiences, in physical movement as well as mastery of academic skills. We welcome disorder and spontaneity as part of the learning process and nurture student talents and skills that may not be in the prescribed curriculum. And it is this vision of teaching and learning which will ultimately prevail, not only because it is more appealing to teachers and students and families, but because the dominant paradigm now being imposed in schools will fail miserably to achieve the two main objectives it claims to support- achieve greater equity, and make our schools more competitive on international tests