A leading head is urging teachers to encourage pupils to rebel, question the rules and stand up for what they believe in.
Pupils must be taught to break the rules in order to learn independent thinking, according to Nigel Lashbrook, the headmaster of a co-educational boarding school.
Speaking at the end of Oakham School’s ‘Rules and Rebellion Week’, he claimed that history has repeatedly shown that “challenging rules can be a precursor to instigating change or progress”, the Telegraph reports.
Citing previous social rebels including Rosa Parks, Millicent Fawcett and Emmeline Pankhurst, Mr Lashbrook claimed that children shouldn’t simply be educated by historic acts of rebellion, they should be taught how to launch their own. “We all teach a curriculum full of academic theories, approaches and rules that simply wouldn’t exist, had generations before us not broken the established rules,” he said. “What if mathematicians hadn’t queried the Greek mathematician Diopanthus, who described equations with negative solutions as “absurd”, and, as a result, set mathematics on the road to complex numbers and beyond?”
Successful companies including Apple, Innocent, Virgin and Dyson had all started as ‘challenger’ brands, the headmaster said. “It is our collective responsibility, as educators, to broaden all pupils’ perspectives and minds in this way, as a precursor to them challenging the rules in their future studies and careers.” He added: “We must all prepare students to be able to stand up for what they believe. If they cannot learn to do this now, in the safety of their school years, how will they fare later on in life?”
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