Friday, July 29, 2011

Do shoes help us learn?

This week the NZ Herald has capitalised on the school holidays to run a series of articles about schools providing breakfast for children aged 5-12 yrs of age and the paper informs us that numbers of kiwi kids attend school with no breakfast. They also inform us that breakfast is necessary for learning to occur.

In the same week we have had agitation provoked by the media about schools stating that access to technology is necessary for students to learn.

Various social media have picked up on this as well as radio and television.  I was intrigued to see a mention of the Manaiakalani project on Google+  provoke this comment from someone:

Hmmm. I live 200m from pt England school. First reaction is to witter on about the kids needing shoes before laptops... Or for the dairy across the road to stop selling legal pot substitutes.... (more online)

This has got me thinking about shoes.  When did the wearing, or not, of shoes in New Zealand schools become an indicator of anything, let alone students learning?

And for a 'showing my age' statement; 
"I didn't wear shoes to school in the primary school years and I turned out ok!" Actually, I did when it was frosty. My mother sent me out the door with footwear on most days, but it quickly went into my school bag.  Things changed at high school when shoes became a compulsory part of the school uniform, but barefoot and carefree was a common kiwi experience in primary school. What was your experience with shoes and school, and how do you think they influence student learning?

Below is a quick survey to find out about wearing shoes at school - and I would love to hear  more of your story through the comments below....