In a world seemed driven by an inexorable urge to make everything ‘safe,’ I heard something today at a conference I attended that I really liked:
“…to make as SAFE AS NECESSARY, not as SAFE AS POSSIBLE…”
Oh, how sweet is that?
Of course! Our goal as teachers, adventure programmers and leaders should be to create learning environments where we have not sanitised the experience of all its inherent excitement, fun and challenge, but to remove the hazards to keep it as safe as necessary.
Well-intentioned administrators and parents would have us believe that keeping our learning environments as safe as possible is mitigating the risks of someone getting hurt.
But what’s missing in this argument is a full cost-benefit analysis.
Remove all the risk, and you create another issue, a much bigger risk – the risk of our young people becoming bored and disengaged and not developing the requisite skills to manage boundaries, adventure and responsibility for oneself.