Whole Education Conference “What Are Schools For?”
Monday dec 6th 2010
What brought me into education :
My own love of learning, curiosity with the world, love of sharing knowledge, love of museums and art galleries, learning about the people behind the artefacts. How the world works and who made it. My parents teaching me that I can learn anything, myself, I don’t have to wait for anyone to teach me.
At school I loved:
physics, art, all the possibilities, all the people. Project-based learning. The opportunity to try things out, to get it wrong, to get it right. To shine, but also to hide or be quiet, at times.
What our school is about :
‘me’, we, I can, We Can. Can I? How can I? Why? And Why Not? What if? What is this stuff?
Key ideas retained:
“the new definition of engagement should be commitment, not compliance” David Price
“a four-year old teaching a six-year old how to use a smartphone, and ending up skyping their grandma”
“I, we, the planet” – the need for environmental and social sustainability. championed initially by Third sector, then the public sector, but since 2006 promoted far more by the private sector than public sector. Bizarrely. Eg it was Caroline Waters from BT who first raised it today. Public sector trying to look tougher, private sector playing cuddly?
How brilliant to be in a room with a hundred others, working successfully in the innovative fringes of mainstream education. Big Society Ed’, if you like. Not so marginal if you add them all together. Immense successes, many backed up by independent assessment eg Cambridge University. I wonder, is this a curiously British phenomenon? And, does it matter that it isn’t recognised as ‘mainstream education?’
There are hundreds of organisations, thousands of individuals and schools, millions of children involved in these programmes. This is no longer ‘fringe’, ‘alternative’ or ‘marginal’. Nor is it a ‘movement’. It just is. And it is good.