10 proposals to improve education

Following my previous post: 10 principles to shape education, I would like to suggest 10 measures to start putting those principles into practice:

1. Aim for a comprehensive system: state funded schools, colleges and universities should have a single status and belong to the community, providing everyone with the opportunity to participate and benefit as equals. They should offer access for all to a wide range of educational opportunities as part of a lifelong entitlement to free education.

2. Offer a broad liberal education to all: we should collectively define what key areas of knowledge acquisition and skills development are desirable and use this as the basis for an outline national curriculum and a school leavers’ diploma accessible to all. This should be based on a definition of the educated person and provide a good platform for lifelong learning.

3. Introduce elected education forums: those who shape and oversee the education system in an area should be accountable to, and elected by, local people. Education policy is the rightful concern of the whole community.

4. Establish service learning: every student should be expected to engage in service learning which benefits others. In return they would be entitled to an equivalent amount of support from a mentor.

5. Link learning and work: learning and work should be inextricably interwoven. Every employer above a certain size should offer apprenticeships or paid internships and be prepared to release their staff to mentor students.

6. Educate for global citizenship: education should acknowledge that we are global citizens and need to understand and address the great global challenges facing us:  injustice, inequality, conflict, disease, environmental degradation.

 7. Encourage action, reflection and connection: every course or programme should be set in a wider context, encourage reflection and judgement and make connections between past and present, with other areas of knowledge or skill and with other people and different perspectives.

8. Develop a research culture: every student should have the opportunity to undertake substantial useful research and produce an outcome which could be of some benefit to others.

9. Create schools for democracy and leadership: every education provider should see itself as a school for democracy where people’s enthusiasm for making things better should be encouraged through opportunities for discussion and debate, community activity and community leadership. People have enormous potential which can be released by working with others.

10. Promote mastery and creativity: making things and changing things requires creativity and teamwork. Everyone should have the opportunity to be creative and master at least one skill or craft in depth and “find their genius”. This requires much experimentation and some failure.

About Eddie Playfair

Principal of Newham Sixth Form College (NewVIc) East London. Blogging about education, politics and culture in a personal capacity. I also tweet at @eddieplayfair
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One Response to 10 proposals to improve education

  1. Reblogged this on cmachadolearns and commented:
    I enjoyed reading this.

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