Category Archives: Education

A political education.

Why political literacy? Politics is about power and change, how we live our lives and what kind of world we want. The political is not a separate sphere of life, it’s embedded in our everyday experience, as are the ideologies … Continue reading

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Overcoming the barriers to learning

Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at WorldSkills November 2021 These are a few thoughts about how teachers can help learners overcome some of the barriers to their learning. This is not a comprehensive ‘how-to’ guide or a list of tips to … Continue reading

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Finding our voice in a crisis.

Blogging in the 2020s. It can be hard to write in a time of crisis. What can we possibly say that could be of any use to anyone? But when things are this bad, it’s also hard not to write. … Continue reading

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Learning from Utopia

What is the function of alternative political and economic systems, whether actually existing or imaginary? Is it to offer hope that change is possible, or at least to provide some perspective on our own way of life?
Draws on ‘The Dispossessed’ by Ursula Le Guin. Continue reading

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Resisting classification

The way we use categories doesn’t do justice to the multi-layered complexity of the world. It’s often a short cut to sweeping assumptions and flawed policy. Continue reading

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A manifesto to end educational inequality?

The challenge We urgently need to address inequality and the human damage it causes, in education and across society. So, any programme with the aim of ‘eliminating educational inequality’ merits serious consideration. The eleven proposals in the Teach First ‘manifesto … Continue reading

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Reading bell hooks.

‘Teaching to Transgress’ ‘Teaching to Transgress’ is as fresh and powerful in 2021 as when it was first published in 1994. Its messages about teaching as discovery, resistance and liberation are as vital today as ever. Reading bell hooks is … Continue reading

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Freire for today

What can we learn from reading Freire today? The work of the Brazilian educator Paulo Freire (1921-1997) was rooted in his adult literacy teaching among dispossessed and disempowered communities in Latin America and elsewhere and was influenced by both Marxism … Continue reading

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Seven ways to avoid a Frankenstein education.

Seven ways to avoid a Frankenstein education – Philippe Meirieu. The French educationalist, Philippe Meirieu, in his 1996 book ‘Frankenstein Pedagogue’ reviews popular accounts of attempts to fashion a person to a maker’s design. Such fictional person-making often proves futile … Continue reading

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Learning, earning and the death of human capital.

Is there a clear predictive relationship between the amount of education ‘received’, as measured by qualifications achieved, and future earnings? The idea is strongly held by many policymakers and it plays a part in the public debate about investment in … Continue reading

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Why the comprehensive college?

When we talk about education, we are talking about both the personal and the social – the ‘small’ and the ‘big’. As individuals, what we know and can do goes to the very heart of our identity. We are engaged … Continue reading

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Exam results – what just happened?

Most years, the national drama of A Level and GCSE results days in England plays out in two distinct but related acts one week apart, focusing on the performance of the education system and the young people navigating their way … Continue reading

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Starting to rethink education.

There are different ways to think about life after a crisis. One is: ‘let’s try to get back to things as they were as quickly as possible’, another is: ‘we can’t go back to things as they were, this is … Continue reading

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Knowledge and education for the future.

Edgar Morin’s seven lessons for the future. When the French sociologist Edgar Morin was asked by UNESCO for his thoughts on education for the future, he organised his proposals around seven key aspects of human knowledge and understanding. In his … Continue reading

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England’s unexpected exam revolution.

One consequence of the Covid-19 pandemic is that we are embarking on an extraordinary national experiment in the way young people achieve their exam grades in England; switching from a heavy reliance on externally set and marked written exams towards … Continue reading

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