Catch up on what?

Catch up on what?
Date18th Jun 2021AuthorGuest AuthorCategoriesPolicy and News, Student Life

Since March 2020, teachers have had to learn new ways of teaching and young people new ways of learning, and parents now understand better how their children learn and the vital role teachers play. We have all been made more aware of how much schools and colleges do to provide a social and caring community for young people, especially for the most vulnerable. Many educators have gone above and beyond to feed and support families in their local communities. 

And so big questions are raised about key parts of the education system: Do the exams we have now put too much pressure on students and teachers? How could we get the information we need to make sure children are learning without creating the current levels of stress? Are we teaching children the right things? What would we keep about remote learning? What can schools do about the crisis in mental health for young people? Can we fix the injustice of the education system which is failing the young people who need the most help from their schools?

As the focus of the news is on plans for ‘catching up’ and how much taxpayer money needs to be spent on the education system, isn’t it time we built a consensus about what education is really for?

Watch Jaiden Corfield, 18, a young activist and campaigner talk below about his experiences and hopes for education at a recent 5x15 event with Big Change for a taste of the wealth of ideas and deep thinking that just one young person can offer when they’re finally asked to give their views.  

The Big Education Conversation (#BigEdConvo) is a national campaign to get more people like Jaiden talking about the purpose of education, and how it should change for the future. 

Running in June and July 2021, the Big Education Conversation is led by the team at Big Change - a charity that wants to help create a society where every child can thrive. 

Conversations are already happening, especially off the back of this year when education has already been transformed. So we want the Big Education Conversation to shine a light on the people and organisations already calling for big changes in how we support the next generation, and the role of schools and colleges in that.

Big Change, IPPR and their partners will take the findings of the Big Education Conversation and use them to set up an ambitious five-year project, led by young people, parents, teachers and employers. The project is looking to transform the system through public debate, insight and ideas, and experiments across the country.

So if you had to prioritise just one of these purposes for education, which one would you choose for the students you teach?

Is education for:

  • Understanding and taking care of yourself and others?
  • Enjoying learning and becoming a good learner for life?
  • Academic success and achieving qualifications?
  • Preparation for the world of work?
  • Getting a good understanding of society and the world?
  • Or something else?

How do sixth form colleges fit in to creating an education system which works for all young people? Do they have their own specific purpose as part of a broader educational landscape?

Respond on Hub 6 and in our upcoming Chat 6 session on the topic, and the Sixth Form Colleges Association will share specific insights from members with the Big Education Campaign team to make sure the views of sixth forms are in fed into the conversation. Email Noni for an invite to the Chat 6 conversation on the 6th July.

This piece is by Caireen Goddard, Director of Network and System Change at Big Change.

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