Education in Britain does seem to be in a bit of a mess at the moment. There’s always discussions about standards, especially at this time of year, but with curriculum reviews taking place left, right and centre, I think that we have to ask ourselves: What do we want our young people to know? How do we want them to be when they leave school?
The most obvious answer is that we want them to be skilled, well educated, decent functioning members of society that contribute positively to society as a whole. It would be easy for me to say that this isn’t happening, and that would be wrong. The vast majority of young people today have these things. But that wouldn’t grab any headlines now would it? It wouldn’t exacerbate the already-strained relationship between Gove/Ofsted and the teaching profession. Having said that, and under the belief that ‘every child matters’, the education system doesn’t always get it right. I’m not going to complain (again) about over-worked teachers and under-funded schools, despite these being a constant issue. There are ways around this and some schools are doing amazing jobs at helping our young people achieve. Educators need to be innovative and that’s why I’m writing this post. I wish I’d come across TED while I was still teaching. I’m ashamed to say that I didn’t but I can see so many uses for it across the whole of the school experience.
If you’re not sure where to start, then have a look at this list of 8 Great TED Talks about the Future of Education and Learning. They will inspire you and give you hope that all is not lost. My favourite is the top one, by Ken Robinson. It affirmed my own thinking that not all is well with education. But it also makes me think that we shouldn’t despair – maybe we should vote better, but not despair! If those involved within education speak up during curriculum reviews, like the A Level one that is going on right now, do what they can to be innovative, teach beyond the test and support one another (I’m including SMT’s in this too!) then surely the future of education needn’t be all doom and gloom (or led by Gove!). There are great resources out there and TED is just one of them.