Imagine you are the new Minister for Education, so saysThe RSA in their new report on education reform.
I should declare a vested interest here as I am a Fellow The RSA and I fully support their mission.
In this paper they throw their ‘hat into the ring’ of education reform.
They set out a programme to create innovative teacher leaders to lead education reform from inside the system.
1. Build the case for change
2. Encourage government to desist from short terms reforms
3. Develop a different type of accountability
4. Create space for local curriculums
5. Prioritise creative assessment
6. Place a focus on creating innovative teachers
7. Create a creative incubator for education
8. Create peer teacher learning groups foster innovation
9. Develop system entrepreneurship
The report further sets out six contestable hypothesis for debate
1. System leaders need to focus on the best values
2. Mandate the good unleashes greatness
3. Reevaluate the education model
4. Create new patterns and ecosystems
5. School is an important institution
6. Learners need to be enabled and empowered
For those of you who do not know of The RSA,(Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), was formed in 1754, is based in London and is an august and well thought of association who have very strong and clear thoughts on the role that education should play. This new report and shortly to be annouced public debate aims to put to them in he centre of the debate about educatin reform.
They have a powerful and influential network of twenty seven thousand thought leaders who are motivated by the mission.
The RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) to give its full and very grand title, says it’s mission ‘is to enrich society through ideas and action.’
‘We believe that all human beings have creative capacities that, when understood and supported, can be mobilised to deliver a 21st-century enlightenment.
We work to bring about the conditions for this change, not just amongst our diverse Fellowship, but also in institutions and communities.
By sharing powerful ideas and carrying out cutting-edge research, we build networks and opportunities for people to collaborate – creating fulfilling lives and flourishing society.’
The report itself is well written and researched and is a good starting point for those who want a non-commercial and unbiased view of the current position of education.
I have read it all and I even spotted a typo, not like me so I must have been engaged.
I would encourage everyone interested in the subject to read it carefully; I did.
I understand the position they take of empowering teachers and as an ex-teacher I think that this is an important place to start and can be a good initiative to arrest the decline in numbers of great new teachers leaving the profession after only a few years.
However, I believe that motivating learners and changing the style of learning is the priority and I am not sure that those already within the system can do this quickly as it is a systemic problem. We also know that trying to turn government policy is like try to push The Titanic uphill.
Apart from speed of change there is a danger that this important contribution may not be aligned with other initiatives and in an increasingly diverse and debated area may ‘wither on the vine’, or note achieve as much traction as it deserves.
Although I suppose by creating a willing and talented force for change within teaching they could create a place where new ideas are tried and from this group could come a force for change.
I particularly like the idea of a ‘creativity incubator.’
Please read it and tell me what you think? I warn you though you will need a good fire and at least one glass of good red wine, I did!