Submit your questions and ideas to our panel of experts who will discuss what can be learnt from different approaches to education
Join our panel of education experts to examine what can be done to improve education, and make systems more equal. Whether you’re a teacher, student, academic, social worker, policymaker, parent, and wherever you are in the world, we want to hear from you.
Alex Beard, author of Natural Born Learners, and one of our panellists for this podcast, says:
“Most schools today are not teaching kids how to learn. We lack a common understanding of what education is and what purpose it serves. We set national targets and arrange institutions and organise people so that they can deliver on those targets. This managerial thinking has been around for 100 years. But by standardising things in this way across classrooms, you undermine the efforts of educators.”
In an increasingly interdependent world, it’s vital that we strive to understand not just what it is that makes other societies tick, but how others – be they British, Japanese, German or Argentinian – endeavour to solve the same problems that we all share. In this month’s podcast, we will be focusing on the issue of education, and how we as a global community can improve standards of education for children of all nationalities, genders, ethnicities and economic backgrounds.
What are the techniques and methods we can all use to reform education models? How far are they needed, and how far can they stretch? Wendy Kopp explains the extent of the issue in her article ‘It’ll take a village to reform global education’:
“More than 60 percent of primary school children in low- and middle- income countries do not reach a minimum proficiency in reading and math. We’re even further from ensuring the world’s children gain the competencies and dispositions necessary to shape a better future for themselves and all of us.”
One thing is clear: the learning crisis is severe. But the conversation on education still needs to shift towards an understanding that this is a crisis that needs fixing – we know where we want to get to, but we don’t yet know how to get there. Of course, what works in one country might not work entirely in another, but recognising that there are other ways to do things might be a good place to start.
What are the common issues we all face? What approaches have you seen implemented, or helped to implement, and what beneficial changes have been brought about in the systems you work in?
On a macro level, should we be trying new methods to engage leaders? Are there aspects of schools and teaching that you believe are outdated? Are there any good alternatives to excessive tests and exams? How can we plan long term or indeed collaboratively within education? How can we better prepare our children for life in the modern world? How can we incentivise more people to teach, and have the space to adopt more creative techniques in their teaching? Looking more locally, what can communities do to change how schools are run in their area – to create a level playing field for children and improve access for those from poorer backgrounds?
As Beard eloquently puts it: “In general, I think people don’t fundamentally understand what it means to learn – and to teach. Most policymakers don’t, and I certainly don’t think that people outside of education really do. Our society imagines that teaching means standing at the front of a classroom and talking about ideas. If we want to begin to create a better system, we all need a much deeper understanding of the nature of learning: the science of learning.”
How to take part
To contribute, you can fill in our encrypted form below. Or you can send an email to [email protected], including your question or comment, your name, and a phone number so we can call you to make a recording. We’ll feature some of your responses in our podcast.