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The creativity of an education system cannot surpass the creativity of its teachers.
The current dominant paradigm of education reform tries to change behaviour through top-down accountability measures, pay-related incentives and high stakes testing and appraisal. These efforts appear to be having diminishing returns, and increasing existing inequities. It risks creating a technocratic teacher identity, which reduces the teacher role to that of compliant technician, whose job is largely to implement protocols and carry out instructions.
The RSA’s work on teacher quality has championed the role of teacher as designer of learning experiences. Our new report for the World Innovation Summit in Education (WISE) argues that education systems should create deliberate platforms for innovation that are long-term-focused, equity-centred, humanising and – crucially - teacher-powered.
But what would it really take to flip the system so that teachers are at the steering wheel of education reform worldwide? And how do we achieve a shift of focus from individual teacher quality to collaborative professionalism?
Distinguished educationalist Professor Andy Hargreaves visits the RSA to consider how the teacher community could come together to create such a movement for change.