The RSA are excited to be hosting the inaugural Big Education Conversation event on 26 June in Manchester in partnership with Whole Education and Education Forward.
The catalyst for this event has been the work of Education Forward, a group that seeks to change the conversation and create opportunities for wider public debate about education. This involves shifting from a “backwards-looking and polarised” view of education, to one that looks forward to “the knowledge, skills and dispositions that our children will need in the future in order to thrive”.
Event Aims and Format:
Big Education Conversations seek to open up spaces for discussion, deepen the quality of debate, and examine productive ways forward for all those involved in the educational process. During this event, we will explore both the specific challenges schools face in the provision of positive educational experiences and the many innovative ideas and examples of good practice that support and enhance the ability of children to flourish and thrive throughout their lives.
The event will begin with provocation pieces from the main speakers. You will then have the opportunity to select from two of the Big Education Conversation themes and join the discussion around these specific themes and provocations. Within these small groups there will be stimuli from different innovative practices currently being applied and developed within schools and further engagements by experts in this area of education. Following on from a round up and panel discussion, the event will end with an informal drinks reception.
Big Education Conversation Themes Tables will include:
Reimagining community resources to drive improvement in outcomes for (disadvantaged) learners:
Inspired by two groundbreaking projects in Rochdale (D6) and Cambridgeshire (Language Futures) we look at how community volunteers have been helping disadvantaged young people improve their engagement and educational outcomes at secondary school by making learning more relevant and engaging.
Reimagining forms of assessment and recognition aligned with economic and societal demand:
Inspired by two groundbreaking projects that started in the US, we look at the progress one, that offers a new qualifications currency supported by the City & Guilds, is already making here (RSA’s Cities of Learning), and the possibilities presented by another (Mastery Transcript Initiative) to change the way we approach university entrance.
Rethinking new forms of localism and local collaboration:
With an apparent slowing down of MAT development, and inspired by some of the new emerging models of local partnerships, this session will look at innovative ways that local partnerships and collaborations can drive sustainable school improvement and innovation over time. We will hear from a range of models emerging across the country and consider possibilities for the North West area and beyond.
Revisiting accountability and assessment:
We will examine the growing emphasis on high-stakes testing and centralised accountability within primary and secondary education. This will involve exploring the different ways certain forms of accountability and approaches to assessment are seen to drive certain practices within schools, as well as possible alternative approaches that could help to support schools and foster more productive learning experiences and forms of collaboration.
Broadening access to and engagement with cultural education:
We look at two inspiring projects that are aimed at engaging more young people from all backgrounds in cultural and arts education as a basic entitlement that will serve them well for the future that demands creativity, problem solving, etc.
Beyond knowledge versus skills – developing successful and widely implementable ‘both/and’ pedagogies:
Inspired by school-based examples, we explore a few simple pedagogies (e.g. collaborative learning; peer tutoring; flipped learning) that schools and teachers can apply that will help all students develop wider skills and qualities they will need for life, as well as helping them to be academically successful.
David Price, OBE, is a global thought leader, learning futurist, and author of the best-selling book OPEN: How We’ll Work, Live and Learn In The Future. He is also an author and editor of Education Forward: Moving Schools into the Future.
Professor Mel Ainscow, CBE (FRSA) is Emeritus Professor of Education and co-director of the Centre for Equity in Education. Between 2007 and 2011 Mel was the Government’s Chief Adviser for the Greater Manchester Challenge, a 50 million pound initiative to improve educational outcomes for all young people in the region.
Rosie Clayton has been involved in a number of innovative education projects including setting up Studio Schools, working with the Innovation Unit to establish the Extraordinary Learning Trust and supporting the growth of Digital Advantage in the North West. She is currently working for Big Change to design an impact accelerator model for new education ventures and she will be joining the RSA in July to lead on the Cities of Learning programme.
If you would like to attend, please register via the "Book Now" link above.
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Location: University of Manchester Conference Centre, Chancellors Hotel, Manchester, M14 6NN