Rethinking education (and making it real) - RSA

Rethinking education (and making it real)

Fellowship events / Online

 -  | GMT Standard Time


  • Education
  • Fellowship

Surrounding us everyday are reports, stories and accounts connected to the economic crisis, pandemics, conflicts, climate change, biodiversity and the future of our world.

Alongside these are inspirational stories, innovations and solutions that seek to tackle the complex challenges that face us now and in the future. Stories of hope, collaborative action and creative innovation.

To ensure our people, place and planet flourish and thrive in the future, we require an educational system that supports the development of the relevant knowledge, skills, values and attitudes (agency, empathy, creativity, problem-solving, teamworking, leadership) that create hope, action and innovation in collaborative and inclusive ways. A just and equitable system that educates and empowers every person to achieve their full potential and create a resilient, rebalanced and regenerative world (as described in the RSA’s mission, Design for Life).

How can the RSA focus their efforts and connect with others to enable and support the creation of an inclusive, creative and innovative educational system? How can we work together to ensure that we provide young people with the different and interrelated competencies and experiences to prepare them for this vision of the future? How can we share our ideas, visions and examples of good practice to convene change and reduce barriers and obstacles that may be preventing the achievement of good outcomes?

Rethinking education does not involve removing or forgetting the things that work. There are many amazing practices, ideas and approaches that exist in the educational system that we need to share, explore and celebrate further. Within this event our two speakers will share their thoughts about inspirational ideas, plans to reimagine education and potential ways to make this vision real.

Liz Robinson will begin by exploring the potential role of education in transforming children’s lives and shaping whole communities. Social justice and wider change underpin her views that school simply must be about the whole child, the whole family and the whole community.

John McMahon (RSA Head of Education and Learning) will then outline the main ideas and thinking within the RSA in relation to education and the plans for taking these forward. He will invite you to share your thoughts, ideas and views of rethinking education and good practice through breakout and plenary discussions. The event will provide you with an opportunity to feed into the RSA vision of education and the process of turning ideas for reimagining education into reality.

Our speakers

Liz Robinson – Liz co-founded Big Education to be a place where those who believe in more radical change in the sector can come together; to collaborate, share, challenge and encourage one another. She was also the head at Surrey Square for many years and used values as a key driver to redefine the purpose of the school and radically reshape the culture and approaches. Liz has deep expertise and a particular interest in capacity development and growing leadership. She created The Big Leadership Adventure to support changemaker leaders in the sector.

John McMahon - John leads the RSA work across education and learning, including early years, schools and the youth sector. He joined the RSA in March 2022, following four years leading Arts Council England’s national policy team, and their work in both health and criminal justice. Other past roles include Head of Learning at the Crafts Council, youth, education and volunteering lead at the Heritage Lottery Fund, and conservation traineeships manager at Tate. Prior to his work in creative and cultural education, John was Policy Adviser for London with the Offender Learning & Skills Service.

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