What’s the purpose of school? – Bringing some new learning and some old ideas together.

As you might have noticed if you read my blog, I have been doing a fair bit of reading lately. I’ve also been doing lots of thinking and have talked to plenty of people with differing perspectives lately. My challenge has been to bring all of this together to decipher what the purpose of school is (now).

I’ve decided to separate  the ideas out into the ‘how’ of learning, the attributes, skills, competencies and dispositions of great learners and the beliefs and values I’m thinking school should instill in students. I’ve also added a component which I have become convinced is missing in lots of our discussion around education – the ‘what’ – here I’ve pinched Michael Young’s term of ‘powerful knowledge’

What do you think? I’d love your feedback please!

My-learning diagram 2015 draft


2 thoughts on “What’s the purpose of school? – Bringing some new learning and some old ideas together.

  1. I think it’s great Emma! Everything from your original model has been built on! Would this replace the old one or be put alongside the learner in the previous model?

    Do you by any chance have a link or reading to find our more about powerful knowledge?

    1. Thanks Nicole. It’s very much just a draft at this stage. I want to get as much feedback as possible, from outside our cluster. Then I want to ask the teachers in our cluster to pull it apart, debate, question etc. and come to a bit of a common understanding of what future focused education looks like for our schools. The model will just be something to provide a starting point, so we don’t have to start with a completely blank canvas. This will most likely be at our teacher only day at the start of next year but people in different schools are thinking and reading now, to help deepen that conversation.

      There are a few books you could read, if you want to follow up on Young’s ideas – Knowledge and the Future School, Bringing Knowledge Back In and The Curriculum of the Future. Basically what I pinched from him is his differentiation between powerful knowledge and knowledge of the powerful. I also wanted to allude to Beriter’s ideas about creating knowledge building schools, which is worth looking into if you are interested. I found his his stuff challenging until I listened to Mark Osborne speak about it on Pete Hall’s podcast, Point of Learning.

      Thanks for the comment!

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