We’re really excited to launch the Big Change and Innovation Unit’s Reimagining Education Together report. It is the first step in a critical conversation that we all need to have about the future of education and I hope you find it inspiring and thought provoking.
A survey run for Big Change has shown why the education system must change with a staggering seven in 10 teachers saying schools must prepare students for more than just exams. This is echoed by parents, with half saying they want schools to focus on more than passing tests.
The survey overwhelmingly shows that there is a huge appetite for change and the report shows examples of how we can do it. It is full of examples of trail blazers from around the world who have dared to ‘be the change’ in education, who look at the whole child rather than list of grades.
At Big Change we have been working with a wide range of experts in the field of education. These incredible teachers, policy experts, employers, neuroscientists, parents, students and young people gave their time generously as they share our belief and passion that now is the time to reimagine education together.
Reimagining Education is truly eye-opening as it explains why our education system in the UK (and beyond) needs to evolve in order for young people to thrive in this world of constant change. Now, more than ever, we need to remember the greatest lever for human, social and economic change is education.
At Big Change we believe this can’t be achieved in an education system so fixated on standardised testing, grade-point-average, prescriptive lesson plans, copy-and-paste criteria sheets and statistics.
Somewhere along the way, we’ve lost sight of the human touch when it comes to educating our young people. We need to nurture students, embrace their natural curiosity and recognise their individuality. We need a seismic shift throughout the entire learning ecosystem.
In the words of Essie North, CEO of Big Change: “They say it takes a village to raise a child. We wholeheartedly agree: but it also takes a whole child to raise a village. We must make sure every child gets all they need to thrive, so the next generation can lead the way in navigating a fast changing world – for the sake of all our futures.”
The report also highlights the need to address systemic injustices faced by underprivileged children and families, poor social mobility and rising mental health issues.
It wasn’t particularly surprising when the research showed that unified change in policy and in practice is vital to create change and build an environment where every student is given the chance to thrive. The entire purpose, scope and impact of the education system need to be addressed. As Anneli Rautiainen says in the report:
“We need a whole system transformation. That requires going through each part: Government, Municipal, school, students, parents, anyone with an opinion.”
This may seem daunting, but as you read through the report it becomes clear that transformational, long-term change is possible if we all come together to achieve it. At the current rate of progress it will be 50 years to reach an equitable education system but we can speed things up with the collective efforts of teachers, parents, students, business and society.
I would urge everyone to read the report and become involved in the conversation. At the end of the day, education affects every part of society and we all have a part to play in reimagining education.
Together, we can build a bright future where all young people are taught to thrive and this report helps to show us how it can be done.