What’s the #1 annual publication in education? We may be biased, but for us it’s the Innovate My School Guide 2017/18. The third edition of this inspirational periodical sees 40 top educators tackle 10 of the most exciting areas in the sector, ranging from The Hottest Edtech Trends, to Assessing Assessment, to a Countdown to 2018/19. The IMS Guide is free to read on our website, and will throughout the year be distributed in print at selected education events across the UK and around the world.
In my work I get to hear children discuss subjects like gender identity, vegetarianism, doping in sport and free speech. On the one hand, controversial topics like these can stir up, provoke, and engage. On the other hand, they can trigger a defensiveness in students that stifles thoughtful inquiry. Is there a way to keep the benefits without the downsides? Is there a way to support honest inquiry where children can reevaluate their ideas and avoid intellectual stasis?
Those attending Bett Academies (NEC, Birmingham) on 17th March will get the chance to hear Andrew Fields, CEO of Aspire Academy Trust, discuss the shape of the new educational landscape. Presenting at 13:45 on the Friday of the event, Andrew will be reminding us of the opportunities that this new educational landscape offers academies and MATs.
An official part of Finland’s centennial celebrations, HundrED is a Finnish-born project researching global innovations in education, and helping to disseminate this best practice. The organisation has offices in both Helsinki and London, where the teams are working to find 100 innovations in Finland locally and 100 innovations from around the world.
School trips: few question the wonderful opportunity trips offer students to enjoy a new experience, learn new skills, practice a language, get to know a different culture and so much more. In fact, many teachers, school administrators, students and parents can’t imagine school life without them. But not all trips receive enough interest to go ahead.
During my years as a UK school leader, I’ve seen how education is becoming increasingly data-driven. We have inspections, reports, league tables, audits and internal data constantly flowing within schools. It can feel at times as if we are to be consumed by data. However, good teachers are constantly striving to improve, and they know that it is reliable data which is often key to improvement. Without data we have no proper sense of how we are doing now, and without an objective assessment of how things are, planning future improvements can be wasted.
‘Entrepreneurship’ is an immortal buzzword. A simple online search will provide you with over 146,000,000 answers (and multiple pictures of Richard Branson) of which the first one (by Wikipedia) will give you the following:
“Entrepreneurship has traditionally been defined as the process of designing, launching and running a new business, which typically begins as a small business, such as a startup company, offering a product, process or service for sale or hire, and the people who do so are called 'entrepreneurs'.”
Ayrton Cable, nine-year-old grandson of Sir Vince Cable, has co-founded a new chain of ‘change-maker’ schools in Africa. EnSo is a chain of low-cost private schools in the developing world that will provide high-quality education and affordable essentials (food, water, energy, health and hygiene). The organisation brings together four award-winning and technology-driven companies, already operating in east Africa and other parts of the developing world. Together, they hope to positively impact the lives of 500 million people over the next 25 years.
I often hear and read that being a teacher requires passion (plus a thick skin, a love of paperwork and a longing for constant change while living without sleep or having a social life – only joking!). I also hear that teaching is more of a vocation than a job. After nearly four decades, I would have to agree. Passion for teaching and learning is certainly what provides the energy, the drive to overcome challenges but is that how it starts? For me, it was almost by accident.