"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

07 August 2016


Sir Ken on the future of education ...

It’s usual to think of education in terms of what people need to know, understand and be able to do. For me, the purpose of education is to help young people understand the world around them and engage in the world within them. A lot of the education system is focused on the external world, but all children have their own talents and abilities, sense of possibilities, biographies, anxieties, hopes and aspirations. Among the reasons why kids get disengaged from school is that schools don’t speak well enough to their inner world, and so they don’t feel that school is anything to do with them, or they have been made to feel stupid by it. Or they find it pointless or just boring.

On that basis there are four big purposes of education: economic, social, cultural and personal. But rather than defining education through a group of subjects, I think it is better to think of the competencies people need to make their way in the world now and to engage with the world the way it seems to be evolving. I would include things like curiosity, because in the end education depends on an appetite to learn. If that gets stultified then learning starts to slow down and eventually become frustrating.

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