Most people would accept that our education systems need to change to reflect the world around them. However, there isn't general agreement about what those changes might look like or indeed what the purposes of education should be in the automation age.
A traditional academic approach would be to carry out research and then publish findings in a refereed journal article. I have a number of concerns about that ...
- academic research is often dependent upon external funding - which often distorts both the research focus and approach (and at times willingness to publish findings)
- the process of publishing academic research findings is generally slow and what gets through the review process may be distorted by views of what counts as high quality research (e.g. by the metrics used in research assessment exercises such as the Research Excellence Framework (REF) in the UK)
- we already have a great deal of evidence (from theory, practice and research) that is relevant to education - but much of these seems to be ignored. For example, research that I led looking at the implementation of the then government's Information Communication Technology (ICT) strategy concluded that
While many of these implementation issues are not ‘new’, the fact that the evidence collected as part of this review clearly indicates that they are still the most important factors affecting the implementation of ICT in education is itself significant (Twining et al 2006 p.3)
- many of the issues that need to be resolved are political and 'more research' isn't going to help resolve them
Clearly, we need to take account of academic research, but we also need to learn from practice and engage in debate. We need spaces where we can share views about what the world will be like and what the purposes of education should be. We need to be able to explore examples of interesting practice and other evidence about how we might develop education systems that are fit for purpose. We need to feel safe testing out ideas and checking our understandings against other people's. We need to be able to connect up with other people who are interested in education - even (or perhaps particularly) if they don't agree with our point of view.
halfbaked.education provides such a space.
I intend to use halfbaked.education to try out my emerging ideas and understandings, in the hope that you join me in a constructively critical debate about educational issues in order to inform policy and practice and improve education (particularly for school age learners). You can contribute by commenting on posts in halfbaked.education and by contributing your own posts to the debate.