What a fantastic launch to this year's festival. Lesley Riddoch was in feisty mode and did a fantastic job of chairing the ideas about how education could be. What it would take to change it. Lesley shared her experiences and insights, some cultivated from Nordic Horizons http://www.nordichorizons.org/ and Hofsted http://geert-hofstede.com and talked about the importance of rethinking the education system we have and the role of trust developing such a system.
Mel Young, our first key speaker was hugely challenging through his proposal about the dangerous class, and the role of delinquency in entrepreneurship. Instead teaching people to be employees, why aren't we teaching the attributes of employers? He also focussed on shaping the curriculum to what individuals are passionate about, and cited examples of schools in other countries where people learn through their passion. He also raised the question about why we aren't engaging more with those who have wealth and asking them to invest in our education system? Do we have enough emphasis on enterprise and entrepreneurship in schools and colleges? Can we build on the entrepreneurial skills of those successfully engaged in the black economy?
The Real David Cameron was present throughout the museum when we played his pod-cast 'Tearing Down The Hierarchies'. His thought-provoking, and passionate plea to change outcomes, not just structures was listened to by individuals finding their unique spot in the museum and listening through headphones. He talked about the need to maintaining the enthusiasm of a highly qualified and skilled workforce by developing a culture based on trust, with leadership demonstrated at every level. The main message - too much change, too little difference. Listen to David's wonderful pod-cast and be inspired. David will be hosting the Emporium of dangerous Ideas on 21st June - join us then for more discussion on his ideas.
Stacey McCubbin spoke passionately about her experience of school and college and had 3 very clear dangerous ideas. Firstly she thought teachers should be passionate about inspiring young people, and if they no longer felt that way, they should consider alternative employment. She felt the job was more than just teaching a subject, and there should be more emphasis on developing real life skills. This lead Stacey to her second dangerous ideas, that there should be more informal and vocational learning in school and colleges. Stacey felt she had learned most through informal learning that helped her make the transition form teenager to adult and more focus should be on this transition. To enable teachers and lecturers to respond more effectively to young people, Stacey, with her third idea suggested all teachers and lecturers should be trained in youth work. This sparked off a lively debate which I'm sure will continue throughout the festival.
Our final speaker was Rt Hon Henry McLeish who engaged with a debate about the unequal society and th inequality of access to education. He talked about the personalisation of learning and the need to invest in an education system that developed human capital, and moved us away from the 80/20 divide. He also introduced the need for more discussion and debate around the philosophy of education - education for its own sake.
Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum was a wonderful venue for this silent launch, and we are very grateful to the museum staff for their adventurous spirit and attention to detail. Technical support was fantastic, enabling us to wander around the museum while pondering on how we 'tear down the hiearchies'. Open to all suggestions!