Progress Slippage...

comments Commentstotal25
Looking out at education 2014 to 2015 one cannot help but feel that the global context is getting rather worse. Governments around the world are still wrestling with budget difficulties caused by the 2008 collapse. And now new economic gloom is descending in Europe and the Far East. Meanwhile renewed war and instability in the Middle East, the Ebola outbreak and armed conflict in Ukraine all paint a picture of things spinning out of control. Of course the world has been at such cross roads many times before but there is surely a feeling of our politicians playing catch up rather than leading us out of these various crises.

Against this backdrop it is hardly surprising that education continues to struggle to get its message of modernisation across. Teachers continue to do heroic things in classrooms but are too often beaten back by intransigent bureaucracies that fail to engage. Of course at the conference level there is much talk of change and development but at the school level this is too often translated as the need for more teacher accountability and too little investment in newer approaches.

Project based learning is a good example of this problem. Embraced by many teachers and children alike it has still failed to be mandated as an approach in any country. Likewise with new buildings: discussing a design using solar energy with one government official in Europe I was told that even though our designs were essentially free (solar energy pays for the building over 15 years) this was not something that that country would wish to invest in. You couldn't, as they say, make it up!

So where does that leave us all? As ever it is running small scale experiments in class rooms and waiting for the day when politicians turn on their imagination gene. One advantage we do have is that sites like these allow us to share what we are doing. So let us know how it is for you!

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