The Great Room at The RSA was full. Like a Calima, drawn towards the depression that is education in England, conversation and debate swept across the room.
We had assembled to hear Profesor Danny Dorling and Professor Diane Reay give their assessments of English education today, and to provide us with both data and questions of challenge in our collective pilgrimage for reform.
The short films below give you a flavour of our event and the messages delivered by our speakers…
Professor Danny Dorling, Oct. 5th 2015
Professor Diane Reay, Oct. 5th 2015
Professor Dorling challenged his audience to imagine an education system without so much testing. His exposition included illustrations of how we value memory above problem solving and experimentation. He was delighted to see in the audience, after general questioning, that so many of us had achieved ‘A’ grades. A triumph of conformity, alas, in the Dorling assessment. The whole treatise bringing into doubt the formula that a more expensive education is a more privileged education.
Professor Reay used her allotted time to deliver a statistical analysis of the inequalities in education in our country. Highlighting the fact that in the private sector, for example, spend per pupil is 2.5 times higher than in the state sector. She also highlighted the deficiencies in access to the broad and balanced curriculum which children and young people need, along with a strong section in her presentation, on happiness and wellbeing. Often disregarded, she argued, in any assessment of educational utlilty or achievement.
Whether for learners or teaching staff, levels of distress and dissatisfaction have never been higher, Professor Reay argued. Much was also made of the increasingly low level of professional autonomy afforded teachers in England now.
This was a well attended IETT event, with very high quality engagement and telling analysis from our speakers. This prompted some very lively discussion across the room, as well as new networking and professional acquaintance for many visitors to our conference. Ed.
You can see more IETT events on our Conference and Events page here.
You can also find more films on this topic on our The Debate – filmed page here.
Event films by Dan Keeble – Video Editor / Producer / DP http://dankeeble.com/