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Why school is bad for us – lessons we need to learn

Thursday, November 16, 2017 - 17:00 to 19:00
Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA

Millions of children could fail at school due to an obsession with individual assessment, literacy skills and the right kind of behaviour, according to an OU academic.

Jonathan Rix, Professor of Participation and Learning Support in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies at The Open University, will deliver his inaugural lecture on Why school is bad for us – lessons we need to learn, on Thursday 16 November at The Open University, when he will explore this obsession and ask if there are some simple ways to release teachers from these shackles.

Watch a trailer video of Jonathan Rix's lecture:

In his lecture, Professor Rix will draw on everyday examples from around the world to show how a negative schooling experience still dominates the lives of many.

Education as we know it, is about dividing us up; the subjects we study, the classes we study with, the practices that teach us

Jonathan Rix, Professor of Participation and Learning Support

Following his lecture, he will be joined by a panel of experts in education:

Teresa Cremin, OU Professor of Literacy
Peter Twining, OU Professor of Education (Futures)
James Biddulph, Head Teacher at The University of Cambridge Primary School
Zoe Nolan, Lead Councillor for children and families on Milton Keynes Council

They will debate: If school is really bad for us, what do we need to do?

The panel will be moderated by Richard Garner, who has been a journalist for over 40 years - writing for the Times Educational Supplement (TES),  and former Education Editor of the Mirror and the Independent. He is the author of The Thirty Years War, a book about teacher reform.

Teresa Cremin’s view is that schools are not necessarily bad for us, but that the performance activity agenda (Ball, 2003) currently restricts the ways in which teachers and children interact and thus frames and constrains teaching and learning in most, though not all schools and classrooms.

Peter Twining believes that a mismatch currently exists between what schools currently teach and what people leaving school need to have learnt in order to prepare them to be fulfilled, effective, and engaged citizens.

Zoë does not agree school that is bad for us, particularly as Ofsted rate 94% of schools as "good" or "outstanding”.

James will share a model of the University Training School.

Timings Item
17:00 - 18:00 Inaugural lecture by Professor Jonathan Rix: Why school is bad for us – lessons we need to learn
18:00 - 18:15 Refreshments
18:15 - 19:00 Panel discussion: If school is really bad for us, what needs to be done?
19:00 - 19:45 Drinks and canapes

Register to attend

Can't join in person? Watch the event live online here (link will be live before start of event)

Find out more about OU Research into education.

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