What is the role of education?

In this RSA video (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce), Sir Ken Robinson considers the role of education in society. Taking a historical view of the intentions of formal schooling at its inception, he argues that the current education system is not fit for purpose as it is based on principles that are not relevant in a media rich and diverse society:

After watching the above video students could begin to research the history of education in Britain. Providing research points for investigation may help guide weaker students, for example, what subjects were made compulsory and in what year? Are there any class differences in the type of education received? Were certain subjects restricted to boys and certain subjects to girls?

Discussions around their own experiences of education will prove fruitful here, for example encouragement to take English Baccalaureate subjects.

Research opportunities are also fruitful. Students could interview teachers and ask them to explain the values they believe are encouraged by things such as the wearing of a school uniform, detentions, house competitions and school/college sports teams.


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