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Education unplugged

I spent yesterday in Birmingham facilitating the morning session of the Specialist Schools and Academies Trust Annual Conference. This session was sponsored by Policy Unplugged and Channel 4 – they’re working to support bottom-up innovation in education.

I used a hybrid version of Open Space, and we had some great conversations about the future of education. I’m used to thinking about how marketing is being changed by the twin forces of the internet and the long-term decline of deference and respect for traditional authority – it was good to hear teachers talking about the impact on their world, and what they are doing about it. We also had a live feed from a parallel session in Hong Kong, which added an interesting dimension.

The Open Space format felt especially appropriate for an event where much of the focus was on breaking away from traditional models of education (“open head, insert expert knowledge”) toward more exploratory and organic approaches.