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Holiday insights round-up (4 Jan)

Big Change, 04/01/19

Congratulations everyone – we’ve all made it through the first week of 2019!

Big Change Impact Manager, Caitlin, is back from a break in San Francisco and jumping into the new year with another Friday insights round-up – covering the holiday period.

If you were spending your time away from the screen this holiday season, don’t worry; Caitlin has rounded up sector and partner stuff you might missed:

2019 predictions

Starting off by reading what some pretty smart people think will happen this year, including Nesta’s annual predictions.  Their thinking about the beginning of the end of exams is particularly interesting and pertinent to our work at Big Change.

January reading list

Lots of big thinkers are devoting their attention to the future of work. RSA shared their thinking via a series of essays as a sort of field guide to what work will look like in the near future, with a particular focus on how technology can affect our lives, and the ways our conversations around it need to adapt.

EdSurge’s Michelle Weise’s article on why our learning structure and ecosystem are no longer fit for purpose, given how long people will remain in the workforce is also a fascinating read. Weise looks at how we can encourage the continuous learning that is necessary for our changing world of work. She suggests true flexibility, episodic and on-demand pathways to particular careers, and better assessments for capabilities, mindsets and skills students have.

The OECD released their jobs strategy at the end of 2018. It includes a particular focus on creating the conditions for flexibility, resilience, adaptability and inclusivity in order for workers to thrive in the changing economy.

Learning outside the classroom

Last year, our project partner, Voice Bradford, received £1.6 million in government funding to launch their 50 Things to do Before You’re Five programme in 13 new local authorities in 2019. We are absolutely honoured that they attribute this follow-on funding to Big Change’s early support. And, now, The Department for Education has released its own ‘activity passport’, targeting the next age group from reception to Year 6 with a series of activities for parents and children to foster well-rounded learning.

Lessons from Virginia 

Big Change is all about learning from others all over the world. Check out this particularly cheerful example of how creative, play-based assessments have largely taken the place of standardised testing at a school in Charlottesville, Virginia. The school uses a system called ‘Sparkle Sleuths’ to provide evidence of creative problem solving behaviours in place of traditional assessment. (Votes on whether Caitlin should change her job title to ‘Sparkle Sleuth’?)