Friday insights round-up (11 Jan)

11 January 2019

In this week’s Friday Insights Round-Up, Impact Manager Caitlin is thinking about holistic and long-term learning. 

Below you’ll find some thought pieces about how learning needs to adapt as we spend more years in the workforce, access to alternative further education, conditions for innovation in the classroom, and which practices from alternative provision would benefit the mainstream education system.

There’s also a piece on network poverty and the importance of social capital in the mix as well.

The difference in TES

This week, The Difference‘s Shaun Brown wrote a piece in the Times Education Supplement about his experience moving from mainstream education to a Pupil Referral Unit (PRU), and back again. He discusses the challenges of feeling ill equipped to help his students when their behaviour became difficult to manage, and how he has used the training he received at the PRU to bring better inclusion practices to his new post in a mainstream school.>

(The Difference’s launches it’s first annual conference on Saturday 13 January)

Shaking up the MBA

Last week’s Friday Insights Round-Up noted that the sector kicked off 2019 with lots of thinking about the future of work. One of the areas that is up for discussion is how much longer young people will be in the work force once they reach adulthood, and how this needs to be supported by life-long learning in order for workers to keep up with the shifting world of work.

In a piece from the Financial Times, Jonathan Moules challenges the model of the elite MBA degree, and offers solutions on how new models can help (and in some cases, force) MBA graduates to keep up with the changing world of business.

Teacher-led innovation in schools

In education, as in many other sectors, some of the most innovative ideas come from those working on the frontline – teachers. But how can we create an environment where teachers can see their ideas implemented by their schools? Check out this example set by the Minnetonka School District in Minnesota, which uses a Hunt for Big Ideas process to allow teachers to submit, vote on and rank ideas. This has helped to amplify teacher voices and develop leadership  with frontline staff, not to mention the implementation of fresh ideas across the district.

Access to alternative further education

Apprenticeships have been in the spotlight: access, cost and quality have all been topics of discussion over the past month. This week, TES published an article highlighting the finding from the Institute of Public Policy Research (IPPR) that 63% of schools are falling short of their legal obligation to provide further education providers with access to their students, thus depriving their students of crucial information on alternative education pathways.

Along with recommendations for compliance for Ofsted and the wider Department of Education, the IPPR report states: “Young people should be free – and encouraged – to choose the course that best reflects their ambitions and aspirations. To do this, they need to understand the opportunities that lie ahead as well as the variety of high-quality options available locally.” Food for Thought:Network Poverty ‘It’s not what you know, but’… you know the rest. The concept of meritocracy is misguided; we know that skills and intrinsic abilities are not an automatic pathway to success. In this article, author Mary Jo Madda discusses the importance of social capital and what schools should be doing to make sure all students can develop it. Suggestions include learning from Cristo Rey High School’s corporate work study program, where students work five days a week (paid in tuition support) in different firms in different industries, or participating in remote mentoring programs such as iMentor.