Towards a shared agreement on the key facts about a good education?

A week ago I blogged about the knowledge versus skills debate in education.

I responded to a blog posted by Joe Kirby in which he reviewed a book by Daisy Christodoulou called the Seven Myths About Education, about which she also has been blogging. I said I liked the RD Hirsch analogy, that both Daisy and Joe use, of knowledge and skills in the curriculum being like scrambled eggs. I then went on to ask if it really matters which part of a proverbial ‘curate’s egg’ an educated person comes from.

Since then there have been more interactions on this issue at the Festival of Education held at Wellington College, not far from London, as well as via the blogosphere, many linked to sessions at the said festival.

This proves to me two things:

  • firstly, that education really is a life-long process and that however wise you may think you are, there is always something new to learn from others (try telling that to my 12-year-old daughter … )
  • secondly, that we are entering a period of intense and open debate about what a good education looks like and anyone connected to the internet can participate. This is fantastic and all we need to do now is link our discussion in a neutral way to an evidence base of key facts about which we might all possibly agree, though not necessarily on the outcomes and benefits that they are linked to – I am hoping that the ResearchEd 2013 conference in September can assist with this process, perhaps through a small randomised controlled trial (RCT).

P.S. I you read my posts you will see that I generally reference Wikipedia on some of the terms I use – this is because it is the best means of agreeing key facts that I am aware of currently, though I’m happy to be told otherwise.