Choosing Knowledge 2018

Saturday 17th February, Wellcome Collection, Euston, London

For a long time it has been considered a romantic ideal for teachers to be subject specialists with a passion for their subject. The free school movement has been an attempt to change this, to bring knowledge to the forefront of education. Recent statements from Amanda Spielman, head of Ofsted, seem to suggest free schools have got things right. Her view that school leaders should be ashamed of some of the tactics used to bolster their league table standings and that the teaching profession has a tendency to mistake badges and stickers for learning itself are encouraging. However, the debate about what schools are for and what we should teach goes on.

As a profession we have collapsed into thinking there are limits on what we can achieve with pupils in the classroom. Too many still believe the attempt to impart knowledge is, at best, a hindrance and at worst, a barrier to pupil achievement. However, for some of us this amounts to an abandonment of education to technocrats and blind men. This conference is a chance for those committed to teaching knowledge to discuss and devise our own best practice. How can we best take pupils on a journey into our immensely rich cultural heritage?

Sessions to include:

  • Opening plenary: What can neuro-science teach us?
  • Maths: Shanghai, Singapore or Bromley by Bow?
  • Is STEM necessary?
  • English: How do you teach the canon when they won’t read?
  • Should all pupils know Latin?
  • Closing plenary: Whose knowledge is it anyway?

Tickets available here: www.eventbrite.co.uk

David Perks

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