Education for All. Evidence from the past, principles for the future.

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1 Education for All Evidence from the past, principles for the future Richard Pring, Department of Education, University of Oxford Andrew Pollard, Institute of Education, University of London

2 Richard Pring and Andrew Pollard, February 2011 This document may be reproduced with acknowledgement of the original source. Together with a summarising TLRP Research Briefing, it is available under a Creative Commons licence at

3 Contents Preface and Acknowledgements 5 Twelve Challenges and Principles 6 Introduction Reviews of Education: Genesis and Significance 8 Part I: What is education for? Section 1 A Bit of History 12 Section 2 Educational Aims and Values 15 Section 3 Social and Economic Context 18 Section 4 Developmental Processes 21 Challenges and Principles 24 Part II: What are the consequences of educational aims for learning and teaching? Section 5 A Wider Vision of Learning 26 Section 6 Learning and Curriculum 32 Section 7 Learning and Pedagogy 36 Section 8 Learning and Assessment 39 Challenges and Principles 41 Part III: What sort of system would achieve educational aims? Section 9 Provision of Education and Training 44 Section 10 Funding and Resources 47 Section 11 Qualifications and Progression 49 Section 12 The role of Government 52 Challenges and Principles 55 Conclusion 57 Notes and References 58 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 3

4 4 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

5 Preface and Acknowledgements This publication has its own history. The idea for a review of reviews an attempt to summarise and distil the policy implications of available sectoral reviews was formed early in TLRP s development. The concept was inspired by the National Commission on Education which, under the leadership of Sir Claus Moser and funding from the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, had consulted widely, gathered evidence and produced a report: Learning to Succeed (1993). As an unusually large, medium-term investment in educational research, TLRP was able to contemplate emulating this precedent though ultimately the Programme s funding model could not stretch to a project on that scale. What we have here then, is a more pragmatic harvesting of available sectoral reviews which, together, provide evidence on most major sectors of education in England. The work is one product from a TLRP Programme Fellowship, held by Andrew Pollard during 2009/10, and we are grateful to ESRC for funding his contribution. This was supplemented by an award from the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to the Institute of Education, University of London, which enabled Richard Pring to work on the project. Richard has led in the drafting of this text and much of his voice and experience comes through. We are grateful to colleagues who led the sectoral reviews and initiatives on which we have drawn. In particular, we acknowledge the advice provided by Robin Alexander (Director, Cambridge Primary Review), Alan Brown, Miriam David and Mary James (Directors Team, TLRP), Tom Schuller (Director, Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning) and John Vorhaus (Director, Center for the Wider Benefits of Learning). Their achievements are considerable and their publications speak for themselves. Hilary Hodgson of the Esmée Fairbairn Foundation has also been a particular source of support and James O Toole of TLRP has provided administration at several key points with his admirable efficiency and goodwill. However, the present report is our responsibility and is not that of the authors of the Review documents on which we have drawn or of colleagues who have provided support. Others should not be held responsible for any errors of interpretation which we may have made, or arguments which we have developed. Based on evidence from selected sources, our goal has been to highlight enduring issues and challenges which face policy-makers in contemplating education in England and to suggest principles which might inform future decisionmaking. We have had in mind the reality of rapidly changing Ministerial responsibilities, with a typical term of office since 1945 being well under two years. How then, can an incoming Minister get up to speed on the issues which he or she will face? Additionally, how can an incoming Minister ensure that the decisions he or she takes will enable authentic and constructive development of educational provision, with an appropriate balance of continuity and change? The initiative reported here was thus intended to be supportive of policy-makers by distilling a selection of available evidence and re-presenting it in a form which could helpfully inform future decision-making. A summary research briefing has also been produced and these texts are available on the TLRP website at Andrew Pollard and Richard Pring, February 2011 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 5

6 Twelve Challenges and Principles Arising from the evidence of the Reviews are twelve challenges to those who are responsible for policy and who thereby shape practice. To meet those challenges, we suggest, section by section, the following principles for consideration in future policy-formulation. Part I: What is education for? 1 Challenge: Lessons from history are important. Very often, we have been here before. Principle: Ministers, political advisers, civil servants and educational professionals should acquaint themselves with recent history of education in order to build cumulatively on worthwhile successes and to avoid repeating mistakes. 2 Challenge: Aims of education are often spelt out solely in terms of economic utility and relevance. Principle: Policy and frameworks of entitlement should reflect the broad aims of educating persons, such as: understanding of the physical, social and economic worlds, practical capabilities, economic utility, moral seriousness, sense of community, collaboration and justice, sense of fulfilment motivation to continue learning even to the fourth age. 3 Challenge: In responding to national priorities and in promoting education for all, policy must also reflect the diversity of social and economic conditions which affect learning. Principle: In pursuing educational aims, the system of education should recognise the significance of particular economic, social and personal circumstances, and thus enable flexible adaptation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to meet specific needs. 4 Challenge: Too easily the capacities of people to learn are seen, from early years to old age, to be strictly limited by nature. Principle: Biology is not destiny. Still more and better investment in the early years is crucial, but the brain remains adaptable from experiences and learning opportunities throughout life. Part II: What are the consequences of educational aims for learning and teaching? 5 Challenge: Formal education is dominated by narrowly conceived forms of academic learning, thus undermining other capabilities of importance to our society, economy and citizens. Principle: A wider vision of education should respect and reward the practical as well as the academic, informal and experiential as well as formal learning, and should draw upon the wide range of expertise within the community. 6 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

7 twelve challenges and principles 6 Challenge: The school curriculum has become overloaded and dysfunctional, and fails to meet the needs of many young people. Principle: A curriculum entitlement framework should be designed to introduce young people to subjects and the broad domains of knowledge, to practical capabilities and skills, to a sense of achievement, to the big issues which confront society and to the knowledge and dispositions for active citizenship, yet be flexible enough for teachers to adapt appropriately. 7 Challenge: Teachers pedagogical expertise and professionalism are essential to educational quality from early years to adult learning, but this is not consistently understood or provided for in our culture, policy and provision. Principle: Teachers expertise in the enhancement of learning should be supported and challenged by provision for continuing professional development in all phases of education and by a single system of qualified teacher status. 8 Challenge: The high stakes testing regime serves incompatible purposes and narrows what is to be learnt. Principle: The different purposes of assessment (i.e. supporting different kinds of learning, holding the system accountable and certifying achievements) require different and appropriate modes of assessment, and maintenance of appropriate balance between them. Part III: What sort of system would achieve educational aims? 9 Challenge: Learner circumstances are diverse and wide-ranging, so that no one school or college has the resources or expertise to meet the needs and aspirations of all young people within it. Principle: Local collaborative and democratic learning partnerships (embracing schools, further education colleges, universities, employers, independent training providers, and voluntary bodies) should be established to promote continuity in provision for lifelong learning. 10 Challenge: There are too many different funding streams, often for the same work, creating unfair and often inefficient distribution of resources. Principle: Funding should be directed to locally developed partnerships, with regional oversight by local authorities which will be in a position to understand the educational and training needs of the different phases and communities. 11 Challenge: The present system of qualifications is highly complex in terms of progression routes, levels and equivalences, and little understood by employers, young people themselves hand higher education. Principle: Qualifications should reflect the aims of learning, including the practical, informal and experiential, and should provide a framework which is enabling, clear and stable. 12 Challenge: There has emerged a highly centralised and detrimental control over education and training. Principle: The Government should ensure necessary resources, teacher supply, legal frameworks, curricular entitlement and overall accountability, but place responsibility for detailed provision with institutions, partnerships and authorities in particular localities. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 7

8 Introduction Reviews of Education: Genesis and Significance So much that is desirable in society depends on the quality of education and training which are provided by schools, colleges, higher education, adult education, employers, independent training providers and third sector (voluntary bodies). For instance, economic success, in a highly competitive world, depends on a skilled, literate and numerate workforce. Furthermore, quality of life depends on the realisation of the wider human capacities to think, to reason, to appreciate and to create the end-product, one hopes, of a well rounded education. Further still, human wellbeing depends on a healthy democratic society in which all feel able to participate and to which all are enabled to contribute; citizenship requires the enhancement of social attitudes, dispositions and skills. Such broad aims of education (economic relevance, human well-being and the enrichment of society) should permeate policy and practice at every level. In the last two years several major reports provided comprehensive and independent Reviews of many aspects of education and training in England and Wales from cradle to grave. If policy and practice are to be based on evidence, which Ministers often affirm, these Reviews are essential reference points. They review a wide range of research relevant to policy and practice. But each Review recognises that such evidence has to be understood in the light of broader and often controversial questions about educational aims reaching a balance between economic, personal and social well-being. That is where each Review starts. This Report pulls together these Reviews, pointing, first, to the broad agreement on educational aims, and, second, to the consequences of that agreement for teaching, learning and the provision of education and training. Though arising from Reviews within England and Wales, the principles have resonance across the UK. Circumstances and context change; it is impossible to recommend in detail what incoming Ministers should do. But emerging from these Reviews are principles, founded on evidence. We believe these, have enduring value and are offered as a guide to both policy and practice through the inevitable coming and going of Ministers. The Reviews drawn upon are: Cambridge Primary Review: 2010, edited by Alexander, R. Children, their World, their Education, London: Routledge (referred to in the text as CPR) Since the 1970s, primary schools have been the focus of criticism, whether justified or not, for poor standards and suspect ideology. Hence, as the CPR points out (p.1), there has been a programme of unprecedented investment and direct government intervention yielding 2 billion initiatives in literacy and numeracy, and much more besides. The CPR was funded in 2006 by Esmée Fairbairn Foundation to evaluate the current state of primary education by combining retrospective evidence with prospective vision. The final report, based on extensive research, drew together over 30 interim reports. Its website is can be found at: Nuffield Review: 2009, Pring, R., Hayward, G., Hodgson, A., Johnson, J., Keep, E., Oancea, A., Rees, G., Spours, K., Wilde, S., Education for All: the Future of Education and Training for Year Olds in England and Wales, London: Routledge (referred to as NR). Much happens at the age of 14 in our schools: choices are made about pathways to be followed; the run-up to GCSE begins; guidance for future careers kicks in; possibilities of college based education are opened up. More radical choices are necessary at 16. In 2003, the Nuffield Foundation funded a major Review of every aspect of provision to be led by Richard Pring. The final Report was supported by a wide range of research papers, and these remain available on its website (www.nuffieldfoundation.org/ nuffield-review education-and-training-0) 8 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

9 introduction reviews of education: genesis and significance Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning: 2009, Schuller, T. and Watson, D., Learning Through Life, London: NIACE (referred to in the text as IFLL) This Inquiry was set up in 2007 by the National Institute of Adult Continuing Education, and informed by over 250 evidence submissions. The Report is nested in 30 supplementary papers published on Although the primary focus is on adult learning, it emphasises crucial continuity with early childhood and schooling. Mental Capital and Well Being Report, 2008, Feinstein, L., Vorhaus, J., Sabates, R., Learning through Life: Future Challenges: London: Govt. Office for Science (referred to as MCWB) The Office for Science s Foresight Programme advises the Government on how to achieve the best possible mental development for everyone. This Report considered factors which could affect learning through life over the next 20 years. The report is on National Child Development Study, 2008, Now We are 50: Key findings from the NCDS 2008, Elliott, J. and Vaitilingam, R. (eds) (referred to as NCDS). This summarises key findings from the longitudinal study of 17,000 people who have been closely tracked since their birth in The report provides unique insights into the consequences of education in relation to other experiences through life. (See publications section of Teaching and Learning Research Programme, Commentaries: (referred to as TLRP with a number related to a specific report, e.g. TLRP5). TLRP has been the UK s largest recent investment in educational research. Directed by Andrew Pollard, it studied issues which would enable improvements in learning within all educational sectors. Such a programme, therefore, overlaps with the different phases of the above reports and fills gaps which division into phases inevitably creates. For the purpose of this review, TLRP s Commentary output has been drawn on to represent key messages from the overall research programme. TLRP s documents can be downloaded from commentaries. The TLRP Commentaries directly referred to in this report to are: 1 James, M. and Pollard, A. (2006) Improving Teaching and Learning in Schools. 2 Howard-Jones, P., 2006, Neuroscience and Education: Issues and Opportunities 3 Hofkins, D., 2007, Principles into Practice: A Teacher s Guide to Research Evidence on Teaching and Learning 4 David, M. et al., 2008, Widening Participation in Higher Education 5 Fuller, A. and Unwin, L., 2008, Towards Expansive Apprenticeships 6 Nash, I., Jones, S., Ecclestone, K., Brown, A., 2008, Challenge and Change in Further Education 7 Selwyn, N., 2008, Education 2.0? Designing the Web for Teaching and Learning 8 Brown, A., 2008, Higher Skills Development at Work 9 David, M., 2008, Effective Learning and Teaching in UK Higher Education 10 Brown, P., Lauder, H., Ashton, D., 2008, Education, Globalisation and the Knowledge Economy 11 Mansell, W. and James, M., 2009, Assessment in Schools: Fit for Purpose? 12 Pollard, A., 2010, Professionalism and Pedagogy: a Contemporary Opportunity As will be apparent from the list above, comprehensive, public reviews of early years, of higher education and of workplace learning were not available and other gaps may also be identified. We have not attempted to fully address provision in sectors lacking a contemporary, integrated review, though we do make some reference to them when appropriate. We believe that many of the challenges and principles which we have identified are likely to recur. When such work has been done, we hope that it may be possible to develop the analysis further. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 9

10 10 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

11 Part I: What is education for? Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 11

12 Section 1 A Bit of History The three main themes of the Reviews (the aims of education, their realisation in teaching and learning, and the institutional provision for teaching and learning) have a history. Some knowledge of that history is essential for understanding the present and shaping the future. Key points We ve been here before : future policy should learn from the past. That past, following the 1944 Butler Act, saw the value of educational partnerships. Subsequent policy changes followed in the light of independent reports of evidence. The most important bit of history which makes this Review of Reviews necessary is the constant change, especially in England, of ministerial responsibility for education and training. Since 1975 there have been 16 Secretaries of State, the longest term being that of Keith Joseph (5 years), the shortest that of Estelle Morris (1 year). Under these Secretaries of State there have been over 50 Ministerial appointments with various responsibilities. One thing is certain, therefore, about the governance of education at the highest level, namely, that no one is around for very long. It must be difficult for new ministers to get a clear grasp of their respective briefs, before they move to their next ministerial responsibility in another government department. Hence, this reminder of where we have come from. The 1944 Education Act shaped a national system of education for England and Wales. Although national, it was to be maintained by democratically elected local education authorities. The Act ensured public support, through central grant and local taxation, for community schools as well as voluntary aided and controlled schools, whose trustees were usually the Churches. The division between primary and secondary (normally at the age of 11) created for the first time secondary education for all, eventually to be extended to the age of 16. The Act legislated for provision of nursery schools and classes, special education, and county colleges where young people from 15 to 18 could attend part-time. It is important to note amongst other things: the absence of central government control over curriculum content and pedagogy; responsibility of local education authorities (LEAs) for the shape of local provision; lack of a national system of examinations (left to awarding bodies in universities); the assumption of professional teacher responsibility for the curriculum. A tripartite system was implicit in the emphasis on provision according to age, ability and aptitude, and emerged in most LEAs selection to grammar schools at 11 for roughly 15%, a few going to technical schools and the majority to secondary modern schools. Comprehensive schools did not emerge until the 1970s. Every so often, problems arose. Therefore, independent reports thought deeply about educational aims and sought research evidence regarding expansion of (Crowther Report, 1959); lack of examinations and qualifications for the majority (Beloe Report, 1960); expansion of higher education (Robbins Report, 1963); meeting the needs of half our future (Newsom Report, 1963); reform of primary education (Plowden Report, 1967); reform of primary education in Wales (Gittins Report, 1968); Language for Life (Bullock Report, 1975). These reports were taken seriously by Ministers, civil servants and the teaching profession as they developed and implemented policy. Presupposed was the improvement of education through partnership between teachers (with professional expertise), local authorities (with knowledge of local needs and provision), and central government (with legal responsibility to ensure a national framework and adequate resources). That partnership is illustrated in 12 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

13 section 1: a bit of history the creation, detailed in the Lockwood Report (1964), of the Schools Council for the Curriculum and Examinations an advisory body, which supported, on the basis of research, curriculum development and professional development of teachers, with a parallel Council in Wales. This post-war partnership enabled some exemplary provision, but it also produced variability. In the 1970s, public criticism was articulated more strongly and HMI reports challenged the status quo. The Prime Minister, in his Ruskin Speech of 1976, initiated a national debate on educational provision. Increasingly, learner entitlements and national priorities were asserted, and new frameworks and standards were created to which teachers were expected to comply. With the increasing control over education and training by central government, reflected in the creation by the Education Reform Act of 1988 of a National Curriculum (similarly in Wales), came a decline in, though by no means end to, independent reports. Lord Dearing, for instance, provided three reports addressing perceived problems in the National Curriculum, in post-16 examinations and in higher education 1. However, that broad picture, as presented in earlier reports, came increasingly to depend on the initiative of independent foundations. Following Sir Claus Moser s presidential address to the British Association in 1990, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation established its own National Commission to carry out an overall review of the education and training scene in the words of Sir Claus Moser: a review which would be visionary about the medium and long-term future facing our children and this country; treating the system in all its inter-connected parts; and, last but not least, considering the changes in our working and labour market scenes. 2 Much has been achieved since the National Commission. However, new problems have arisen. Certainly there have been changes in our working and labour market scenes not anticipated in But questions are raised about: quality of learning; curriculum content; assessment, examinations and qualifications; professional responsibilities of teachers; provision and funding; transition from one phase to another; progression into employment, further training and higher education; and the roles of local and national government. However, in education, simple answers are rare. The issues which arise invariably pose dilemmas, and decisions taken in one circumstance may need to be reviewed in another. The wise policy maker and practitioner dig down to the underlying issues and seek to understand them. Only in this way, can sound judgements be made. For example, there is clearly a need for appropriate frameworks to organise national education provision. From our recent history, we know that too little structuring brings problems of quality and entitlement but we also know that too much central control also compromises improvement and innovation. The pendulum may only stop swinging when a principled balance of responsibilities is established and sustained. These questions have become more acute with the determination of the Government in England to create more Academies and Free Schools on the Swedish model, thereby affecting the collaboration between providers which had been an important part of previous policy. It was thought, therefore, that further independent scrutiny of the system is needed in the spirit of the philosopher, Karl Popper: The piecemeal engineer knows, like Socrates, how little he knows. He knows that we can learn only from our mistakes. Accordingly, he will make his way, step by step, carefully comparing the results expected with the results achieved, and always on the lookout for the unavoidable unwanted consequences of any reform; and he will always avoid undertaking reforms of a complexity and scope which make it impossible to disentangle causes and effects, and to know what he is really doing. 3 It is in the light of such a perceived need that the several independent reviews, outlined in the Introduction, were commissioned. These cover the life-span from cradle to grave (the phrase used by the IFLL to depict life-long learning ). Despite the independence of these different reviews, there is much overlap especially in the aims and values inherent in their respective visions of education. Together they provide a coherent vision of the medium and long-term future facing our children and this country. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 13

14 section 1: a bit of history It is the aim of this synopsis to bring these different reviews together, to reinforce their shared vision educational aims, and to highlight what that vision entails for policy and practice. We hope that incoming Ministers will appreciate the importance of a bit of history and consider the challenges and principles highlighted. After all, the future is in their hands. 14 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

15 Section 2 Educational Aims and Values Central to the Reviews were deliberations about the values which implicitly or explicitly direct educational policy and practice. What is education for? Only in the light of thoughtful answers to that question can we think about the quality of learning and the institutional arrangements to promote it. This section therefore permeates all that follows. Key points Aims of education are too often seen only in terms of economic and academic success. There is a need instead to consider the development of the whole person. Those aims frequently neglect lifelong learning. Those aims too often focus on individual achievement rather than on the public good. The need for clear aims It would seem self-evident that policy and practice should be shaped by clear aims and values. Even so, the Reviews noted how little attention is given to these, despite the unexamined values which often clearly underpin policy and practice. One danger, pointed out in the Reviews, of neglecting these essentially ethical questions is that education is principally seen in government documents as the promotion of the knowledge and skills deemed necessary for economic success. That of course is important. But, where such an aim comes to dominate educational discourse, reflected in the language of targets, audits and delivery, then the intrinsic worth of educational activities tends to take second place. And those learners who cause the targets to be missed may be seen as educational failures. What the Reviews say For the reasons described above the Cambridge Primary Review asked What is primary education for? (p ), and answered with a list of aims which reflect values and should drive the curriculum. Those values arise from what it means to become an educated person, namely, developing the capacities in young children: to make sense of their experiences and thereby to be empowered through knowledge; to have a sense of personal fulfilment; to be actively engaged in their learning; to have the moral qualities of respect and caring; to participate actively in the wider group in anticipation of becoming active citizens. the Nuffield Review (p.12) started with the question What counts as an educated 19 yearold in this day and age?, and similarly responded to this question by spelling out those qualities and capacities which are distinctive of being and growing as a person: the knowledge and understanding through which all young people attain a more intelligent grasp of the physical, social and economic worlds which they inhabit; the practical capabilities through which they are able, not just to think, but also to act, make and create intelligently; the moral seriousness with which they address and care about the big questions which confront them and the wider society e.g. those concerned with environment, racism, poverty; community relatedness both a recognition of their intrinsic attachment to the wider community and a disposition to help shape it as citizens; a sense of personal fulfilment through the pursuit of worthwhile interests the opposite of a state of boredom. the IFLL Report (p.8) starts with the assertion that learning throughout life, as a human right, should be broadly conceived to develop the capacities to respond to changing employment patterns and economic needs, certainly, but, more than that, to continue (even into the fourth age ) personal growth, emancipation through knowledge, a sense of solidarity with the community both locally and globally, Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 15

16 section 2: educational aims and values and control over one s own life (e.g. in the spheres of health, finances, civic duties, employment and digital technology). TLRP (1, 3, 12), reflecting the values underpinning other TLRP papers, emphasise these broader aims of education. These are intrinsic to the understanding of teachers as educators (no mere trainers) and to the value of widening participation in higher education (TLRP 4) which lies in more than greater economic utility. the MCWB Report (see p.34-42) underlines this broad purpose of learning through life and the wider benefits of learning namely, a concern for the well-being of each person. Such wellbeing requires mental good health, dispositions to continue learning, knowledge and skills for an economically useful life, qualities for participating in the social life of family and wider community, and social cohesion. Mental good health is in part an educational matter, too often ignored in the provision of formal learning. A moral dimension to education These broad educational aims provide a moral dimension to education. They point to what it means to be an educated person and what it means for such a person to contribute to the public good. That is important for two related reasons. First, the moral dimension has tended to be neglected in many government documents in recent years. But values, even when unexamined, still shape in detail the structure and content of education and training from cradle to grave. Consequently, education is frequently seen as but a means to some further non-educational end as reflected in the dominant reference to skills for economic success in a competitive market and in the language of effectiveness and of performance management in the achievement of that end (NR p.16; CCPR ch.12). The second, connected, reason why constant deliberation of such aims is important is that questionable but unexamined values get embedded in the everyday practices which follow from an over-emphasis on performance alone as for example, in: the narrow regime of SATs tests and consequent impoverishment of learning at the primary stage (see CCPR ch.16 and this document, section 8); the option to drop the arts and humanities at the age of 14 (NR p.107) or their marginalisation (CCPR p.252); assessment which neglects practical competence and creativity (CCPR ch.17; NR p.80/2); lack of room for prior experience in the curriculum (NR p.82) and in HE (TLRP 4); predominantly economic justifications for widening participation in higher education; lack of broad educational opportunities for adults and the ageing (IFLL ch.3); neglect of less measurable aims like personal and social well-being (MCWB, p.35). The Reviews considered here provide a continuing reminder of the vision of society in which learning plays its full role in personal growth and emancipation, prosperity, solidarity and global responsibility (IFLL p.8) Inequality and discrimination Also emphasised in the respective Reviews was the connection between educating and creating a fairer society (3, 5, 11; NR p.21/2; CCPR ch.12; MCWB ch.4) what IFLL (p.xvii) refers to as public value, namely, its impact on the reduction of discrimination, crime, poverty and ill-health. This contrasts with the view of education as essentially a personal and positional good. That public good embraces the creation of a society which eliminates prejudice and discrimination on the basis of gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation and social class. Fairness and social solidarity is seen as a central educational value, more urgent today in the light of increased diversity and lower social mobility (see Section 3 below). Moreover, the National Child Development Study (NCDS, 30), drawing on its synoptic analysis of 50 year olds, endorsed the words of the Report Born to Fail 4, in saying: Educational achievement seems to play a central role in later life outcomes. Much of the relationship between disadvantage, delinquency, lower earnings and unemployment is generated because of the lower educational attainment of disadvantaged young people. 16 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

17 section 2: educational aims and values Hence, it is argued that a central role of education lies in addressing problems of a more culturally diverse and economically divided society and in contributing to greater social cohesion and equality. Thus, MCBC (p.17) points to the evidence for greater social cohesion, low prevalence of crime and high prevalence of pro-social behaviour, which can be nurtured through education: education has a potential role to play in the prevention of most, if not all, of these features of personal and social dislocation (p.34). Therefore, everyone who is engaged in education and training needs to think carefully and often about the aims of education and about the values which education should foster in all young people not just for the privileged or the academically able. Such essentially ethical deliberations affect all that follows the vision of learning, the assessment of that learning, the opening up of opportunities through different progression routes and qualifications, and the provision and funding of formal education from cradle to grave. However, as IFLL argues (thereby filling a gap in the normal narrative on education from cradle to grave ), the more just society includes not only the socially disadvantaged but also the adult disadvantaged, namely adults over 25 no longer entitled to formal education and training but whose continuing further education and training are crucial for their and society s economic well-being; those adults who are disabled and have special needs; those who are retired but whose lives would be more fulfilling if they too had educational opportunities. Conclusion Education aims to nurture the personal good of individuals and the public good of the society of which those individuals are part. That good is to be spelt out in terms of the knowledge and understanding, the practical capabilities and skills, the moral seriousness and dispositions, the active participation in the wider community and the sense of achievement which are thought to be worthwhile. There will never be universal agreement on exactly what is worthwhile, but that is why educational policy and practice should constantly be subject to open ethical deliberation. Furthermore, in pursuing such broad educational aims and values for all young people, the Reviews warn against the narrowing of those aims to purely academic achievement or to what is easily measurable. Such narrowness guarantees educational failure to many who have achieved much and who demonstrate the benefits of a wider vision of learning. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 17

18 Section 3 Social and Economic Context It is one thing to have a general idea of the aims of education. It is quite another to see how they translate into practice in context which are so diverse socially and economically. Such diversity and its significance were extensively described by the Reviews. Key points By 2050, 25 million UK citizens will be over age 50 with implications for life long learning. People from ethnic minorities number 5 million with implications for education. 25% of young people grow up in households with one parent; 16% in workless homes. The more disadvantaged a child, the lower the level of educational attainment. Percentage of 17 year olds in employment has reduced from 60% to 30% in 15 years. 10% of young people suffer from psychiatric disorders; 60,000 are in care, 40,000 are teenage mothers, and 3000 are in penal custody. Half the prison population do not have the skills required by 96% of jobs. Educational failure can often be related to home contexts and to the need for greater support for parents and the development of parenting skills. Education and training do not occur in a vacuum. They are influenced by social and economic contexts in which policies are developed. In this, all the Reviews agreed an agreement not always shared by policy makers who often hold schools and colleges responsible for the effects of wider social problems. Particular references in the Reviews were made to the following features of the present context which affect educational success and failure. Demographic changes (IFLL p.83-6; NR p.28/29) Educational provision is bedevilled by changing demography. Birth rates vary historically and such fluctuations move slowly through the system, causing shortages of teachers and resources in some years and excess in others. The cohort declines about 10%, over the next 15 years, with likely competition between schools and colleges for the declining numbers and between providers and employers in the latter s demand for skilled labour. At the same time, despite the fluctuating birth rate, there is a constant increase in those who live longer. 16% of the UK population is over 65; by 2020, 25 million will be over age 50. Implications The learning needs of those in the third age need to be addressed and, indeed, of the fourth age, viz. the growing number over 75; provision should be so organised that there is greater local and regional organisation of resources and collaboration between providers. Multi-ethnic society (NR ch.3; MCWB p.8; CCPR p.113/5; IFLL p.70/1) Given changing demography and global trends, the ethnic mix is changing. The number from minority groups in Britain is nearly 5 million, and growing. Moreover, they are often heavily concentrated in disadvantaged areas. Significant differences are noted between ethnic groups in participation and achievement. Reports have warned of an ethnically segregated Britain and a growing minority feeling isolated from mainstream society 5. Implications A special task of education is to address issues arising from ethnic diversity (e.g. racism or alienation) through the curriculum and through links with the respective communities. Relative poverty (NCDS; NR p.30-32; CCPR p.58/9, 75/87, 110/15; IFLL p.35) Increased economic prosperity is counterbalanced by increased poverty for many and growing segregation of the well-off from the disadvantaged. This further embeds inequality in society, reflected in the differences in attainment between children at an early age differences which accumulate throughout formal education and affect individuals in later life Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

19 section 3: social and economic context Implications Policies such as Sure Start and those set out in Every Child Matters 7, integrating education, social and health services in a holistic approach to young people, are based on strong underlying evidence. Social mobility (IFLL p.38-42; NR 32/33; MCWB p.26; NCDS p.30.; TLRP 4) The more disadvantaged a child s background, the lower the level of educational attainment likely to be achieved and the less likelihood the take-up of available job opportunities. The historic data shows that those with O Levels, A Levels and degrees, have had average wage returns of 18%, 24% and 48% respectively compared with those without qualifications. Positive returns are noted with Level 4 craft based qualifications. Social and economic class still affect attainment despite the many educational reforms, though there is mobility where higher level qualifications obtain. Implications Educational reform is a key to improving fairness and must go hand in hand with wider social programmes. Since economic contexts make upward social mobility impossible for everyone, such social mobility cannot be the major aim of education for all. Further education, widening participation in HE and adult education are crucial in compensating for earlier failure and creating new opportunities. Family structure (NR 29/30; CCPR p.73/89; MCWB p.8; IFLL p.27; NCDS p.19) Changing family patterns affect educational prospects. 25% grow up in households with one parent (there is a link between one parent families and poverty). Over 16% grow up in workless families. Achievement is heavily influenced by family background as measured by social and economic status. Parenting skills are a significant factor 8. Implications Central importance should be given to (i) creating close relations between schools and social services, (ii) support for parents and (iii) resources for schools serving areas of social and economic disadvantage, especially during the early years. Economic needs (TLRP 5, 8 and 10, NR p.35/37, IFLL p.29; MCWB p.13) Changes in the need for skills and high technical knowledge put pressure on the education system to prepare a more highly skilled workforce, especially with regard to functional literacy and numeracy, but also including, a national transformation of higher education in response to the growth of the global economy (TLRP 10). However, arguments for the skills shortage, stemming from the Leitch Review 9, have been questioned by the NR (ch.9). Implications Apprenticeships need to be increased, but with greater emphasis on work based training, on employer support and on Level 3 attainment (see TLRP 5) The significant role of higher education in producing the high level technical knowledge and skills (TLRP 8) must be acknowledged 10. Extended dependence of young people (NR p.26/28; MCWB p.14) The period of financial dependence has been extended. The number of 17 year olds in employment has reduced from 60% to less than 30% in 15 years, making often difficult demands on young people in their adjustment from childhood to adult status. They are bottom of the international league table of the wealthiest nations in terms of physical and social wellbeing and drank more alcohol, took more drugs and had more under-age sex 11. Teenage pregnancy is a major issue. Implications young people, in their interaction with teachers, trainers and others, need more opportunities to develop personal responsibility and independence, and a greater sense of relevance of their studies than often prevails. Hard to Reach students (NR ch.3; CPR p.87, 119/21) Many are unable to access mainstream education due to caring responsibilities, exclusion, medical problems, school phobia, etc. For example, 10% of young people suffer from psychological disorders, 60,000 are in care, 40,000 are teenage mothers, 3000 are in penal custody. They need to be reached Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 19

20 section 3: social and economic context Implications Alternative educational provision is essential if these young people are to be reached through home tutoring, communication technology (see pages 24 and 41) and liaison with social and health services. Those in Custody In a prison population of over 80,000, half do not have the skills required by 96% of jobs; 43% have a reading level at or below that expected of an 11 year old; 82% a writing level at or below that expected of an 11 year old; only 1/5 can complete a job application form. The social and economic costs of such educational failure are enormous. Implications Effective learning opportunities, within prison and extending to cover the transition from prison, are an important route for integration (IFLL, p.37). Evidence suggests that if commitment to fairness is pursued through sustained, practical policies, then some social disadvantages can be mitigated. In difficult financial circumstances, with education budgets adjusting to new norms, there are significant dangers of deepening inequalities. 20 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

21 Section 4 Developmental Processes Nature or nurture? An old debate, but one which cannot be ignored in exploring the limits and possibilities of what can be learnt. Key points The environment of home and family in the early years and development of key skills such as language and sociability are crucial to subsequent development. Knowledge and understanding accumulate over time through the interaction of development and experience. Expert teachers work with, and extend, the developmental capabilities of learners. Neurological development continues through life, and capacities are not biologically fixed. Development and learning, particularly in supportive contexts, extends to the fourth age. The Importance of Development and Learning Having reviewed evidence on the way social and economic contexts affect achievement, we now turn to what the reviews have to say about the influence of learning and development. The 2008 Foresight Report on Learning Through Life (MCWP) 12 asserts its significance: Learning through life has a critical role in unlocking a wide range of benefits, both for the individual and for society. Such benefits are diverse in nature, and can provide substantial and lasting outcomes. Examples include its potential to play an important role in engendering wellbeing and good mental health in the individual, and in promoting social cohesion within society... Older people in particular often require reskilling and professional development, along with nonwork-related learning opportunities that might help delay the onset of neurodegeneration. Children and adults with special educational needs also benefit from appropriate educational provision... (MCWP, p.8) Early Years As may have been expected, the reports under review particularly stressed the significance of the early years for later educational outcomes, as reflected by research into physical, emotional and intellectual growth (CPR ch.7; NCDS p.22; WBL p.17, TLRP 2). Hard evidence is available. For example, the cohort data of NCDS shows categorically the progressive impact of childhood disadvantage and is one of the data-sets that informed Sure Start and other contemporary policies for early childhood provision in England. The significance of the quality of social interaction within home environments and pre-school settings, and thus on the efficacy of early years enrichment, is also well researched 13. Primary Education In relation to primary education, CPR (ch.7) recalls the work of the Plowden Committee 14 and the developmental psychology which influenced it so much. Of particular contemporary consequence is the conceptualisation of the development of psychological schema to enable understanding. Analysis of such processes has a long history, with Frederick Bartlett and Jean Piaget leaving a lasting legacy for education and popular understanding of such matters. Bartlett 15 viewed knowledge as a network of mental structures representing an individual s understanding of the world. Piaget 16 proposed processes through which new experiences lead to the accommodation of pre-existing cognitive structures, whilst assimilation enables people to use such schema to make sense of new experiences. Through the interaction of accommodation and assimilation, new levels of understanding develop. However, CPR records (p.90) that the implication of fixed developmental stages with limited recognition of variability and social influence have caused this cognitive theory to be heavily qualified. The Cambridge Primary Review cites a number of post-plowden insights (p.90/1). These include: Children are able to think and learn in the same ways to adults, albeit in rudimentary forms. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 21

22 section 4: developmental processes The strong influence of heredity on intelligence is now accepted but the emphasis in research is on the key role of environment for explaining variability. Social interaction plays a vital role in children s development and learning. The social environment in which children grow up can explain variation in their achievement in areas such as literacy and numeracy. Schools often neglect the considerable funds of knowledge that children themselves bring to school. Teaching, and Learning Such awareness of the social influences on learning particularly reflects the influence of Vygotsky 17 and of socio-cultural psychology. This is also manifested in a renewed emphasis on the role of teachers, or more knowledgeable others, in supporting or extending understanding. The crucial role of teaching is thus directly asserted. The most successful teachers are thus seen to combine awareness of learner development with strong subject knowledge. In parallel, learning is seen as a social process through which meaning and depth of understanding are derived. These aspects are combined in dialogic teaching, groupwork and innovative approaches to interaction and learner engagement (TLRP 2, CPR ch.15). More broadly, as CPR argued (ch.13, ch.14), the bodies of knowledge which learners experience reflect the history, culture and priorities of their society. They are learned though both formal education and informal experiences. TLRP also reflected this perspective in citing the principle that effective teaching and learning engages with valued forms of knowledge with the big ideas, facts, processes, language and narratives of subjects (TLRP 1, 3). Language The significance of language in learning and development, particularly of young children, can hardly be exaggerated. Indeed, some have argued that language determines thought and that linguistic categories frame and limit cognitive categories the Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis 18, but this is now seen as being too deterministic in its extreme form. There is no doubt however that the early development of language, and its continued development through social interaction, is a crucial foundation for educational success. As the CPR puts it: language development, along with perceptual and spatial development, underpins children s progress in reading and numeracy (p.97). Physical Development Physical development and health is considered in both the CPR and IFLL. Topics considered include child obesity, nutrition and infectious diseases. Whilst levels of infection, such as measles, have fallen in recent decades, the quality of nutrition is variable and overall levels of obesity have grown. Overall, CPR records significant concerns with children s health. Neurological development The Reviews also begin to document neurological and biological conditions throughout the life-course. IFLL (p.89) highlights: mounting evidence to show that young people continue to mature for longer than was originally thought, physiologically and otherwise. Indeed, it is reported that: neuroscience does not reveal a magical age at which the brain becomes adult the brain develops well into the 20s. And further IFLL asserts that: neuroscientific research confirms the plasticity of the brain... the capacity to continue to change across the life course (p.32). There is thus potential for continuing learning into the Fourth Age of 75 and beyond. The interest in neuroscience was taken up by TLRP 2 and in CPR (p.96, 106). However, as the former reminds us, these are early days to draw conclusions for teaching strategies even though 90% of teachers thought that knowledge of the brain was important in the design of educational programmes (TLRP 2). More understanding of how the brain functions, and of the practical implications of this, is needed. Conclusion Conclusions can be drawn from the evidence provided to TLRP 2, the Cambridge Primary Review and the National Child Development Study to the effect that: 22 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

23 section 4: developmental processes children, young people, adults and the elderly have particular developmental needs; the early years are crucial. Support for parents in conditions of disadvantage is likely to be highly cost effective over the long term. it is not helpful to view children s thinking as being limited by stages, for they can learn in as many different ways as adults; meaningful social interaction and the influence of teachers and peers make crucial contributions to cognitive development and to school learning; biology is not destiny for the capacities of the brain can be developed and remain adaptable from experiences throughout life. An appreciation of human development is essential when considering teaching and learning. It thus has implications for the policy frameworks which create the opportunities or constraints though which potential is explored. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 23

24 Part I: What is Education for? Challenges and Principles: a summary 1 Challenge: Lessons from history are important. Very often, we have been here before. Principle: Ministers, political advisers, civil servants and educational professionals should acquaint themselves with recent history of education in order to build cumulatively on worthwhile successes and to avoid repeating mistakes. 2 Challenge: Aims of education are often spelt out solely in terms of economic utility and relevance. Principle: Policy and frameworks of entitlement should reflect the broad aims of educating persons, such as: understanding of the physical, social and economic worlds, practical capabilities, economic utility, moral seriousness, sense of community, collaboration and justice, sense of fulfilment motivation to continue learning even to the fourth age. 3 Challenge: In responding to national priorities and in promoting education for all, policy must also reflect the diversity of social and economic conditions which affect learning. Principle: In pursuing educational aims, the system of education should recognise the significance of particular economic, social and personal circumstances, and thus enable flexible adaptation of curriculum, pedagogy and assessment to meet specific needs. 4 Challenge: Too easily the capacities of people to learn are seen, from early years to old age, to be strictly limited by nature. Principle: Biology is not destiny. Still more and better investment in the early years is crucial, but the brain remains adaptable from experiences and learning opportunities throughout life. 24 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

25 Part II: What are the consequences of educational aims for learning and teaching? Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 25

26 Section 5 A Wider Vision of Learning Given the aims of education which are embedded in the Reviews, and given the complexity of the social and personal circumstances from which the learners come, the Reviews argue for a wide vision of learning. Key points Learning experiences, focused on targets, are too narrow and disengaging. The value of the FE Sector, educating and training 32% of 17 year olds, goes unrecognised. Informal, experiential and practical learning is too often neglected. Much more can be done to harness the power of new communications technology. Learning opportunity, general and vocational, for adults into the fourth age need support. For too many, learning is restricted by poor health and social disadvantage. For many, the work-place is where the quality of learning is most significant. The narrow vision of learning The Reviews share a common concern for the quality of learning, which should reflect broad educational aims. However, quality is too often associated with hitting targets, rather than with processes of learning or deeper understanding of key ideas or personal development. This concern was emphatically provided to the Nuffield Review by one sixth former: Far too often in education the emphasis is on achieving targets and regurgitating what the exam board wants, as opposed to actually teaching children something. As a sixth form student myself, this frustrates me on a daily basis, especially in history, when we must learn to write to the specifications of the exam board, instead of actually learning about the past (NR p.67). Nuffield Review provides evidence of widespread disillusion (in higher education, amongst employers, with teachers and even from the Chief Inspector) with formal learning shaped by a system of assessment which is dominated by that which is easily measurable (p.66-67, 81). The Primary Review (p.291) similarly brought evidence to show that teachers feel excessively constrained and controlled, having to conform to: a state theory of learning there is little doubt that the machinery of surveillance and accountability makes it difficult for schools to deviate from focusing on test performance (CPR p.291) IFLL (p.49), in speaking of the need for nurturing an appetite to carry on learning, argued too much schooling is focused on heaving students over hurdles and into the next phase of education. The purpose of learning should not be simply linked to qualifications (p.30). The need for a wider vision of learning Therefore, the Reports (NR ch.5; CPR ch.15; IFLL ch.1; TLRP 1, 3) emphasised the need for a wider vision of learning in three senses: the processes of learning are different depending on the kind of thing being learnt (e.g. theories on the one hand and practical skills on the other), on the learning strategies of the young person, on the level at which the learner is at, and on the specific context such as the transition from one job to another (see the story of Roger, p.28). One size does not fit all. the importance of informal learning needs to be recognised whether that be through play (CPR p.65-6), experiences of the lived world, social learning (NR p.70), or engagement in available cultural activities (IFLL p.54). But, as IFLL says, the balance between allowing informal learning scope to develop and linking it with formal modes is hard to strike, and we have not found it yet. One significant kind of informal learning, which impinges for good or ill on the formal, is that arising from the new technology (see below). 26 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

27 Section 5: a wider vision of learning focus on the initial phase of education should not lead to a neglect of the subsequent ones, where those who have failed in the initial phase have a chance to succeed later and develop new skills in response to economic change (IFLL pp.8, 12) Hence, the Reviews set out the different kinds of learning and the different ways in which people most effectively learn: learning facts and formulae propositional knowledge, if you like; learning to understand acquiring that deeper grasp of the key ideas and concepts; practical learning knowing how to act intelligently and to address practical problems, which includes, but is not just a matter of, acquiring skills; experiential and informal learning usually acquired outside the formal context but affecting the learning within that context and providing a base for social learning the acquisition of social and communicative skills, usually through interaction with others in either formal or informal settings. Such a list does not do justice to the extensive analysis of learning in the Reviews (e.g. NR ch.4). Rather is it indicative of the complexity of the content of that which is learnt and of the processes of learning. It is necessary to get away from any simplistic set of prescriptions. Also it draws attention to the importance of active and practical learning (not to be confused with vocational learning ), which have been much neglected in schools because of the pressure of tests and the coverage of a prescribed curriculum (NR ch.4). Further, it indicates the need for a deeper grasp of pedagogy (see TLRP 1, 3, 12 and Section 7 below). Lessons from the Further Education (FE) Colleges The FE sector is frequently neglected in many policy decisions to widen learning opportunities. But colleges are very important in the understanding of the wider vision of learning. In 2006/7, 28% of year olds were being taught in FE Colleges (full and part-time) 35% if 6th Form Colleges are included compared with 19% in maintained schools. 50% or thereabouts of post-16 full-time education takes place in these colleges, although policies about post-16 education mainly have schools in mind and the colleges receive 10% less income for doing the equivalent work as that done in schools (NR p.172-7). Over 100,000 young people between the ages of 14 and 16 spend a substantial part of their formally organised learning in colleges of FE. The evaluation studies have shown how this has transformed the learning experience and motivation of many 19. Colleges are often the destination of young people who are deemed to have failed in the school system. Many entering further education have suffered from the damaging effects of their learning experience. As TLRP 6 states An emphasis on target setting and achievement, regulated through outcomebased assessment and qualification system, has led to an impoverished curriculum for the majority of school-leavers and adults entering higher education. Further education has to prepare many young learners for a range of occupational qualifications which require a different kind of learning. TLRP 6, aptly entitled Challenge and Change in FE, speaks of the different learning literacies, viz. the kind of language required for success in particular learning pathways, whether this be entry to more academic studies or vice versa a shift from the academic to more vocational. Colleges are a vital condition for adult education whether general or vocationally related. IFLL refers to them as the institutional backbone of local lifelong learning. New Technology and informal learning The Reviews, especially TLRP 7, emphasise the value of new technologies for enhancing learning. Particularly in informal settings, new technologies transform the nature of learning for many, although, as we are reminded by IFLL (p ), they present barriers to learning for those unable to access or master the tools. Where, in 2008, 93% of those with degrees had access to internet, only 56% of unqualified people had access creating the digital divide which conferred learning disadvantage. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 27

28 Section 5: a wider vision of learning The distinction is drawn, however, between (i) new technologies as useful tools for learning, giving a source of accessible information. In this case, the nature of learning is not radically changed; getting information from the internet is not different in kind from getting it from a book or the teacher. (see Section 9); (ii) new technologies as a transformation of communication (as in the case of on-line social networks, such as Twitter or Facebook). (iii) new technologies as a new literacy a new mode of expression, of making sense of experience and of creativity. With regard to (ii), the new technologies open up a new way of communication that transcends the face to face interactions of the formal setting. For example, The previous government s Gifted and Talented Young People s (GTYP) Programme pioneered e-learning communities through which the learners were able to converse with each other across the country in addressing problems which they were asked to tackle. In many cases, these young learners were reluctant to show their intellectual interests in their classes and valued the anonymity of an on-line community (NR p.75) With regard to (iii), TLRP 7, in its Education 2.0? Designing the web for teaching and learning, shows the many newly evolving ways in which web 2.0 technologies support internet based interaction, creating new or virtual realities (in which many young learners live out a parallel life and engage in multiplayer games). It points not only to social networking but also to wikis, folksonomes and mash-ups. It has created a new literacy that is, a new language through which to create a new way of seeing reality. Similarly, MCWB (p.41) emphasises the importance of digital and mathematical/ technical literacies. Several important implications are indicated. Young people are felt to be turning to web 2.0 based forms of learning in spite of, rather than because of, their educational institution. We are just at the start of exploring how we can be organised without the hierarchy of top-down organisation (TLRP 7, p.11). Teachers need considerable continuing professional development in order to keep up, not only with the changing technology, but also with the often greater expertise of the learners in the use of the technology. The new technologies make it possible to reach those who, for various reasons, have no access to mainstream education, including the housebound and the elderly. For example, NISAI, located in Harrow, provides a virtual academy, serving over 400 young people unable to attend school for a variety of reasons (medical, school phobia, exclusion etc.). It has a virtual classroom, virtual chill-out room, secure social network, daily teaching and supervision for public examinations. (www.nisai.com) Development and continuity of learning The Reviews stress the way in which learning develops, that is, the way in which the understanding to be acquired builds on prior understandings and experience, thus requiring continuity. That requires planning to ensure growth and continuity and to avoid the difficulties which occur at key transition stages between primary and secondary (CPR p ), between Key Stage 4 and post-16 education (where learners move into a very different learning context, often in a different institution NR p.101, 117, 121) and into higher education (NR p ). But, further, IFLL argues for an entitlement to learning extended to all, regardless of age, and developed flexibly over time, as part of mainstream conditions but particularly at potentially difficult periods of transition (e.g., on retirement, leaving care or prison, moving between areas, gaining further skills ). Needed are the opportunities for lifelong learning, not just the rhetoric. This is illustrated in the case of Roger (IFLL p.xi) Roger was a highly successful tunneller working on the then new Victorian Line, making a good living, in the prime of his life. A serious accident to the man working next to him led Roger to reappraise his circumstances. He recognised that his ability to provide for his family relied entirely on his physical health, since poor reading skills had left him with little formal education. As a result, he signed on to the first adult literacy programme offered at Brighton s Friends Centre. He followed this with full-time literacy study Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

29 Section 5: a wider vision of learning...followed by the City Lit s Fresh Horizons access programme, and higher education study. After a period as a qualified social worker, Roger became landlord for accommodation for single homeless people. Adult learning opportunities played a key role in Roger s life helping him negotiate career changes. Wider context of learning With reference to the social and economic context of education (see Section 3 above), the previous Government sought, through Every Child Matters and Children s Plan (see CPR p.383/93, NR p.33/4,39), to provide greater integration between educational, social and health services, and parental support. Educational performance is restricted by poor health and social disadvantage (see also NCDS p.27). As the MCWB (p.34) argued, wider benefits of education include prevention of such things as individual social exclusion and community breakdown encompassing crime, teenage parenthood, anti-social behaviour, intolerance of diversity, mental health problems, social division, disengagement from educational, social and economic activity, drug abuse and social immobility. This more holistic approach to education is reflected in many developments, for example: the extended school, with opportunities to engage in a wide range of activities (CPR p.398 and elsewhere; NR p.82/3); schools working cooperatively with the police in the introduction of restorative justice where the perpetrator of some harm has to confront the victim (NR p.35, 39); links between education providers and the third sector such as youth work (NR p.112) co-operation between schools and parents, as is reflected, for example, in Family Links Pegasus Primary School in Oxford has transformed learning opportunities through its nurturing programme, pioneered by Family Links (see in which, through circle time, children learn how to resolve personal and social conflicts, co-operate with others, understand their own and others feelings, and make socially sensible choices. A key feature is the involvement of parents so that they not only develop parenting skills but understand and support the teaching. The success of this approach is reflected in the fact that it operates in several hundred centres, early years settings and teenage parents in the UK, has trained over 5000 parent group leaders, and sold over 40,000 copies of its learning approach, The Parenting Puzzle, including one for Muslim parents. However, particular attention was given by IFLL (p.28/9, though highlighted by NR ch.9) to providing good quality learning opportunities in the workplace the upgrading of skills in changing economic conditions and the transitions from one employment to another. Wider vision in practice Despite the narrowness of the target-led learning upon which schools and colleges are assessed, the Reviews found many examples of that wider vision of learning which so many parents, teachers and learners hoped for. For example, Use of Third Sector SKIDZ provides motor mechanics and vehicle maintenance courses for young people, sent by their respective schools. So successful have they been in motivating young learners to reengage in learning that generous grants from Porche have enabled SKIDZ centres to spread from High Wycombe to the London Borough of Hillingdon and beyond. (www.skidz.org.uk) Emphasising personal relations. Human Scale Education has helped form small schools within larger ones, putting personal relations between learners and teachers and other learners, and between schools and parents at the centre of learning. It promotes the belief that education flourishes when built on positive relationships within collaborative and sustainable communities 20. (www.hse.org.uk) Partnership with the Arts The English Ballet Company brought together over 100 young people disengaged from education, employment or training. They were the drop-outs, but persuaded to take part in the Prokoviev s ballet Romeo and Juliet. It was tremendous success. As the Chairman of the Arts Council said, it was an inspired choice of story: cross-starred lovers, dysfunctional families, gang warfare, macho games, self-harm, drug abuse and knife crime: it had them all. Three years later nearly all these young people, once totally disengaged, are occupied in some form in the music, dance and drama world. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 29

30 Section 5: a wider vision of learning Student Teaching Paul Hamlyn Foundation s Learning Futures, building on its innovative Musical Futures (which is influencing 33% of secondary music departments), approaches learning through active methods which involve co-construction of the curriculum and pedagogy. It is bringing schools together to develop and to test new models of pedagogy which better meet the teachers understandings and the learners needs in 21st century schools. Disengaged Youth Workers Young people voiced their concerns about local policing and their feelings that they were subject to an implicit move em on strategy. The workers acted as a link to the police and then as facilitators of a workshop in which all took part. A subsequent evaluation showed all parties had developed new insights, sympathies and empathetic behaviours towards each other: tension in the street was less likely to escalate into conflict. Thereafter, young people were much more aware of, and interested in, their capacity to influence local decision-making. Employer Involvement The Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence (CEME), Dagenham, brings together employers, public sector partners, colleges, schools and universities as part of the London Thames Gateway Regeneration Scheme. The world class engineering facilities and expertise serve over 20 schools in the locality thereby enriching the Diploma courses in Engineering, providing routes for young people through school, apprenticeship and Foundation Degrees, and facilitating the re-skilling of workers in the several engineering and manufacturing (including Fords) in the region (www.ceme.co.uk). Experience in Primary Education This is the only time I have seen a sheep. They feel soft. The host of the show sheared one in front of us (Victoria, year 6, from Meadowgate Primary School, Lewisham). Countryside Live organised an event that aims to highlight the benefits of learning outdoors for inner city children. A survey of 2000 children by the Eden Project found that children are becoming out of touch with the natural world. Social Enterprises The Young Foundation brings together insights, innovations and entrepreneurship to meet social needs. It supports a range of education focused social enterprises, offering solutions to some of the most pressing needs faced by schools. Awarding Skills for Employment and Skills for Life ASDAN is an internationally recognised awarding body whose mission is to create the opportunity for learners to develop skills for learning, for employment and for life. This complements the predominantly knowledge based focus of the National Curriculum. The emphasis is on using practical activities as the template for personal growth. What came across clearly to the respective Reviews is that, where teachers and trainers in the workplace have the courage and the vision and where the expertise and resources of the third sector, youth service, major Foundations and employers are drawn upon, they can innovate and reconcile the narrow demands of the formal curriculum and assessment regime with more active and motivating modes of learning. What then might we learn from these examples? First, the opportunity for more active and practical modes of learning transforms the motivation and the understanding of many young people. Second, the learners voices need to be listened to in the development of their understanding and practical abilities; Third, response to the variety of learning needs requires co-operation between different learning providers (see Section 9 below). Conclusion The evidence is overwhelming that many young people experience a narrow and demotivating experience of education. This was never the intention of any government, but it is the consequence of several decades of government intervention. This is mainly due to the system of assessment which defines what is important to learn and what counts as having learnt successfully. As TLRP 11 declares, it is a matter of achieving more but learning less. This is not to say that all schools do narrow the learning experience to fit the assessment system. There are many examples of innovative approaches to enrich the learning experience despite constrictions. Whole Education (www.wholeeducation.org.uk) has brought together a loose federation of foundations and organisations, who maintain a wider vision of learning. 30 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

31 Section 5: a wider vision of learning However, there is an urgent need, argued for in these Reviews, to think deeply about the different kinds of learning, about the different ways in which young people are motivated to continue with their formal learning, about how their prior experience might be utilised, about the most appropriate contexts in which learning might most effectively take place, about the value of work-based experience and about a vision which continues to the fourth age. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 31

32 Section 6 Learning and Curriculum The curriculum specifies that which is to be learned. It must therefore reflect and embody the educational aims and values which are endorsed by our society and entrusted to teachers to teach. a citizens curriculum built around four capabilities (digital, health, financial and civic, together with employability). The learning embodied within that curriculum would desirably build on what had been learnt previously in terms, for example, of literacy, numeracy, digital literacy, and civics. Key points The lack of continuity from early years into adult education needs to be addressed within a broad curriculum framework. That framework is often too shaped by a large number of specific targets to be attained. Within that framework, teachers should be curriculum creators, not curriculum deliverers. From learning to curriculum Learning, in formal settings, has to be achieved through the curriculum and it is vital that the curriculum facilitates learning, rather than constrains it. The different Reviews emphasised the desirability of lifelong learning, supported by curriculum progression. There is a particular need to improve curriculum continuity at the key transition points that is, how the learning of each stage might provide the basis of learning at subsequent stages. For example, the transition from primary to secondary is seen as a key problem by the Primary Review (p.371/2). at 14 into different pathways and at 16 into different courses and providers (e.g. FE Colleges) is seen as a key problem by the Nuffield Review (NR p.101, 117, 121). at 18: evidence was presented to the Nuffield Review of the poor preparation of young people for the kind of learning which would be expected of them in higher education yet another problem of curriculum continuity (NR p ). One reason why these reports should be seen together lies in IFLL s (p.4) advocacy of a curriculum offer for the learning in later life, a citizens curriculum with a four stage model of continuity: up to 25, 25-50, 50-75, 75+ (that is, the fourth age ), and What is a curriculum? This question was posed explicitly in the Nuffield and Primary Reviews (NR p.98/99; CPR ch.14). The reason is that curriculum is used in two different senses, each reflecting a different understanding of learning and the role of the teacher in promoting it. On the one hand, the curriculum is a list of learning outcomes and the means by which those outcomes are to be reached. There is a long tradition of this understanding of curriculum as the Nuffield Review explains (p.99). It provides a detailed prescription of a learning programme targets, content and methods for attaining those targets, assessment of whether they have been reached, and evaluation of the whole process (what has been called rational curriculum development 21 ). The development of the National Curriculum to date has reflected that understanding, and subsequently there has been a range of prescriptions from Government or its agencies (e.g. the QCA) as to what should be taught and how (see CPR ch.13 on the literacy strategies). Typical of this way of understanding the curriculum is that teachers are seen as deliverer of the curriculum (see Section 7 below). An alternative view of the curriculum, urged in the Primary and Nuffield Reviews, and under consideration by the Coalition Government, is based on much lower level of prescription. A framework of entitlement is to specified, but, within that, teachers are to encouraged to exercise professional judgement in their teaching. This approach is reflected in the TLRP 12 s Professionalism and Pedagogy: a contemporary opportunity. It anticipates that the teacher develops and tests out teaching approaches, adapts them to different circumstances, reformulates them in the light of experience. 32 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

33 section 6: learning and curriculum The teacher is no longer one who delivers a curriculum, but one who, in the light of an agreed framework broadly conceived, exercises professional judgement about the best way of attaining the educational aims. A National Entitlement Framework Section I above referred to the several times when the National Curriculum, established by the Education Act of 1988, had to be adapted or slimmed down because it did not measure up to the much more complex world of young people s learning. None the less, there is a need for a national entitlement framework within which there can be the continuity and development of knowledge and practical capabilities. Otherwise, as is argued in all the Reviews (CPR ch.14; NR p.101, 117, 121, 156 sq; TLRP 6 and 11; and IFLL ch.6), people will be disadvantaged, not able to progress at key transition stages to the next stage of education or skill training. The Primary Review set out a curriculum framework (ch.14), rather than a detailed curriculum in the first sense outlined above. That framework explicitly embodies the educational aims (see Section 2) that the Review has argued for, but divides the learning areas into eight domains within which the aims should be embedded namely, those of the arts and creativity; citizenship and ethics; faith and belief; language, oracy and literacy; mathematics; physical and emotional health; place and time; and science and technology. Work in this domains would comprise, it is proposed, 70% of teaching time. Such a curriculum framework guarantees entitlement to breadth, depth and high standards in all domains. Language and literacy are paramount, but integrated into the overall curriculum framework. The Primary Review recommended that eight expert panels be convened to propose in broad terms the content, process and progression within each domain. Additionally, there would be a community component determined within each locality, on which 30% of teaching time would be focused. The framework is exactly that and, within it, teachers, working together locally, devise their own curriculum. It is not for Government to tell teachers what and how to teach. Similarly at the secondary level, and with particular reference to post-14 (see NR ch.7), there is seen to be need for flexibility within a national framework. Such a framework should have recognisable domains, generally called subjects, corresponding to the domains outlined in the Primary Review. There is considerable unity of thinking between these two Reviews. However, referring back to the wider vision of learning, such a framework should include skill based and practical activities, which, as argued in Section 5, have tended to be neglected in the secondary school curriculum and more recently resurrected, mistakenly, under the title of vocational studies for those not deemed academic. Though the curriculum should be, as argued above, strongly influenced by teachers in their specific school and community contexts, such development needs to be within a properly worked out national framework which ensures both depth and breadth and that embodies the educational aims outlined in Section 2. Flexibility within the framework Where, then, is the flexibility and the teacherled curriculum development if the entitlement framework specifies the domains or the subjects to be taught? The answer in both Reviews is that the domains or subjects are the inherited ways of understanding human nature, the physical universe, the social context and the belief systems. As such they are the resources upon which the good teacher draws in order to help young people make sense of their experiences and their lives, and are enabled to act practically and intelligently. For example, Bruner s Man: A Course of Study aimed at 8 to 13 year-olds: MACOS focused on three questions: what makes us human? How did we become so? How might we become more so? The course was structured around five distinguishing features of being human prolonged childrearing, use of tools, language, social organisation and myth-making. But the learners enquiry into the three questions, shaped by these key characteristics, drew upon resources from major subjects of enquiry anthropology, sociology, psychology, literature, and so on. Subjects were the resources from which the teacher and the learners drew in order to make sense of the question. 22 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 33

34 section 6: learning and curriculum In essence, the same principles apply beyond the age of 16. Then, of course, the formal learning experience narrows. There is greater specialisation either in three or four chosen subjects for A Level or in occupation-related courses in either colleges or work-based training. There the teachers in university or college or workplace, from their own base of expertise and knowledge, enable learners, young or old, to be initiated more deeply and expertly into a world of ideas and of practice. That requires curriculum making, not curriculum delivery. TLRP 6, Challenge and Change in FE, shows the variations in young people who enter courses from different backgrounds and learning experiences, and with different aspirations. Specific curriculum issues The Primary and Nuffield Reviews pay particular attention to certain issues which affect the content of the curriculum. The Nuffield Review points to: Science and technology: There has been widespread concern (reflected in the Royal Society Reports 23 ) about the number of young people either qualified for higher education studies in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) or aspiring to do so. That concern sits alongside two others in the Reviews for ensuring science be part of everyone s curriculum up to 16: scientific knowledge is an essential tool for the intelligent management of life (referred to as scientific literacy NR p.105); science at school provides the basis on which the learners can proceed to higher level science and the country needs them; science is a mode of thinking which is worthwhile learning in its own right. The problem post-14 is two-fold: (a) catering for diversity of understanding and of aspiration, with the need to differentiate the content of science education and the mode of teaching; and (b) ensuring continuity from the different pathways into higher level science. The Nuffield Review draws attention to curriculum developments which have tackled this problem, with special reference to 21st Century Science and to one element within it, namely, GCSE Applied Science (NR p.105-7). This, seen as less academic, involves scientific understanding and methods of enquiry employed practically in different occupations. Humanities and Arts: It was a matter of concern to both Primary and Nuffield Reviews (CPR p.226-9; NR p.105-6) that the balanced and broad curriculum was endangered at primary level by the required emphasis on literacy and numeracy strategies, and, at secondary level, by the opportunity to opt out of the arts and humanities in order to pursue a more vocational curriculum. There is evidence that subjects such as History, Geography and Music enrich learner experience as well as being important in their own right. Modern Languages: These were now no longer a compulsory part of the Key Stage 4 curriculum after the age of 14, and this (it was pointed out, NR p.109) had led to a sharp decline in the numbers taking foreign languages, with the implication that fewer would enter higher education to study a foreign language, and fewer therefore would qualify to teach it a downward spiral. Literacy and Numeracy: Clearly these were seen by all reports to be essential to the balanced curriculum. MBWB (p.x) saw them as crucial to subsequent wellbeing and employability and IFLL, too, to the continuing lifelong learning. NCDS reminded the reader of the analysis of the lack of such functional skills given by the Moser Report in However, the Cambridge Primary Review (p.208/9) was critical of the solution, imposed by the Government of the time, of separate literacy and numeracy strategies, arguing on the basis of evidence that they are more effectively taught if integrated with the rest of the curriculum. Conclusion Curriculum development should be pursued with regard to the overarching educational aims and to the wide vision of learning within the national entitlement framework, and also with regard to that continuity of learning at key transition points We need, however, to get away from the dominant managerial approach to curriculum development, and to treat teachers once again at the centre as curriculum thinkers. The curriculum provides an enabling framework of knowledge and a set of principles indicating how to proceed in order 34 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

35 section 6: learning and curriculum for educational aims to be realised in practice. It requires practical application in the classroom and is thereby constantly refined as a result of reflection and experience to meet the specific needs of learners. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 35

36 Section 7 Learning and Pedagogy Curriculum and the quality of teaching are intrinsically related. No curriculum development without teacher development a piece of wisdom forgotten by those who impose curriculum from above. Hence, the Reviews said much about pedagogy the informed art of teaching. Key points The pedagogical expertise required of good teaching too often goes unrecognised both in Government interventions and in the need for continuing professional development. The wider vision of learning, especially 14-19, requires a more widely trained teaching force and an abolition of separate qualifications for school, FE and adult education. Professional status The professional status of the teachers and trainers is emphasised in the Reviews as custodians of cultural traditions, embedded in subject and craft knowledge; experts in pedagogy; experts in curriculum development. Consequences are drawn for the training, qualification and continuing professional development of teachers. Custodians of cultural traditions With regard to custodians of cultural traditions, the teacher is trained and educated to teach what society regards as a valuable cultural resources: first, for understanding the physical, economic and social worlds which the learners inhabit (what the Primary Review, p.408, drawing upon TLRP research, refers to as the big ideas, facts, processes, language and narratives of valued forms of knowledge ) second, for being able to act intelligently within it (what the Nuffield Review refers to as practical capabilities NR p.87; CPR p.406/7). Experts in pedagogy With regard to expertise in pedagogy, TLRP 12 (p.2) defines pedagogy thus: the practice of teaching framed and informed by a shared and structured body of knowledge. This knowledge comprises experience, evidence, understanding moral purpose and shared transparent values. It is by virtue of progressive acquiring such knowledge and mastering the expertise through initial training, continuing development, reflection and classroom enquiry and regulated practice that teachers are entitled to be treated as professionals. That professional expertise is embodied by the TLRP in ten principles of pedagogy which underpinned its research papers (see p.6) and is embodied in the MCWB s Learning through Life. TLRP proposes that effective pedagogy: 1 equips learners for life in its broadest sense enabling individuals and groups to develop the intellectual, personal and social resources that will enable them to participate as active citizens, contribute to economic development and flourish as individuals in a diverse and changing society. 2 engages with valued forms of knowledge that is, engaging learners with the big ideas of subjects, key skills and processes, ways of thinking and practising, attitudes and relationships. They need to understand what constitutes quality, standards and expertise in different disciplines. 3 recognises the importance of prior experience and learning in order for learners and those who support their learning, to plan their next steps. This builds on prior learning but also takes account of the personal and cultural experiences of different groups of learners. 4 requires learning to be scaffolded to provide structures of intellectual, social and emotional support to help learners move forward in their learning, such that the learning which has taken place survives the removal of such support. 36 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

37 section 7: learning and pedagogy 5 needs assessment to be congruent with learning such that it achieves maximum validity in terms of both learning outcomes and learning processes, and supports learning as well as recording what learning has been achieved. 6 promotes the active engagement of the learner thereby achieving greater independence and autonomy through the development of a repertoire of learning strategies and practices, positive learning dispositions, and the will and confidence to become agents in their own learning. 7 fosters both individual and social processes and outcomes enabling learners to build relationships and communication with others for learning purposes, in order to assist the mutual development of knowledge and to enhance the achievements of individuals and groups. 8 recognises the significance of informal learning such as learning out of school or away from the workplace and thereby valued and appropriately utilised in formal processes. 9 depends on the learning of all those who support the learning of others and thereby recognises the need for teachers to learn continuously in order to develop their knowledge and skill, and adapt and develop their roles, especially through practice-based inquiry. 10 demands consistent policy frameworks for learning so institutional, local and national policies need to reinforce and support the creation of effective learning environments for learners. TLRP has applied these principles through publications for school (1, 3), further (6) and higher education (9). In its 2010 publication, Professionalism and Pedagogy (12), it extended the analysis to propose a framework of concepts representing teacher expertise in relation to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. Such concepts, it is argued, enable teachers to analyse provision and practice as a foundation for improvement. Expertise in curriculum development Both Nuffield and the Primary Reviews criticise the impoverished view of teaching and of curriculum development (embodied in a language of performance management), which fails to realise that there is no curriculum development without teacher involvement and teacher development. The teacher s professional judgement bridges the gap between the knowledge to be drawn upon and the interests and needs of the learners, whether young or adult. And those professional judgements are enhanced by their attachment to what ideally might be seen as a community of practice, often to be found in professional bodies such as the Historical, Geographical or Mathematical Associations. However, both Reviews noted the expansion of Teacher Assistants and Higher Level Teacher Assistants, creating a more diversified workforce. And IFLL points to the initial and professional needs of the diverse workforce in adult education, frequently without professional training or professional development (IFLL p.184 sq) Extension of pedagogy using new technology New technologies give both learners and teachers ready access to a wide range of knowledge and information. This should increase the autonomy of the teacher in terms of gaining subject knowledge. But it can make the learner more independent of the teacher, suggesting a different relationship. Learning within the formal setting becomes more of a transaction than a transmission of knowledge (see NR p.86-7; CPR p.281-3). After all, as TLRP 7 points out, Wikipedia is an open document created, updated, edited and refereed by readers, deriving accuracy and authority from ongoing group discussion and consensus rather than from one expert, whether or not that be a teacher. Furthermore, such is the speed of change in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) that the young people may be more adept in using it than the teachers. Hence, the increasing use of the students as mentors one school in Hertfordshire employs 35 students as e-mentors. As pointed out by the Nuffield Review p.74/5, the Government, recognising the power of ICT to improve the quality of teaching, learning and management in schools, put ICT at the heart of its commitment to improve learning for all young people. Similarly the Primary Review points to its Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 37

38 section 7: learning and pedagogy place in the improvement of pedagogy and the greater personalisation of learning. That is why the previous Government established the British Educational Communications and Technologies Agency (BECTA) to lead research into the effective use of ICT how the learning process is transformed and learning outcomes improved. Connected with BECTA has been Futurelab, an independent organisation demonstrating the power of technology in supporting change (see NR p.79). Through its project, Enquiring Minds, for instance, in which over 100 schools were involved directly or indirectly, it explored the new sense of learning spaces and the understanding of digital literacy. Conclusion 1 Implications for teacher training (CPR p.422 sq; NR p.91 sq) The Primary and Nuffield Reviews, in the light of this three-fold role, make certain demands on the initial training and early professional work of teachers. need for deep understanding of subject matter or practice (NR ch.6; CPR p.424); understanding, through critical reflection, of the learning needs, the motivation and aspirations of the learners (CPR p.423 sq); close partnership between training institutions in higher education and training schools to ensure integration between practice, research and theory. need to put adult education on the same footing as school and college education in a requirement for qualified teaching status and the opportunity for continuing professional development (IFLL p.191/2). As IFLL points out (p.184 sq), we need a welltrained workforce [in adult education] to deliver high quality learning, though that is not easy to regulate, given the wide range of contributors Conclusion 2 teaching in FE is needed for the more practical courses in schools. The duality of qualifications becomes a barrier. The Review argues for: a move towards a single Qualified Teaching Status (as proposed too by the Select Committee for Education 25 ); routes to that QTS from qualifications and experience seen, for teaching purposes, as equivalent to a degree (e.g. technician level with relevant experience); opportunities for progression from Teacher Assistant to qualified teaching status. Conclusion 3 Implications for continuing professional development (CPD) The Reviews put the teachers at the centre of the provision of learning opportunities not as deliverers of someone else s curriculum. Teachers, responding to very different learning needs, must be the experts, though within a national framework. Initial teacher education alone cannot prepare adequately for such professional expertise. This requires continuing professional development in subject knowledge, pedagogy, critical reflection on practice and classroom based research. At the same time, such CPD needs to strike a balance between support for inexperienced teachers and greater freedom for those with experience (CPR ch.21) in determining the particular kind of professional development needed. Such teacher led professional development should be conducted, in the view of the Nuffield Review, in Teachers Centres run by teachers (NR p.93-95) harking back to those established country-wide as a result of the Schools Council (see page 8 above) or through professional organisations such as the Historical or Geographical Associations, which remain actively involved in teacher development. Implications for teacher qualifications The Nuffield Review (p.90/1) highlighted the difficulty of dual qualifications one for those teaching in schools and another for further education (FE). A more integrated phase required collaboration between different kinds of provider. The expertise associated with 38 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

39 Section 8 Learning and Assessment Concern about the quality of learning and of the learners progress points inevitably to the importance of assessment. But, as the Reviews argue, an assessment system, which is unguided by the aims of education impoverishes that learning. Key points The extent and the nature of the high stakes assessment diminishes the quality of learning. There is confusion between Assessment for Learning and Assessment for Accountability. The Problem with assessment A major concern of both the Primary Review (ch.16) and the Nuffield Review (ch.5) was that of the influence of assessment upon the quality of learning. The TLRP for its part felt it necessary to ask the question: Assessment in Schools: Fit for Purpose? (TLRP 11) In addressing this question, the Reviews returned to the Aims of Education and to the consequent argument for a Wide Vision of Learning. Certain kinds of assessment are appropriate for one kind of learning, but not for another. One would not assess the ability to ride a bicycle by asking for an essay on the skill of riding. As the Nuffield Review pointed out (p.81), quoting Stanton in reference to the difficulties in several recent curriculum reforms, In each case there was an over engineered assessment regime that was unmanageable, hindered rather than supported learning and, by focusing on the measurement of outcomes, implied that the enabling of learning would be relatively unproblematic. 26 The Primary Review (p.314 sq) brings evidence to bear upon the deleterious effect of the assessment regime on teaching and learning, namely the stressful pressure of the SATs (Standard Attainment Tests), the narrowing of the curriculum because public testing gains dominance, the creation of a sense of failure early in a child s educational journey. TLRP 6, which examines Challenge and Change in Further Education, points to the damaging effect students have suffered from the assessment regime. An emphasis on target setting and achievement, regulated through outcomebased assessment and qualification system, has led to an impoverished curriculum for the majority of school-leavers and adults entering further education. Therefore, how to assess learning without the quality of that learning being impoverished by the methods adopted was a concern common to TLRP and the Nuffield and Primary Reviews. However, further words of caution are required. As is shown by TLRP 11, national tests need to be treated with extreme caution in terms both of their validity and reliability in some tests some 30% of pupils could be misclassified. The purposes of assessment Despite these problems, the importance of assessment was in no way doubted, but it needs to be clear about the very different purposes which assessment is meant to serve and which are spelt out in the different Reports and Reviews (see TLRP 11, NR p.80-82; CPR ch.16): young people s progress in learning what they know and can do; knowledge of their capacities to pursue further study at the university, say; diagnosis of learning difficulties; teacher effectiveness; school accountability and position in league tables; young people s performance and achievements relative to other young people; selection for further study, training or employment Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 39

40 section 8: learning and assessment Hence, assessment serves different purposes and is directed at different audiences teachers, learners, parents, employers, higher education admissions, those in the next phase of education and training. But, in addressing these different audiences and purposes, the Reviews (drawing on the work of the Assessment Reform Group 27 ) distinguished between assessment for learning, assessment for accountability and assessment for selection. Assessment for learning (AfL) aims at supporting both teacher and learner to progress by recognising what has been achieved, what more needs to be achieved, the learning difficulties to be overcome, and the key ideas to be focused on. A range of instruments and tests help, but crucial is the judgement of the teacher. Hence, the Reviews argued for greater weight to be attached to teacher assessment both in the everyday improvement of learning and in the final summative account of a learner s attainment and ability. Assessment for accountability aims at providing quality assurance to a wider audience. Parents, school or college governors, the wider community and Government need re-assurance that the teachers and their schools and colleges are doing a good job. Assessment for selection aims at deciding which learners should progress to particular institutions or courses in those institutions whether they be degrees or apprenticeships or employment. The difficulties here are pointed out by TLRP 11 and by Nuffield Review (p.80-82). Often what such selection needs is an assessment of personal qualities less easily measurable sometimes referred to as soft skills or wider key skills. Conclusions First, problems arise where the different purposes of assessment are conflated e.g. where assessment for learning is used for assessment for accountability (or where assessment for accountability determines the nature of the assessment for learning). Both the Nuffield and Primary Reviews point out (NR p.73 and 81, CPR p.335) how that need not be the case, and how the Assessment of Performance Unit (APU) in the 1980s developed a system of randomised light sampling of performance whereby information about the health of education across the curriculum could be obtained without interfering with the process of teaching and learning 28. Second, greater emphasis should be given to teacher assessment, to the provision of feedback to learners and to their own participation in assessment. Assessment for learning should be seen as more than just a neat phrase it is a crucial contribution to the improvement of standards. Third, more emphasis should be placed upon the profile of learners achievement which match the broader aims of education outlined in Section 2 and the wider vision of learning in Section 5. Many young people are judged educational failures because pursuits in which they shine (or could shine if given the opportunity) do not get recognised in the system of assessment. The following is an example of AfL where the educational aims are not easily measurable. Reading and Central Berkshire Consortiums work with the awarding body, ASDAN, to introduce new ways of developing and assessing personal, learning and transferable skills in a range of Diplomas that involve activity based, work related tasks. These are designed to develop, reinforce and rehearse employability skills. Learners demonstrate to themselves and others that they are developing important work related skills 40 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

41 Part II: What are the consequences of educational aims for learning and teaching? Challenges and Principles: a summary 5 Challenge: Formal education is dominated by narrowly conceived forms of academic learning, thus undermining other capabilities of importance to our society, economy and citizens. Principle: A wider vision of education should respect and reward the practical as well as the academic, informal and experiential as well as formal learning, and should draw upon the wide range of expertise within the community. 6 Challenge: The school curriculum has become overloaded and dysfunctional, and fails to meet the needs of many young people. Principle: A curriculum entitlement framework should be designed to introduce young people to subjects and the broad domains of knowledge, to practical capabilities and skills, to a sense of achievement, to the big issues which confront society and to the knowledge and dispositions for active citizenship, yet be flexible enough for teachers to adapt appropriately. 7 Challenge: Teachers pedagogical expertise and professionalism are essential to educational quality from early years to adult learning, but this is not consistently understood or provided for in our culture, policy and provision. Principle: Teachers expertise in the enhancement of learning should be supported and challenged by provision for continuing professional development in all phases of education and by a single system of qualified teacher status. 8 Challenge: The high stakes testing regime serves incompatible purposes and narrows what is to be learnt. Principle: The different purposes of assessment (i.e. supporting different kinds of learning, holding the system accountable and certifying achievements) require different and appropriate modes of assessment, and maintenance of appropriate balance between them. Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 41

42 42 Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future

43 Part III: What sort of system would achieve educational aims? Education for All: Evidence from the past, principles for the future 43

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