Facilitating expansive visioning for education in the UK
Recognising the power of our work with students, we were invited by Oxfam and WWF (coalition-lead) to be part of a large coalition focused on the delivery of The UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 4.7, which asks that all learners “acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.”
In order for this goal to be achieved, we need to go beyond simple curriculum add-ons to radically reimagine our problematic education system and envision alternative possibilities. It requires big thinking and deep questioning.
We designed and led a coalition-wide workshop to reconnect members to the vision and to unify the disparate visions, ideas, and expectations of the 100+ members into shared consensus. We explored several questions, including: What is the purpose of education within society? What aspects of life should education prepare learners for? What will the needs of future learners be? What should our approach to learning look like? What is the role of the teacher? How can we ensure a plurality of perspectives are taught? How do we define what is valued? How do we ensure that aspects which should not be measured are valued? What is the purpose of assessment?