The idea of a “world-class education for anyone” is not new. It has been around for a long time, but only recently has it been embraced by governments and schools. The key elements of a “world-class” education are Student choice, Authentic learning, and a global perspective. The key to creating an environment that fosters learning for all children is to break the cycle of generational disadvantage.
The promise of world-class education is no longer just for wealthy nations. Poorer children are less likely to earn grade 4 GCSEs, go on to study A levels, enter university or pursue an apprenticeship. Moreover, they are less likely to enjoy the trappings of middle-class life. However, there are steps that can be taken to break the cycle of generational disadvantage and provide “world-class education for anyone”.
Student choice in a world-class education is about giving students more control over their learning experiences. Teachers still set the objectives and expected outcomes, but student choice lets them explore subjects, themes, and formats that fit their interests. It shifts teachers’ mindsets, encouraging innovation and authentic learning experiences. Here’s how student choice can make a difference in your classroom. The key is to make the classroom more flexible and inclusive.
Authentic learning takes students beyond the classroom to experiences that matter and engage them in critical thinking. It allows them to develop their academic and emotional maturity while interacting with their communities. For example, students may take part in an ancient Egyptian market stall experience, or be immersed in a play that teaches the language of ancient Egypt. In both scenarios, students are engaged in a multi-sensory experience that improves memory and increases retention of knowledge.
Students with global perspectives have an edge in the workplace. They understand cultural differences and understand their own perspective better, and they develop relationships with other people. They understand the impact of different viewpoints on society. They have more insight into contemporary issues and are better able to analyze and integrate multiple viewpoints. Learning about different cultures and countries helps students develop global competence. The world of work is a global one, and students need to be prepared for this challenge.
Investing in equitable resources is the key to a world-class education system. All school-age children should achieve proficiency levels in core subjects. Inequitable resources can be redirected to help address the quality gaps that exist for students of different backgrounds. Ensuring equity in education is an attainable goal for any country. Here are some key principles for school governance: