Open letter to Secretary of State for Education:
Please read the article by Andreas Schleicher of OECD in which he describes the type of learning that will be essential for the 21st century. In particular, the warning that education can be stuck in "beliefs that learning can only occur in a particular way". In a rapidly changing world "producing more of the same knowledge and skills will not suffice." He addresses the challenge of producing motivated learners and warns that "routine cognitive skills... that are easiest to teach and easiest to test" are not sufficient alone.
"Education today is much more about ways of thinking which involve creative and critical approaches to problem-solving and decision-making. It is also about ways of working, including communication and collaboration, as well as the tools," Mr Schleicher writes. He continues with a plea to escape the narrow confines of traditional disciplines and show pupils how to synthesize the 'disparate bits'.
"If we spend our whole lives in the silo of a single discipline, we cannot develop the imaginative skills to connect the dots... yet most countries, with the possible exception of the Nordic countries, provide few incentives for students to learn and teachers to teach across disciplines."
Mr Schleicher's article is a forward-looking document, unlike the current Educational White Paper. It demands thorough reading.