The Edtech Podcast & School21 Partner on Real World Learning Placement (Studio)
What is it?
School 21 is a pioneering 4 to 18 school in Stratford, East London, for children from all backgrounds. The three founders of School 21 Peter Hyman, Oli de Botton and Ed Fidoe came together with a shared belief that education must be done differently if we are to prepare young people for the world they are going into. Their conviction was that we needed schools which rebalance head (academic success), heart (character and well-being) and hand (generating ideas, problem solving, making a difference). So School 21 has developed an approach that give students the chance to find their voice, develop deep knowledge and understanding, and create beautiful work that has real value beyond the classroom. The sixth form, Six 21, welcomed its inaugural cohort in September 2017. To find out more about School21 you can listen to Anna Kyrk, a School21 teacher, on this past episode of The Edtech Podcast here.
“Studio” is a place where students learn to impact the world through design. As a core curricular programme, Studio seeks to develop the teamwork, leadership and creative confidence of all students at Six 21.
Forming dynamic multi-disciplinary teams, students will act as design consultants, learning to apply the methods and mindsets of design thinking in order to tackle big, open-ended problems that make a difference to the world around them. Studio placements at School 21 brings students and the professional world together in a meaningful way. The innovative Studio placement programme is School 21’s take on work experience and provides both students and their host workplace with something that is more meaningful and authentic than traditional work experience. Over a period of 12 weeks, Year 12 students will spend half a day each week in the workplace, solving an authentic problem for a real organisation.
How is The Edtech Podcast involved?
The Edtech Podcast is taking on three six formers Malika, Edil and Sungna from Six21 as part of the Studio programme. The students will be researching, editing, producing, publishing and promoting a podcast episode titled “Is Self Directed Learning a Fallacy?” The placement will offer to introduce them to new skills in content creation, promotion and knowledge sharing, whilst introducing The Edtech Podcast to 21c students and their own priorities! You can find out more about each of the students below and in subsequent posts as they describe their time with The Edtech Podcast.
THE BRIEF: Is Self Directed Learning a Fallacy?
“Educational systems worldwide are criticised for being top-down. This is the Gradgrind approach to teaching and learning, “Now, what I want is, Facts. Teach these boys and girls nothing but Facts. Facts alone are wanted in life.” Many educators now realise that the skills needed in today’s world will not be served by this model. Students need to develop creativity, communication and collaboration. Schools such as HighTechHigh and School21 argue for self-directed learning, for “failing forward” and for engaging student’s in project based learning which taps into unique interests and passions. But are young people physiologically equiped for self directed learning? The neuroscientist Dick Swaab’s writes in his book, titled “We are our brains”:
“The Pre Fontal Cortext plays a central role in regulating our brain areas and is responsible, among other things, for the control of our impulses, complex actions, planning and organisation. It doesn’t fully mature until a person is in his or her twenties. According to the neuropsychologist Jelle Jones, this explains why a recent restructuring of the Dutch secondary school system that focused on independent study is flawed.” (p89).
So what is the correct balance between teacher and student? Is self directed learning a fallacy or are we resigning ourselves to a new form of neuro-Calvinism and a return to top-down education and passive students?
In this project you will answer this question in the form of an investigative podcast which will then be shared on The Edtech Podcast to 1500 international educators and innovators globally in over 141 countries. You should reach out to subject matter experts to investigate this question, with contribuions from both sides of the argument.
Finally, you will be included on the LIVE podcast programme at The Edtech Podcast Festival.
Meet the team:
So, my name is Sungna and I’m currently studying Biology, Chemistry and Psychology! In the future, I’m thinking about working in the field of forensics and criminology; either into the chemical analysis of some sort or possibly even the psychology behind the situation. I’m not 100% sure yet though.
For my work placement, I’m going to be working with The EdTech Podcast to write and publish a segment alongside one of my classmates and the topic for the podcast is ‘Is Self Directed Learning a Fallacy?’. I’m quite excited about this project as I think that the direction this topic can take is very open and lots of different aspects can be looked into and being students ourselves we can have an input and share out opinions.
A few things people probably don’t know about me is that I’m a Pisces, I’m left-handed and I also used to do taekwondo. If I got asked the question; if money was no object, what would you be doing right now? My answer would probably be traveling and exploring the world with the people I love. I don’t think I have an overall favourite book but I’d say that some of the books that have stuck with me would be His Dark Materials Trilogy by Phillip Pullman. The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky and Thirteen reasons why by Jay Asher. I’m more of a book person than a movie person so I don’t have a favourite movie but I do really enjoy Bollywood movies which are based on historical events or something set in the olden day such as Ram Leela or Bajirao Mastani!
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We need a home!
Now we are a team of four, I am looking for any friendly workspaces who might offer to support the placement. I am excited to work on the programme with Malika, Edil and Sungna and I’m incurring extra child care and workspace costs to allow the project to flourish! If you have a workspace which you’d like to offer 3 hours a week (Thursday 2-5) as part of the placement, we would love to hear from you 🙂
Ps. Contact us if you have awesome connections, mentor opportunities or other for our amazing students!