Major players to attend conference on learning
Press release issued: 18 June 2008
Teachers and those involved in education will get the chance to discuss whether techniques used by professional sport, for instance, have any place in the classroom.
The University of Bristol will host a major conference [Thursday 19-Saturday 21 June] on the different methods available to teach people new skills outside the traditional classroom environment.
The event will feature leading figures from a variety of walks of life talking about their own learning experiences and how it differs from being at school or college.
The Bristol based singer-songwriter Katey Brooks will be among those taking part along with international horse-riding instructor Mary Wanless, the scientist Heinz Wolff and ITN's newsreader Alastair Stewart, OBE.
Professor Guy Claxton, from the GSOE, said: "The conference is for everyone who wishes education to provide all young people with a more powerful preparation for life in the 21st century.
"Formal education relies on a very narrow view of learning - batches of same-age students sit in specially built classrooms, studying pre-determined, bite-sized curricula under the supervision of the specially trained adults, subjected to periodic grading and selection.
"Yet, elsewhere in the world, and sometimes, just down the road, many quite different ways of doing and construing learning are alive and well.
"We can learn a lot from people who have discovered how to write songs, make money, improvise theatre, design experiments or school horses.
"They draw on very different models of the mind, how it changes and how it can be helped to change, which result in very different kinds of practice.
"If education is a preparation for lifelong learning, can we align the learning models of schools and colleges more closely with those of the real world."
The conference will also feature Bill Lucas - Chairman of the Talent Foundation - Mick Waters - director of Curriculum at the QCA and Kathy Sykes - Professor of Sciences and Society at the University of Bristol.
Further informationLearning conversations will feature leading figures from a variety of walks of life who will talk about their own learning journeys, and how their learning worlds work.
Thursday 19 June
4 to 5.15 pm
International horse-riding instructor Mary Wanless talks to amateur rider Chris Watkins.
6 to 8 pm
Bristol singer-songwriter Katey Brooks talks to University of Bristol professor Rosamund Sutherland and will give a performance.
Friday 20 June
11.15 am to 12.30 pm
Scientist Heinz Wolff talks to Culture Online founder Jonathan Drori.
Saturday 21 June
9.15 to 10.30 am
ITN newsreader Alastair Stewart talks to Rough Scientist Kathy Sykes.
The University of Bristol's Graduate School of Education (GSOE) is at the forefront of educational research in the UK. Central to the work of the School is the belief that the ways in which people learn throughout life and within the organisational settings of education and work, are of major significance for the future development of the UK and countries around the world.
The GSOE was the only education department in the UK to receive a 5* in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise.
Partnership with schools is a vital part of their research effort and many local teachers are working as research fellows within the Graduate School of Education.