Key-note: - Geoff Mulgan

Geoff Mulgan


Geoff Mulgan, administrerende direktør i Nesta i England. Geoff Mulgan har i årerekke ledet organisasjoner som arbeider med innovasjon, forskning og nyskapende bedrifter. Han har også vært rådgiver for regjeringen i Storbritannia.

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Geoff Mulgan - Presentation Summary:

Learning to make and change the world

Education systems face many continuing challenges: how to achieve quality and consistency within education systems; how to be relevant;  how to provide the knowledge and mentalities that people will find useful in their lives. I’ll focus on just two aspects of this which appear very different.

The first is about the orchestration of knowledge, and the transformation of evidence – how to make evidence useful and used, and the spread of experimental methods.  Education should be about learning: drawing on the world’s stores of accumulated knowledge and acquiring critical faculties.  Yet a remarkable amount of education practice doesn’t apply basic principles of good education to itself.  It ignores the lessons of experience and evidence, and doesn’t build in reflection and evaluation.   The result is that ideas in education often spread more because they’re appealing or convenient, than because they work.  I’ll talk about the work of the Alliance for Useful Evidence, the ’what works’ centres in the UK, various current projects testing out flipped learning, visible feedback, distance tutoring etc, and how to ensure that practitioners are aware of relevant evidence and contribute to it.  Parts of the answer lie in the work of the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) - and 36% of UK education leaders now use its Teaching Learning Toolkit to inform their purchasing decisions.   Similar things are happening elsewhere.  The US has had the i3 fund;  France ran the ‘Fondation d’experiments de jeunesse’  with large scale trials and control groups on issues such as parental involvement in schools.  All of this work on evidence needs to run alongside  innovation and experiment – which by its nature has to go beyond what’s known from the evidence.   But a wider commitment to ‘what works’ would be a radical, and immensely useful step.

The second is about how we help people to be makers of the world, not just participants. I’ll talk about how alongside the roles of all education systems in transferring knowledge, we need to cultivate qualities: the ability to solve problems, to create, to work in teams.  I’ll discuss Studio Schools as an example of a new approach to learning – with the majority of the curriculum reworked through practical projects, and the Uprising programme training young leaders.   We are having to relearn very old lessons about learning: how much we learn by doing, by combining work and learning, by having a clear line of sight between our learning and real world problems; by working in teams, including interdisciplinary teams organised around tasks rather than subjects.

These two issues come together around the role of digital technology in learning.   Clearly there remains huge potential to transform every aspect of education.  But there have been many mistakes and much money wasted.   We need better orchestration of evidence – testing new products and models, and kite-marking the ones that work.  Several decades of experiment mean that there is now a great deal of evidence and experience on what actually works best in the use of computers whiteboards, laptops and interactive media.   But most of this evidence is routinely ignored.  Teachers and heads have very little useful to draw on in making spending decisions.   Spurious claims are taken seriously – like the advocacy of one laptop per child in the developing world, or the idea that giving every pupil an Ipad makes schools more efficient.   As a result millions are wasted, and children miss out on the real potential from technology which usually requires a change in how learning is organized, and not just in the hardware.

We also need to use technologies to grow a generation of digital makers of all ages.  I’ll discuss the movement around digital making – coding, programming etc, as alternatives or complements to learning Excel, Powerpoint etc.