Podcast: What is school for? With Doaa Shabbir, Keri McGachy and James McEnaney

Ben Wray

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SCHOOL student Doaa Shabbir published an article on CommonSpace last month questioning whether a school system based around a competitive attainment culture is really educational progress, and outlining a vision for education based on the uplifting of a whole generation.

In this podcast, CommonSpace editor Ben Wray talks to Doaa, teacher Keri McGachy and college lecturer, journalist and education campaigner James McEnaney about what is school actually for, whether we value the right things and what education for the common good would look like.

Specific areas discussed include:

– Doaa’s experience of the school system and her critique of it

– Examples internationally of countries that have ostensibly high levels of attainment but also high levels of stress and anxiety partly due to the competitive schooling culture.

– What does educational progress actually mean and how to achieve it

– The structural and cultural barriers in Scotland to having an education system that works for the common good.

– Attempts to close the ‘attainment gap’ in Scotland and whether this is the right focus with the right policies to achieve it.

– What difference could technological change such as automation make to school education.

Picture courtesy of Dave Wilson Cumbria