Education is a complex of processes. It is difficult to define in detail as it stretches across so many different contexts. And yet there is an expectation that education systems will be well structured, coherent and meet societal needs including greater social equality, career readiness and the development of productive, well informed members of society. This creates a heavy burden for those involved in education, as it suggests that the responsibilities of the sector are both wide and deep.
In England the education system has emerged over a long period, and I would argue that this means that it has become incoherent in nature. At the same time, there are many questions over its trajectory, and how the various elements fit together, for example how does school-level education relate to universities? How does further education fit within this system? And what about informal, non-formal and community education? At a more basic level, how does education of any kind link to wider social, environmental and cultural processes?
This site is a space where I try to engage with some of these big ideas in an attempt to imagine a different education system from the ground up. It's based on one major set of assumptions, those surrounding my basic idea of reality, or ontology. I am approaching this task from the perspective of processual complexity explained elsewhere on this site. With this as my starting point, I hope that the ideas and reflections I develop are of some use to others in reflecting on how we might develop new educational imaginaries as we move further into the 21st century and face ever more acute social and environmental crises.
Professor of Educational Change