Here are some questions and answers to the queries raised during the workshop discussions.
- Will we be discussing theories and approaches from within the field of education during our workshops?
Yes, but to a lesser extent. The aim of the project is to carry out a conversation on issues in education through novel lenses from outside the field of education. Therefore, the focus in our blogs and short presentations during the workshops will be mostly on this. We will be touching upon new (and old) ideas within the field of education, but there won’t be a lot of emphasis placed on them.
- Why are our workshop discussions around compulsory education and what does that mean for other types of education, such as university and lifelong learning?
While the focus of our project is on compulsory education, we will by no means restrict our conversations to it. Taking a systems thinking approach, all types of learning are interrelated (inside and outside of school) and all phases of education are part of a bigger whole. The focus on compulsory education (defined here as the schooling we mandate that children go through) comes from the idea that if we (as a society) are giving children no alternative but to go to school, do coursework and go through a rigorous assessment process, we should ensure that we are asking the right things of them and that the educational system we provide is purpose-led and well thought through.
- What is the ‘Toolkit for Innovative Thinking in Education’ and what will it include?
The toolkit will be a paper that aims to help students, and anyone else interested in education, be exposed to the kinds of thinking tools and approaches that are conducive to innovative thinking. We hope that this will give them a good start in being equipped to tackle complex problems, such as those present in the field of education. The toolkit will encompass all the novel ideas discussed during our workshops and a complete write-up of the project. Participant names will not be featured, unless we have their explicit permission to do so.
Sandbox approach & Systems Thinking
- Are there any analytical tools available to help us map out complex problems?
Please check out these two blogs for a long list of tools associated with systems thinking: ‘A pallets for systems thinking tools‘ and ‘Systems Thinking Tools‘. These lists are meant to give you a flavour for what kind of thinking tools we have at our disposal for analysing the complex system that is education.
- What do we mean by ‘switching off’ restrictions in a sandbox scenario and what are some examples of this?
Sandbox scenarios are meant to be thought exercises where we are explicit about what real world restrictions apply or which ones we choose to ‘switch off’ during our discussions. These include, but are not limited to: cost of implementation, time it would take for proposed change to be implemented, certain national rules and regulations, etc.
- What is the link between a sandbox approach and systems thinking?
Taking a sandbox approach to solving complex problems involves taking a holistic, systems thinking approach.