83 episodes

"Civilisation is a race between education and catastrophe." (HG Wells)

In this podcast, we take Wells at his word. Hosted by Dr James Mannion, Rethinking Education features long-form conversations with fascinating guests about how we might create a more diverse, intelligent, responsive educational ecosystem that works for *all* young people.

If this sounds interesting to you, welcome to Rethinking Education: Education's Critical Friend: https://rethinking-ed.org/podcast

Rethinking Education Dr James Mannion

    • Education
    • 4.0 • 4 Ratings

"Civilisation is a race between education and catastrophe." (HG Wells)

In this podcast, we take Wells at his word. Hosted by Dr James Mannion, Rethinking Education features long-form conversations with fascinating guests about how we might create a more diverse, intelligent, responsive educational ecosystem that works for *all* young people.

If this sounds interesting to you, welcome to Rethinking Education: Education's Critical Friend: https://rethinking-ed.org/podcast

    Rupert Sheldrake on learning by doing, cancel culture and the moral vacuum at the heart of education

    Rupert Sheldrake on learning by doing, cancel culture and the moral vacuum at the heart of education

    Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 100 scientific papers and 9 books, and the co-author of a further 6 books. His books have been published in 28 languages. And on ResearchGate, the largest scientific and academic online network, his Research Interest Score places him in the top 4% of scientists.

    It’s fair to say that Rupert is something of a controversial figure. This can be seen in the response to his first major work A New Science of Life, published in 1981, in which advanced the hypothesis of morphic resonance, the idea that there’s a kind of memory in nature. As we discuss in this episode, this book was described somewhat illiberally – on the front cover of Nature, no less, the world’s leading science journal – as a “book for burning”.

    It’s also fair to say that the controversy surrounding Rupert’s work has not really abated since then. Rupert’s work largely focuses on asking questions that probe at the edges of the materialist understanding of reality. This can be seen in his later books ‘seven experiments that could change the world, dogs that know when their owners are coming home, and the sense of being stared at.

    In this conversation we mainly discuss Rupert’s two most recent books, Science and Spiritual Practices and Ways to Go Beyond And Why They Work. This is a fascinating conversation in which we discuss the rather peculiar fashion within science education for using the passive voice - a test tube was taken, rather than I took a test tube… The horrors of being a biophile working in animal vivisection, an experience Rupert and I share… The way in which nature is structured as a kind of hierarchy of nested wholes - w h o l e s - each nested within the next level up… the way in which materialism eats itself… and what Rupert describes as the moral vacuum at the heart of education… and the fact that cancel culture is nothing new, and has in fact existed within science for several decades.

    Lots more fascinating controversy in other words. It’s rather a lot to squeeze into an hour, I’m sure you’ll agree.

    LINKS

    Rupert’s website - https://www.sheldrake.org/
    Rupert’s (banned) TEDx talk - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1TerTgDEgUE
    British Pilgrimage - www.britishpilgrimage.org
    An interesting blog where Rupert responds to TED’s claims about his talk: https://blog.ted.com/open-for-discussion-graham-hancock-and-rupert-sheldrake/
    Give us a (lovely!) review: https://www.tinyurl.com/raterepod
    Sign up for the Rethinking Ed Round-up: https://www.rethinkinged.beehiiv.com

    DON'T BE A STRANGER

    The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at https://www.rethinking-ed.org/contact

    SUPPORT THE RETHINKING ED PODCAST:

    Become a patron: https://www.patreon.com/repod

    Buy James a coffee: https://www.buymeacoffee.com/repod

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Meena Wood on curriculum reform, learning from other countries and flying the flag for FE

    Meena Wood on curriculum reform, learning from other countries and flying the flag for FE

    In the week that the general election was called, I bring you a timely conversation about some of the questions an incoming government needs to grapple with.

    Meena Kumari Wood is a former HMI and leader of FE colleges who now works across the British and International Education sectors. She held senior leadership positions in English schools and Further education colleges, including as Principal of a secondary academy and Principal of an Adult College. As a former adviser to the DfE and currently as an International Education Consultant, Meena emphasises the importance of placing learners’ aspirations and needs at the heart of curriculum. Meena has authored two books - Assessment of Prior Learning & Bilingual Learners (1995) and Secondary Curriculum Transformed: Enabling All to Achieve (2020). Secondary Curriculum Transformed argues for an equitable and diverse knowledge and skills based English curriculum, preparing young people for the changing global landscape of society and employment. She was recently appointed to the advisory board of the Chartered College of Teaching.

    This is a fascinating conversation in which we discuss curriculum reform, the incredible journey Meena and her family made to mode to this country in the 1960s, the way in which English education is very insular and would benefit from a little learning from other countries, and flying the flag for FE - Further Education - something we don’t talk about enough.

    It’s a slightly shorter episode than normal, but we pack a lot into just over an hour!

    LINKS

    Give us a (lovely!) review: tinyurl.com/raterepod

    Sign up for the Rethinking Ed Round-up: rethinkinged.beehiiv.com

    Meena's book Secondary Curriculum Transformed: Enabling All to Achieve: https://www.routledge.com/Secondary-Curriculum-Transformed-Enabling-All-to-Achieve/Wood-Haddon/p/book/9780367900878

    DON'T BE A STRANGER

    The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at rethinking-ed.org/contact

    SUPPORT THE RETHINKING ED PODCAST:

    Become a patron: patreon.com/repod

    Buy James a coffee: buymeacoffee.com/repod

    • 1 hr 23 min
    René Kneyber and Valentina Devid on the Power of Formative Action [#REPOD S4E13]

    René Kneyber and Valentina Devid on the Power of Formative Action [#REPOD S4E13]

    René Kneyber and Valentina Devid are two of the founders of Toetsrevolutie (Test Revolution), a teacher training cooperative based in the Netherlands which specialises in formative assessment, summative assessment and curriculum design.

    René and Valentina are also two of the four authors of an excellent new book - Formative Action - the English translation of which was published in April 2024.

    René was the first person to introduce formative assessment in the Netherlands. But while he could immediately see the benefits of this idea in his own classroom, when he started talking about it with other people, he soon found that the language was getting in the way. It's not really about assessment. It's about the actions teachers take in response to the assessment activities they undertake. So he changed the name to formative action, and created a model which overcomes many of the problems experienced previously in the field of formative assessment.

    The book is absolutely brilliant - concise, super-clear and practicable - and in this conversation we take a deep dive working our way through the five steps of the formative action model in its entirety.

    If you visit the website www.formative-action.com, you can access a free pdf of one of the chapters from the book, as well as a free online course which is really produced to a high standard and which I highly recommend.

    I also highly recommend an online course on self-regulated learning, made by myself, which is available to patrons of the podcast. This course looks at three of the big ideas in SRL - metacognition, self-regulation and oracy - and includes lots of practical strategies for how to put these powerful ideas into action in your classroom and indeed in your own life as a human being.

    To access this course, along with many other benefits, please visit www.patreon.com/repod.

    LINKS

    Give us a (lovely!) review: https://tinyurl.com/raterepod

    Sign up for the Rethinking Ed Round-up: https://rethinkinged.beehiiv.com

    Toetsrevolutie: https://toetsrevolutie.nl/

    The Formative Action School: https://formative-action.com/

    DON'T BE A STRANGER

    The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at https://rethinking-ed.org/contact

    SUPPORT THE RETHINKING ED PODCAST:

    Become a patron: https://patreon.com/repod

    Buy James a coffee: https://buymeacoffee.com/repod

    • 2 hr 17 min
    Ife Obasa on representation, work experience… and God!

    Ife Obasa on representation, work experience… and God!

    Ife Obasa is an educational consultant, activist and sought-after speaker who advocates for greater representation in education - among many other strings to her bow.

    Ife spoke at the 2023 Rethinking Education conference about why we need representation in education more than ever - a topic that we discuss in some detail in this episode.

    Ife’s work centres around mentoring and empowering young people to make their voices heard and to get involved in shaping the decision-making processes that affect their lives. She also advises organisations looking to better attract and retain young talent as well as investing in and across the education space.

    Previously Ife was an Inter-Religious Commonwealth Youth Ambassador for the Commonwealth Jewish Council and a Council Member for The British Youth Council.

    In addition, Ife is a Fourth Year Law Student at the University of Southampton. She is an aspiring solicitor with first-hand corporate legal experience and is extremely passionate about helping the next generation of aspiring lawyers.

    In 2022, Powerlist Magazine recognised Ife as one of 150 Future Leaders of African/African-Caribbean Descent in the United Kingdom.

    In this conversation, we start out talking about work experience - a really important topic that doesn’t receive the attention it deserves. We then move on to discuss the importance of representation in education - what it means in theory, what it looks like in practice and how we might achieve it.

    And then toward the end of the conversation we discuss the role of faith in Ife’s life and work. This is new territory for the Rethinking Ed podcast, and I found this part of the conversation particularly enjoyable. So be sure to listen to the end!

    LINKS

    Give us a 5 star review: https://podcasts.apple.com/ca/podcast/rethinking-education/id1546512828

    Sign up for the Rethinking Ed Round-up: rethinkinged.beehiiv.com

    Ife's website - https://ifeonetwork.com/

    DON'T BE A STRANGER

    The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at rethinking-ed.org/contact

    SUPPORT THE RETHINKING ED PODCAST:

    Become a patron: patreon.com/repod
    Buy James a coffee: buymeacoffee.com/repod

    • 1 hr 52 min
    Peter Higgin on the power of learning through immersive play

    Peter Higgin on the power of learning through immersive play

    Peter Higgin is the Artistic Director and joint CEO of Punchdrunk Enrichment, a charity that creates transformational theatre for education, community and family audiences.

    Punchdrunk Enrichment is an independent charity which was founded in 2008 to take the pioneering practice of immersive theatre company, Punchdrunk, into schools and communities. Listed amongst the 50 most influential artists of the last 50 years (Sky Arts, 2022) alongside David Bowie, Sir Steve McQueen and Vivienne Westwood, Punchdrunk disrupts the theatrical norm, creating worlds in which audiences can rediscover the childlike excitement of exploring the unknown.

    Peter has been involved with Punchdrunk for his entire professional career. In 2000 he graduated from Exeter University and went on to become a founding member of Punchdrunk. He was pivotal in establishing the company’s early work during their rise to critical acclaim and global success.

    Peter has a powerful belief in the transformative power of engaging with the arts and creativity. He believes in the power of imagination as one of our greatest tools and has witnessed how access to immersive experiences can unlock our innate creativity.

    This episode of the podcast is (brilliantly) hosted by former podcast guest Tim Taylor, author of ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Mantle of the Expert’ and coauthor of ‘Try This: Unlocking Learning With Imagination’.

    LINKS

    Punchdrunk enrichment - https://www.punchdrunkenrichment.org.uk
    Punchdrunk - https://www.punchdrunk.com
    Sign up for the Rethinking Ed Round-up: https://rethinkinged.beehiiv.com

    DON'T BE A STRANGER

    The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at https://rethinking-ed.org/contact

    SUPPORT THE RETHINKING ED PODCAST:

    Become a patron: https://patreon.com/repod
    Buy James a coffee: https://buymeacoffee.com/repod

    • 2 hr 21 min
    "Civilisation rests on our shoulders!": Peps Mccrea on motivated teaching

    "Civilisation rests on our shoulders!": Peps Mccrea on motivated teaching

    Peps Mccrea is an award-winning teacher educator, designer and author. He is Director of Education at Steplab and author of the ultraconcise High Impact Teaching series, one of which - Motivated Teaching - is the main topic of this episode. On the side, he writes Evidence Snacks, a brilliant newsletter that we speak about at the top of this conversation, and composes excellent instructional threads on Twitter.

    Previously, Peps was a Dean at Ambition Institute, where he oversaw the design of programmes for teachers and teacher educators (eg. Masters in Expert Teaching, Teacher Education Fellows, and Early Career Teachers), he was a Senior Lecturer in Teacher Education at Brighton University, and teacher and leader at various schools.

    LINKS

    Peps Mccrea website: https://pepsmccrea.com/

    Sign up for Evidence Snacks: https://snacks.pepsmccrea.com/

    Sign up for the Rethinking Ed Round-up: https://rethinkinged.beehiiv.com

    DON'T BE A STRANGER

    The Rethinking Education podcast is hosted and produced by Dr James Mannion. You can contact him at rethinking-ed.org/contact

    SUPPORT THE RETHINKING ED PODCAST:

    Become a patron: https://patreon.com/repod
    Buy James a coffee: https://buymeacoffee.com/repod

    • 2 hr 7 min

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