Lesson 16 – What is Education for?

Warm up

  1. Ask students what their favorite school subjects are or were. Ask them what they think is or was the most useful part of their education.
    Ask them what they would change about their education if they could.
  2. Explain that experts in education have many different ideas about what education is. Tell them to look at the definitions, and discuss them with a partner.
    Ask which do you agree with most and why?
    Ask them to look at the three adverts with your partner, and think what the attitudes of the places would be. Match them with the definitions

Tell them all three are for students aged 16 to 18. Ask them what subjects would probably be taught at each place. Take them one by one and think about subjects you might not think of, e.g. ballet, engineering, drawing, creative writing, and meditation.

Ask them to compare the schools and say which they would prefer to attend and why.

Main Activity

  1. Tell them they are going to be the school’s head teacher. Ask them to work in pairs and choose together two of the schools to manage.
  2. Ask them to plan a weekly timetable for the schools they chose, Tell them to include:
  • suitable subjects for each period, or choices of subject
  • free study periods, or periods when students can do research on a given choice of topics
  • project titles
  • a school trip to a suitable place
  • lesson times and lengths
    Explain that in the UK after the age of 16, no subjects are compulsory. Encourage them to really use their imagination to produce interesting and unusual timetables, but tell them that they must represent the educational attitudes of the school.

Put pairs into groups of four or six to compare ideas.
Ask them to feed back to the class on the ideas of the other pairs that impressed them.

Follow up

  • Ask the class to watch the following video:
  • Tell students in their original pairs to discuss their ideas and intentions when they were planning the timetables. Ask what educational aims and values they had in mind.
  • Ask them to write a new definition of what education is for.
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