Battle of Ideas

Posted on 08-10-2012

On Thursday night I am speaking at the Battle of Ideas on the topic In Defence of Subjects. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know that I will of course be defending subjects. I am planning to speak about my experiences of teaching subjects and their alternatives, and the pragmatic reasons why subjects are superior.

The main practical alternative to subjects is project-based or activity-based education. I’ve written about the flaws in this model here and here.

One of the main reasons against subject-based education is that traditional subjects are outdated, fail to take into account advances in technology and are and not fit for purpose in the 21st century. I’ve criticised the idea of ’21st century skills’ here and the idea that technology will replace memory here.

Another prominent reason against subject-based education is that it is elitist. I hope to deal with this issue in a blog post shortly.

I am speaking on a panel with three other people: Alka Sehgal Cuthbert, Tim Oates and Martin Johnson.

I’ll post a summary of the debate with further thoughts on Friday.