World Changing Education

  • #UKEdChat session 577
  • Should schools teach activism skills?
  • Teachers often feel uncomfortable teaching about the issues and protests.
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Many of the frustrations of life stem from feeling powerless. At the time of posting the UN COP26 Climate summit is being held in Glasgow and many scientist have commented that much more change is needed, and UK Prime Minister has spoken anger from the population if progress isn’t made. Along with any high profile international political gathering, people have gather in large numbers to protest/support various positions which they hope will bring about change in their desired direction.

A good education has the ability to change the life for the learner. Whether education provides the tools to allow learners to activity make the world a better place is less clear. Schools sometimes value conformity over questioning, standing in line over standing up to issues and injustices. With the possible exceptional mention of women’s suffrage as part of the study to the war years, protests and struggles against injustice are rarely taught in UK schools. Activism is not usually on the school curriculum, beyond making a nice small poster about a problem or our collective doom.

Debate has a long tradition in the education system, and many education intuitions how renowned debating societies. Where is the line between rhetoric and activism?

Many people will think that saving the world should be an extra curricular activity. Many teachers and parents of learners will think that schools and politics do not mix. But should schools equip learners with the activist skills stripped of the politics, which they can then take in any direction they wish? Is this even possible?

In this #UKEdChat session, which took place on Thursday 4th November 2021 at 8pm(UK), we discussed whether schools do enough to highlight key issues of the day, whether school teach skills to weigh evidence, whether schools should support and even encourage activism, and what skills schools currently teach and could teach to help the next generation of thinkers and activists.


  1. What mechanisms exist in schools to allow pupil voice and views to be heard and acted upon?
  2. Do schools do a good enough job of highlighting issues of the day? How could this be improved?
  3. How do / could you teach skills to evaluate evidence in your subject area?
  4. Should schools support pupil activism? Why (not)? If so, what should schools do?
  5. Should schools actively teach activism skills? Why (not), and if so, how?
  6. What is the role of technology in helping inform learners about world issues and current affairs?
  7. What would a world changing education look like to you?
  8. What one message from you do you hope your learners will reminder to make the world a better place?

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About @ICTmagic 780 Articles
Martin Burrett is the editor of our popular UKEdMagazine, along with curating resources in the ICTMagic section, and free resources for teachers on UKEd.Directory

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