We have seen an ever-growing crisis in education, with levels of anxiety amongst children and teachers at a record high under the immense pressure to adhere to the assessment-driven culture set out by the government. A study published last year stated that in 2014 nearly 30% of teen suicides were directly linked to exam pressures. This relentless pursuit to compete in global education rankings is meaning that many schools – rather than becoming environments for true learning – instead become results factories, obsessed with generating data. This superficial culture of teaching-to-the-test ignores the skills young people need in their lives beyond the classroom. We want to turn this model on it’s head and place skills above grades, questioning how we define & value intelligence and reimagining what the 21st Century classroom should look like.
We will occupy a space for 6 weeks and invite groups of young people and teachers to work with us. These interventions will promote the skills we value and throughout the sessions we will work together to reimagine a classroom for the 21st Century, with no boundaries or perimeters on how this might function. We will make the group’s ideas tangible and transform them into 3-dimensional spaces for the public to explore. The conversations that happen during these sessions, will meanwhile feed into the public domain. For example, using direct quotes from conversations and ideas that we find most poignant then giving these a public voice and space. These could be in the form of sound bites, video or typographic response.