Just suppose…

Jan Murray’s feature on Frank Coffield in the IfL’s InTuition journal caught my eye recently. (See http://bit.ly/ZxtgNz). Its title, ‘Just suppose this man ran education’, was a nod to the title of his influential 2008 research paper ‘Just Suppose Teaching and Learning became the first priority’.

Frank Coffield’s 2002 contribution to the Association of Colleges (AoC) annual conference became a landmark speech after he pointed out that, ‘there is nothing about teaching and learning in this whole conference, it’s all about finance and businesses and estates…’. He spoke on the subject of ‘Education before Business’ at the WEA Yorkshire and Humber Region’s Annual General Meeting in Leeds in 2009 and his passion for teaching and learning was all the more infectious because of his modesty and gentle humour as a speaker.

It’s a good time for reflection as a long weekend break approaches, so, in the spirit of Coffield…

– Just suppose we had a national culture of lifelong learning involving all generations.
– Just suppose education was accessible for everyone.
– Just suppose every adult could read, write and be able to communicate through digital media.
– Just suppose we encouraged people to be creative, curious, critical thinkers who kept on learning how to learn.
– Just suppose our education systems in the UK were as effective as Finland’s.

What do you suppose?