Paul Collard: skills instead of knowledge transfer

Wissen war Macht – für die Jobs von heute und morgen reicht Wissen alleine nicht mehr aus, meint Paul Collard. Immer wichtiger werde die emotionale Intelligenz. (© 2005 Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung)

  • Deutsche Textversion

    The main purpose of creative partnerships is to explore how we can put creativity back at the heart of the education system. The issues that this raises are around what it is that we should be teaching in schools. In England at the moment our focus is teaching a sad series of subjects: English, history, geography, arts, music, science, maths and so on. If you look historically it's actually the set of subjects that we've been teaching for 250 years. And yet we know now that most of the jobs that young people in schools will do when their older haven't even been invented yet, and yet we're using an education system which knew what jobs people are going to do and based on transferring the knowledge necessary for these jobs into those children in order for them to be able to go out and do that, now, if we don't know what they're going to do, what is it that we teach them? I think it's necessary that we have a fundamental reappraisal of how we go around teaching them.

    The key things is moving from a notion of knowledge transfer to skills development. Instead of saying the purpose of school is you go there and learn a lot of stuff which you then know is you go to school and you learn a whole series of skills. All those subjects are good in developing those skills if you use them in the right way. But the way we use them which is very exam-oriented, which is the teacher comes in, they write information on the board, you write it down in your notebook, you remeber it, you go to the exam and write it down and you pass, but you're not qualified for doing anything because you need someone to tell you what to do all the time. That's not the nature of the future economy and the world that we're going to live in. We've now focused on saying "what are the skills that kids need to delevop in schools and what are the processes that will develop those skills for them".

    If you talk to people who are creative and lead creative lifes they all say "learning to ask good questions is a key thing". There's then a second area which is around social skills, around developing social skills. The sort of jargon we use about this is called "developing emotional intelligence" which is to say that working isn't simply about doing what you're told or telling somebody what to do. There are whole series of emotional and social processes at work which unless you're aware of you're never actually going to be able to achieve everyone. We know very successful people in the world nearly always have very sophisticated emotional intelligence things. That's an area in school which on the whole people don't focus on: the development of the social skills.

    We have to be clear that all subjects can be taught our way so it's not a subject issue, it's an approach issue. Actually most teachers would rather teach our way than the very prescritpive way that they've been given in the last 20 years in England. Therefore most teachers want us to come in and help them because it makes teaching more fun and more enjoyable, they have better behaved kids, they have better motivated kids and ultimately I think they'll get better results.

    Redaktion: Stefan Lampe, Matthias Jung
    Kamera: Eileen Kühne
    Schnitt: Oliver Plata
    Das Interview entstand auf dem europäischen Kongress "Lernen aus der Praxis" vom 22.-24. September 2005.
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