A CO-OPERATIVE EDUCATION SYSTEM FOR A CO-OPERATIVE WALES?
The Welsh word ‘dysgu’ means both teaching and learning. This underlines the fact that learning should not be something handed down from teacher to pupil. It should be a collaborative effort between all stakeholders. With discussions taking place on new school curricula and teacher training, now is the time to press for introducing this new approach.
This April 2017 event in Cardiff demonstrated the wealth of potential there is in Wales to further the Co-operative education agenda. What was great about the enquiry was that participants recognised that we are exploring the notion of a contemporary Co-operative education in a hospitable policy climate – i.e., the Well-being and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015 and through initiatives such as Philosophy with Children. This opens real opportunities to think creatively about new educational approaches and to see these delivered ‘on the ground’.
For the future, there are some really important elements to be considered in terms of ‘being’ a co-operative teacher which are not simply about values and principles (though these are drivers); but also, about learner centred pedagogical approaches; communications; leadership; and attitudes. We left the event with big questions: What is a co-operative teacher? What does being a co-operative teacher add to the experiences of the student, school, classroom; professional practice? Much of this could come up through any future enquiry – but they are important questions if we are to realise the goals set out in the Well-being and Future Generations (Wales) Act 2015.
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