Impact Goal Rush
Impact Goal Rush

Episode 18 · 1 year ago

Zenna Hopson - Chalk and talk teaching is not fit for how we learn and live anymore

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Zenna Hopson, host of Third Millennium Education podcast, is former Head of Ofsted and EY entrepreneur of the year. In this episode, Zenna share the 3 key problems of the current education system, what is working and what needs to really change.

There is still so much passion for education that we cannot take our eye off the pole. We need to change it and not be afraid to change it and not be afraid to admit that it's wrong that teachers are our most valuable assets. These are brilliant individuals. Hello and welcome to the impact go rush podcast. This is the podcast for impact entrepreneurs. This podcast aims to amplify the voices of impact entrepreneurs, addressing the United Nations global goals, Akata sustainable development goals. Listening to fellow impact entrepreneurs on their journey in this new goal rush of making a bigger impact. Get inspired to learn how to entrepreneurship. You can grow your impact to make the world a better place, leave a legacy and live a more meaningful life. I'm your host, winter and in this episode we talked to Zenna Hobson about transforming the education system. Then I is a Ey entrepreneur of the year and she's also former head of off step, which is a government endure in the UK responsible for inspecting educational institutions and maintaining education standards. So listen in if you're interested to find out how we can take the current education system to the next level. If you've missed the previous episode, episode number seventeen, we had just ber Steinhausen of Ural borrowst works, where he talked about helping CEOS and executives India journey to its a sustainable circular Equ on me. It's a fascinating interview as E. where he talks about concrete examples of how he's help transform some of the businesses he's working with. Welcome to the impact go rush Zeno Hopson. Welcome. Could you your first a quick intro of what you do and you know what you up to with these days? I'm delighted to say I'm up to all sorts of things. My job title, I think, is cheap juggler. So I have the privilege of working in a number of organizations in the commercial sector, the charitypor sector and the public sector, and I suppose I do a lot...

...of leadership and impact and I do quite a lot of change and I do quite a lot around diversity and inclusion with a variety of different organizations, and my role with them changes in each organization, from consultant to non executive director to adviser. I'm not, in fact in one of them. I am actually an employee, so there are even straight employee regulation and my backgrounds has been doing stuff such a big government stuff right down to small startup stuff. So I have a really a colectic portfolio. As you're talking about education, sort of some of my credibility points. They're that I've had the opportunity of leading a managing a people, a ferral unit, which is where young people or are oft an end up if they've been permanently excluded from mainstream school, and that was back in the last century. I've worked a lot with disadvantage young people, either looking at ways to prevent them sort of following the path that life often sets them as a trajectory. So how to avoid getting involved in trouble with a police, how to build up your mental health and your mental art being in your resilience, how to re engage with education if you're disengaged. And through the work that I've done on the ground and the organizations that I've led and the sort of beginning of a portfolio career, I also spent six year, five years as the chairperson of Ofsted, which is school's inspection and regulation service, as well as doing some other big government stuff. So sort of background, but I started life as a residential social work. Well, so am I writing thinking you actually you actually the UI entrepreneur of the year. At one point I was indeed for a business that also had real social impact. That was two thousand and two thousand so and the Millennium.

I was very privileged to win that board for the Sauth things, not for the entire country. So could you share the verse? Why should businesses in employees? Why should entrepreneurs be more impact driven? I think, think, I think, actually the reality is entrepreneurs tend to be very impact driven, because the thing that makes you get out of bed and keep beating your head against the wall of trying to solve the problem that you've identified is that you want to see the impact, whether that's setting up a new business that is going to transform the way that we pay for stuff or whether it's a new business that is going to have real social outcomes. And so I think they are, as a focus, impact driven. They are interested in the change that they can make, not just the money that they can make. Try Your career you've been championing changes in the education system. One of some of the issues that we currently fees with the current education system. I think you could probably boil them down into very big handfuls of stuff and the first big handful of stuff is credibility. I think the second big handful of stuff is relevant and the third big handful of stuff is around accessibility and delivery, so structure. And in those those big handfuls that the credibility one is that we broadly tell all our young people are going through, and I'm talking about the UK here, but actually I will use the UK language and particularly language of the education system in England, but it does actually apply globally as well, but just the words are different. So in England we say to children you've got to get fired duc these including English and math. You will go on and you will get your a levels and you will do a degree and your career, your working life, will be set, and that is incredible.

Only fifty percent of our young people, and it's only recent in two thousand and nineteen we genuinely hit fifty percent of our young people go on to university in that linear way. The second real credibility point is even if you do that, it doesn't result in meaningful employment that actually makes you want to get out of bed every day. And then I think the other issue there is that for the fifty percent that don't do that, they are already leaving feeling like they failed because they was touch. They were told there was one benchmark and they failed it. And for them, more than fifty percent of their parents didn't go down that road and actually have ended up making some sort of success of their lives. So I don't think it's credible anymore. I think in terms of relevance, we have an education system that is still designed on the imparting an acquisition of knowledge. And if you take Google's mission, and Google's mission is the world information in one access, in the world information in one click. And when you have that kind of power of information that is available, actually just imparting information, facts and knowledge doesn't necessarily help a young person. Understanding how you take information, how you take data and turn it into knowledge and then turn it into meaningful, usable information. is where you need your skills. You need your skills around digital literacy and when you look at what employers look for, you ask the as as World Economic Forum has, for example, what do you look for when you employ people and employers come back and they say they look for resilience, creativity, problem solving, digital literacy, clearly, and a whole suite of skills that we don't actually invest in teaching. So I'm not sure that actually what we teach is relevant. And then we get onto the how and the structure. Whilst I think there is a lot that we all need to learn from how we really failed young people who are disadvantage during this pandemic and mean catastrophically let them down,...

...it has shown us that we don't need to structure education in the same way that we do. And even where we have technology in classrooms, it is still very much teacher at the front, Chalk and talk, very didactic, and actually the structure of the how we teach and learn is not fit for how we actually work and live, and so I think that that again, is another issue. So those are three pretty broad buckets that give you, probably in far too many words, but my sense of why I think our current education system is a busted flush. What do you think test to happen then? If you know I mean, there'sn't plenty of issues dared needs to be addressed, but you know so you I can mentioned the the Wor Economic Forum Sho going whole whole. Some of the skill sets that we need for employment is not really is not being taught in churing a sort of young adults and are suffering from debt from it. Employee, your point of view, what do you think is needed in hope hold the education system need to change for debt to happen. So I think the first thing to crack actually is at the moment we base on, if you like, our passport to your next stage of learning or your employment. We base it on an exams based system. Now we prove we don't actually need to do that in this country because we gave teacher assess grades last time. But we need to find new ways of capturing, recording and validating learning, because a linear exam based system is probably two last century for us. So we need to identify different ways of assessing that what you now know, what you are now able to do, the skills that you now have, and I think there are lots of different ways of doing that and you can do that through portfolios. You can do that through a digital learning portfolio, you can do that through Mani assessments. But just saying at these point in time, which in our cases...

...at the end of year eleven and the end of year thirteen, and then in your degree you will do an exam and that will tell us everything we need to know. We need to work back from how do we want to know what you can do? And the other thing we need to do is we need to work out what we actually want people to know, and I am passionate about the very basis. We have to make sure, and it is a disgrace the number, the percentage of our young people who are at eleven do not meet the reading, the literacy, for mathematical capabilities that we would expect. So we have to get that fundamental building brought right and we talk about the three hours reading, writing and maths. We absolutely have to put in their digital literacy. It is completely vital now. But we also need to start thinking about how do we start to then capture your ability to see if your ability to creatively reason, and we done this in a curriculum already. If you look at the Early Years Foundation, what we did, and that's education up until the age of five, is that a huge amount of work went into actually capturing actual ability and actual skills and a huge amount of effort went into then how you track that. So we kind of know how to do this and I think we need to really review our curriculum. When we need to review, then our end points are credibility points, are assessment point, the replacement for our standard exam system. What do I think that then gives employers? It gives employers, it gives universities, because I think there is an absolute need for universities. Whether we need then to be focused in quite the way that they are focused, because they in none of themselves are far too focused on just information, but a lot of moving away from that. But at any stage we need to identify how you're going to map and track these skills, and that then helps employers actually go yeah,...

...you really can do this. And some of what you acquire you don't acquire through school, you acquire through life, and this absolute segregation between only what you learn in schools counts has to go, because that's no longer how we live and the dividing line between this and that is so blurred, as we've all seen since we've been working from home, it's really becoming too sharp relief. I think the next thing I really want to focus on is that at your age day tea. If you want to access any further government support, you get pretty much one choice. Go to university and claim on student finance. Why isn't it young person finance that you can access finance to really have the opportunity to do some amazing voluntary work, to go into the creative industries and develop something, possibly even to, you know, go into service? But we are so narrow to do more than apprenticeships and get you at higher levels. We need to recreate what that offering is between sixteen and twenty one, because we are so narrow now that it excludes a lot of young people and isn't giving us the workforce we one. Okay. Also, what examples do you have, or have you seen that that you team is working or working well for, you know, to address this? My best example of how you can rethink a curriculum is the early years foundation. As I've said, I think that when you look at some of the new degrees, in fact there are even brand new universities that are focusing on degrees in a completely different way. There are universities who are now doing almost project based degrees. So University of the southwest of England, they are running a degree that is an entrepreneurial degree where your entire degree is developing a building a business. Do you are actually doing it and they have taken the framework that you need,...

...so the academic accountabilities, and they have plugged those into the practical experience you have in building, in developing your business. There are brand new universities that are opening where the entire basis of your learning is collaborative problem solving and project based learning, and I certainly think we can start to see more of that in some schools and some specialist colleges. What they've done is they've taken the curriculum and, to be fair, we did this a lot in primary school, pretty the changes that were brought in by my or go of in two thousand and ten eleven. But you where, you actually take the topics that you need to cover and you put them into a practical project. So you look at we are now going to build, design and promote an ECO car and you actually map back. What is the mathematical learning you've got from that? What's Your Environmental Geographical Sciences that you've learned from that? What is your care physics that you are learning from that? There maybe some chemistry and there. What's your English language? How you're going to market that? What are the maths underpin that? So you actually look at a much more inclusive way of learning and you get young people to do it in teams and so that they are then getting team building skills, they are been thinking creatively, so it becomes much more akin to how you will go on and function. And they have to do all of their research because obviously helping young people to learn how to research and, importantly, evaluate, critically evaluate the information that they get, because there's no use in being one click away from complete rubbish or faith news if you don't know how to discern that. So I think there are lots of elements that we can bring together and I see some schools really starting to do that. But we are constrained by a very narrow, modular based national curriculum and I think we need to take a look at that. But the solutions are certainly out there. There's really fascinating to Zeno. For...

...someone who's listening in in and there probably, you know, starting on your career. You know, what advice would you have for them? Several bits of advice and my first piece of advice is no when you're getting in your own way and get out of it. Ourselves, humans have a tendency to get in our own way and we might do that by looking at a situation or problem thinking I can't do that. We might do that by getting into very negative thinking I'm not good enough, I've done it badly, I could have done it better. We get into a lot of shoods and norts with ourselves. So my first advice to wear anyon is recognize when you're getting in your own way and you're doing that to yourself and get out of your own way because unless you push yourself, unless you believe in your potential, unless you go for it, you are limiting yourself. So don't limit yourself. I think my second piece of advice is don't be afraid to take risks and don't be afraid to fail. I fail more every day than I ever do see. But if I just work on what I know I can do safely, I won't have any fun, I won't learn and I won't expand and I won't reach my potential. So I think the next thing is really about taking risks and not being afraid of failure. And my final piece goes absolutely along with that, which takes me right back to the first piece, which be kind to yourself. We live in a busy, Pat World where demands fly at you. We live in a twenty four our culture and an immediate response, and you just need to be kind to yourself. So I think if I was going to go with three quickly off the top of my head as you push me, those will be my three. Well, there was such a succinct but I was a really powerful and I think important lessons. Dead Are you just share. I think young people really need to do ins debt and they will have the confidence to take on the wall. Yeah, so one of the things that I want to point our audience too is your podcast, which is the Millennium Education podcast. Could you share a bit about what's been your your big learnings from running the podcast? Oh, I've loved...

...it. I decided to do a podcast because I met this amazing young man womb something called a hot breakfast. It had never entered my head and your business inspired me to do that and thank you for all the support you've given in helping me get that off the ground. And for me, my motivation was just I'm really excited to hear people's ideas and I am really passionate about education. I thought what an amazing way to hear people's ideas, have a conversation and really focusing on some education issues, and I've loved it. I'd my guests have been varied, from young people who've experienced the prison system after being excluded from school to formosexual estate for education, through to education entrepreneurs and innovators. So I recommend you to listen to them all, because these amazing people. And my big learning is that there is still so much passion for education that we cannot take our eye off the ball, that we need to change it and not be afraid to change it and not be afraid to admit that it's wrong, that teachers are our most valuable assets. These are brilliant individuals who, when given autonomy, respect and the trust to do their jobs well, inspired change and create and enable fantastic things for young people and we have to start and end with them. And maybe we need to do some stuff differently around teacher training, but we have made so many account to being ability measures directly on them that many of them are just thinking. I think another learning is that people really some people really do still hold onto and rate the current construct of our education. And when you want pick why, it goes back to the quality of the teachers. And so I suppose a big learning for me is as much as we think about. I'm really interested in...

...how we can use technology to drive learning and up and the development of opportunities for young people, and I really think this masses in that space. Actually, in everybody I've talked to, the thing that has made the difference to them has been the relationship with another person, and we can never lose sight of the fact that it is these human interactions that really bring the change. Yeah, I could in agree more. I think that is so true. It's the teachers that make the mix, the big difference. Yeah, so, Zenna, thank you very much for your sharing your knowledge and expertise around education and sharing your time with us, but that day live. So that was Zenna Hobson of the Third Millennium Education podcast. What's been your biggest takeaway from this episode? Let us know in the comment section on our social media page. If you haven't subscribed yet, please do subscribe. This will really help us grow our podcast and if you can think of someone that would benefit from listening to this podcast. Please do share it with them. In the next episode we have Carl Prett, or future planet dot love, talk to us about the importance of building communities and he's got one of the biggest platforms and communities for sustainable professionals in the UK. Is a super exciting episode and he's actually in this process of creating and turning it, taking it to the next level, and so it's super fascinating. Yeah, it's a great platform that he's building. Is really well connected in the space and so highly recommend you check out the next episode. So tuned into next week's episode. Thank you very much for listening in to the end of this episode. We really appreciate you. This is the impact goal rush. My name is Winton and I'll see you in the next episode.

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