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Schome - Research into transformative education systems

Schome is an ongoing research initiative which is working to develop a 'fit for purpose' education system for society today. We are working on developing a system which will support people learning throughout their lives, from the cradle to the grave. Unlike other initiatives to transform education, the Schome Initiative takes the view that you needed to start with a vision of the ideal education system that would genuinely meet the needs of society and individuals in the 21st century, unconstrained by preconceptions of existing education systems.

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Publications related to Schome

The Schome initiative has, to date, published 28 peer-reviewed books, book chapters and journal papers, as well as many conference presentations, posters, reports and newsletters. For links to these, see Schome publications. For Schome videos visit our YouTube playlist

See the Schome Publications page for a list of publications related to the Schome Initiative. The most recent ones include:

  • Gillen, J. (2014) Digital Literacies. London: Routledge.
  • Ferguson, R., Gillen, J., Peachey, A., & Twining, P. (2013). The strength of cohesive ties: discursive construction of an online learning community. In M. Childs, & A. Peachey (Eds.), Understanding Learning in Virtual Worlds (pp. 83-100). London, Heidelberg, New York, Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Ferguson, Rebecca (2012). Death of an avatar: implications of presence for learners and educators in virtual worlds. Journal of Gaming & Virtual Worlds, 4(2) 137-152.
  • Gillen, J., Ferguson, R., Peachey, A., & Twining, P. (2012) Seeking planning permission to build a Gothic cathedral on a virtual island. In G. Merchant, J. Gillen, J. Marsh & J. Davies (eds) Virtual literacies: interactive spaces for children and young people. New York: Routledge.
  • Gillen, J., Ferguson, R., Peachey, A. & Twining, P. (2012) Distributed cognition in a virtual world. Language and Education.26 (2) 151-167.
  • Gillen, J. (2012) Archaeology in a virtual world: Schome Park. In R. Jones (ed.) Discourse and Creativity.pp. 191-210. Harlow: Pearson.

Close of Schome Park

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The Open University

The Schome Programme was led and hosted by The Open University. For information on Open University virtual worlds activies, see The Open University's virtual worlds pages.

Examples of Schome Project outputs

From the Schome Park Programme:

My Schome magazine, issue 1 as a pdf file (17Mb)
My Schome magazine, issue 1 as a zip file (11Mb)
My Schome magazine, issue 2 as a pdf file (1.2Mb).
Satellite proposal
Mars' poster of the satellite project

Edfutures logo2.jpg is dedicated to helping change our current education system from within, to make it fit for the 21st century. It complements Schome which aims to create an education system fit for the 21st century from 'a clean sheet'.

What is the Schome Park Programme?


The Schome Park Programme consisted of a series of research projects, which set out to extend thinking about what education systems might be like. It ran from March 2007 until October 2008. Nearly two hundred 13 to 17 year olds, and around 50 adults, have had some level of involvement with the programme which used our ‘closed’ island(s) in Teen Second Life™ virtual world alongside this wiki and the Schome forum.

Schome on iTunes

A video of Schome Park is available on iTunesU, which can be accessed via This Open University video shows a member of staff (Fox) interviewing a student (Vibia) in world, in the Time Explorers area of our island on the Teen Grid of Second Life. The video can be found in the 'Exploring teaching and learning in real and virtual worlds' collection. Track 4 - Virtual worlds: Schome Park. Also available (track 3) is a video of two of the staff of the project on the Open University islands on the SL Grid. Track 3 - Virtual Worlds: The OU in Second Life

Schome and Second Life


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