Schome is going to be a new form of educational system designed to overcome the problems within current education systems. It will meet the needs of society and individuals in the twenty-first century and will be a system which values and supports people learning throughout their lives.
See the Defining schome page for more information.
There is a growing consensus based on evidence from a range of different sources that our current compulsory education system needs to change in order to meet the needs of society (e.g. Beare 2001; Hargreaves 2004). Evidence of the need for change includes growing rates of disaffection in schools (Webb & Vulliamy 2004), growing teenage truancy rates in schools (eg see http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/education/4265536.stm) and the increasing migration of parents away from school and towards homeschooling (Curtis 2004).
Recognition of problems with the current school system underpins initiatives such as Building Schools for the Future, an initiative designed to rebuild or renew every secondary school in England over a 10- to 15-year period (BSF 2006). However, it is clear that many of the fundamental assumptions upon which schools are based are the very factors that render schools ineffective in this Information Age (Cuban 2001). In addition, because of the constraints under which they have to operate, it is 'very difficult for school communities to collectively analyse and redesign their practice' (Engeström et al 2002 p.211).
Underpinning our approach is recognition of the importance of shared understandings. That is why we are actively developing the Schome community through face-to-face meetings, publications, presentations, projects and a range of other media. The schome community is the powerhouse that will bring Schome into existence.
Schome is being created by children, parents, policy makers, academics, students, home educators, employers, teachers and other practitioners from around the world - yes, it's being created by people just like you. Why don't you join us?
If you are interested in Schome then why not join the Schome community by registering for the Schome community forum and the Schome community wiki. These two parts of the site have separate registration and logins - we suggest that you use the same username and password for both.
We believe that trying to adapt our existing system is a flawed approach, which cannot deliver the optimum education system for the 21st Century. As R. Buckminster Fuller, an American philosopher, architect and inventor, said (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Buckminster_Fuller):
"You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete."
Schome acknowledges the problems inherent in our current education system and aims to overcome them by building upon evidence from a range of sources: learning theory (particularly socio-cultural theory); cultural-historical activity theory (CHAT); evidence from educational research (including practitioner and action research) in areas such as motivation, leadership, and the management of change.
Beare, Hedley (2001) Creating the Future School, London: RoutledgeFalmer.
BSF (2006) The Building Schools for the Future website, London: DfES. http://www.bsf.gov.uk/ (viewed 18-Jan-07)
Cuban, Larry (2001) Oversold and Underused: Computers in the classroom, Cambridge Massachusetts: Harvard University Press.
Curtis, Polly (2004) More parents choose to educate children at home, The Guardian, 30th July 2004.
DfES (2003) Towards a Unified e-Learning Strategy: Consultation Document, July 2003, London: DfES.
Engeström, Yrjö ; Engeström, Ritva & Suntio, Arja (2002) Can a school community learn to master its own future? An activity-theoretical study of expansive learning among middle school teachers, in Wells, Gordon & Claxton, Guy (eds) Learning for life in the 21st century, pp211-224, Oxford: Blackwell.
Hargreaves, David H. (2004) Learning for Life: The foundations for lifelong learning, Bristol: The Policy Press.
Webb, Rosemary & Vulliamy, Graham (2004) A Multi-Agency Approach to Reducing Disaffection and Exclusions from School, London: DfES. (http://www.dfes.gov.uk/research/data/uploadfiles/RR568.pdf viewed 5/11/04)
Working Group on 14-19 Reform (2004) 14-19 Curriculum and Qualifications Reform: Final Report of the Working Group on 14-19 Reform, Report No: DfE-0976-2004, October 2004, London: DfES. (http://www.14-19reform.gov.uk/download.cfm?id=52 viewed 5/11/04)
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