Defining schome

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Educational programme typology

Rix and Twining (2007) devised a typology to categorise and define different kinds of education systems (which they refer to as education programmes). The educational programme typology (EPT) defines 9 programme types, differentiated across 7 characteristics (see Fig 1).

Figure 1 - The educational programme typology (Rix and Twining 2007 p.337)
Figure 1

The EPT provides a high level view of programme types - which is helpful, but gives little insight into the key dimensions of the culture and ethos of schome (or any of the other programme types).

The culture and ethos of schome

The Schome Park Project, which was set up specifically to extend our thinking about what schome should be like, has highlighted the clash between the culture and ethos within Schome Park and mainstream schools. In so doing it has helped clarify key features of the Schome Park Project that should underpin schome.

Teacher = Expert
Student = Learner (Non-expert; empty vessel)
Everybody = Learner (all have something to offer)
Extrinsic (eg marks in gradebook)
Intrinsic (personal enjoyment/satisfaction/interest)
Externally imposed (eg by government, teacher)
Learner choice
Based on power (of the teacher)
Based on equality
Teacher imposed
Community sanctioned
Learn about; (Learn by doing)
Learn by doing & Learn by becoming
Piagetian (individual constructivist)
Theoretical stance
Situated social constructivist
Success of the individual
Health of the community
Competition (between individuals)

These have been evolving into a set of dimensions of practice ...

The eSIR Reference Statement

The eSIR Reference Statement (Twining et al 2006) was devised to inform thinking about the implementation of the UK government's e-strategy. It also informed the design of the Schome Park Project.

Aims ‘Smarter learners better able to cope with changing contexts’ – focus on enhancing learning,

motivation and lifelong learning as important elements of this.

Environment The learning environment is the whole environment of the learner that is recognised as being

relevant to the education system. It has two components: • The spatial environment – where learning takes place • The temporal environment – when learning takes place. Both the spatial and temporal environments that are considered relevant to the education system will expand. In particular there will be greater emphasis placed on the home, working across physical settings11 and virtual settings, and extending ‘the school day’. This is all summed up in the phrase ‘anywhere/anytime learning’.

Actors The ‘actors’ are people and/or organisations involved in supporting learning, including

teachers, support staff, learners, learners’ peers, parents and employers. There will be an increase in the involvement and availability of actors owing to the facilities that ICT offers, especially in relation to interaction ‘at a distance’. In particular, greater emphasis will be placed on the role of parents. Collaboration will be a key element to this diversification of actors and environments. Learners’ choice, responsibility and control will become increasingly important as part of the ‘personalisation’ agenda.

Curriculum The curriculum includes everything that learners learn. There will be a broadening of

the curriculum both in the ‘subjects’ available and in learner choice. In particular, the curriculum is likely to offer more vocationally-oriented options, and will place a greater emphasis on ‘core skills’.

Support The range and nature of support, which includes teaching, will increase and diversify as the

environments, actors and curriculum expand. In particular, there will be an increase in learner choice about when, where and how learners are supported.

(adapted from Twining et al 2006 p.14)


Rix and Twining (2007) Exploring education systems: towards a typology for future learning?. 
     Educational Research, 49(4), pp329-341. (viewed 20-Jan-2008)

Twining, P; Broadie, R; Cook, D; Ford, K; Morris, D; Twiner, A. & Underwood, J. (2006) 
     Educational Change and ICT: an exploration of Priorities 2 and 3 of the DfES 
     e-strategy in schools and colleges, Coventry: Becta. (ISBN 1853794651)  
     (viewed 12-July-2007)