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The Evolution of Education Conference


Current practices in education are still often designed to prepare citizens for the industrial age, rather than for the needs and demands of the fourth industrial revolution. Educators who prepare students to solve predetermined problems are harking back to a world where stability, certainty, simplicity and clarity were assumed and valued. Educators are now having to work to a very different set of assumptions; that the world is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and, as such, that new ways of learning are required.

At this conference, Professor AC Grayling and Professor Tim Wheeler will look to explore this uncertain future and what this means in terms of the skills, knowledge and understanding educators need to best facilitate, design, lead and co-construct learning.

The increasingly wide range of settings in which learning takes place means that the focus of work is also increasingly context determined and relates directly to the conceptualisation of the learner. Forces such as globalisation and technological and cultural change often make it difficult to gauge exactly what it is that learners need to be learning and how educators are to be equipped to meet these needs in the classroom,
work place and life.

Among other questions this conference will seek to explore what teacher knowledge is of most worth for 21st century learning – what the role of the educator is as ‘expert’, not just of content but also of pedagogy and technology, acting as facilitators and designers of experiences that allow for the transformation of learners for the modern world.

This event is part of the DarwIN Shrewsbury Festival.


Background on speakers

Anthony Clifford Grayling is the Master of the New College of the Humanities, London, and its Professor of Philosophy, and the author of more than 30 books of philosophy, biography, history of ideas, and essays. He is a columnist for Prospect magazine, and was for a number of years a columnist on the Guardian and Times. He has contributed to many leading newspapers in the UK, US and Australia, to BBC Radio 4, 3, 2 and the World Service, for which he did the annual ‘Exchanges at the Frontier’ series, and he has often appeared on television. He has twice been a judge for the Booker Prize, in 2015 serving as the Chair of the judging panel. He is a Vice President of the British Humanist Association, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

Prof Wheeler was appointed Principal of University College Chester in 1998 and became the first Vice-Chancellor of the University of Chester in 2005. He has published more than 100 articles, books and research reports in a diverse range of areas including psychopharmacology, dyslexia, communications and safety. He was formerly Deputy Chair of the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS), was an executive member of the North West Regional Assembly and Chair of the North West Universities’ Association.



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