Education needs pull not push

A very persuasive presentation from Charles Leadbeater on how social entrepreneurs are setting up schools in slum areas around the world that have pulling power because there is some extrinsic motivation to attend, namely an immediate pay-off in terms of productive outcomes. There is no national curriculum or standardised testing, but one theme that is common is that these schools reach the people they most need to serve in a personalised manner. The impersonal mass education systems that students are pushed into in many wealthier communities around the world might take heed. These systems are failing because learners are starved of opportunities for creativity. How perverse would it be if, with economic and social progress, these poor communities ‘developed’ to the point where children start enrolling for GCSEs, to become part of the ‘sausage factory’ education systems characteristic of ‘advanced’ countries.