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Talking about schools: Towards a typology for future education

By Jonathan Rix and Peter Twining


Background\ud In recent years there has been increasing interest in creating diversity of educational provision to\ud meet the full range of needs presented by learners. This is both a reflection, and a partial\ud consequence, of the three central agendas for schooling in many countries — standards, choice and\ud inclusion, and the growth in information communication technologies and associated systems. The\ud complexity of available ‘school’ types makes it increasingly difficult for individuals to explore the\ud differences between the educational programmes on offer.\ud \ud Purpose\ud The purpose of this paper is to map the different forms of provision into a typology that will be\ud provide theorists, practitioners, users and policy-makers with a clear set of descriptors to explore\ud current structures and to consider future developments. Nine types of education programme are\ud categorized.\ud \ud Theoretical origins\ud The paper takes the three distinct alternative education types, identified by Raywid, as a startingpoint\ud for this Educational Programmes Typology. It also draws upon the work of Aron, in which the\ud characteristics of alternative education are outlined according to their relationship to other\ud education systems, their target population, primary purpose, operational setting, educational focus,\ud administrative entity, credentials offered and funding sources.\ud \ud Main argument\ud The paper broadens Raywid’s and Aron’s typologies so as to include the identifiers for the full range\ud of education programmes offered to learners, not just those who typically have additional needs. Six\ud additional educational programme types are presented, which describe current provision within\ud open entry, selective entry, special educational, home learning and adult learning settings. Type 8 is\ud proposed as representing a possible educational system of the future. This reflects social and\ud cultural developments, the evolution of information communication technologies and other\ud technologies, and our changing understandings of learning theories and practices.\ud \ud Conclusions\ud The proposed typology needs to be tested against a wide range of possible settings in different\ud countries and education systems, but offers a useful tool for looking across boundaries of culture\ud and practice. It provides an accessible vocabulary for exploring current learning programmes and\ud those we create in the future

Year: 2007
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Provided by: Open Research Online

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