Education 2020, the Gilbert Report (2006)

26 January 2007

The Gilbert report on Education 2020 contains a wealth of findings (or sentiments anyway) that have relevance to my research.

Personalisation, it begins, means assessment-centred, learner-centred and knowledge-centred… “Close attention is paid to learners’ knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. Learning is connected to what they already know (including from outside the classroom).”… “Sufficient time is always given for learners’ reflection.” (page 8 and citing Branford et al, 2000) – this ties in well with the meta-learning findings of Demos (2007).

“…schools therefore need increasingly to respond to: [..] far greater access to, and reliance on, technology as a means of conducting daily interactions and transactions ” (page 10, with references in Annex B). “The pace of technological change will continue to increase exponentially. Increases in ‘bandwidth’ will lead to arise in internet-based services, particularly access to video and television. Costs associated with hardware, software and data storage will decrease further. This is likely to result in near-universal access to personal, multi-functional devices, smarter software integrated with global standards and increasing amounts of information being available to search on line (with faster search engines). Using ICT will be natural for most pupils and for an increasing majority of teachers. ” (page 11)

“strengthening the relationship between learning and teaching through: … dialogue between teachers and pupils, encouraging pupils to explore their ideas through talk, to ask and answer questions, to listen to their teachers and peers, to build on the ideas of others and to reflect on what they have learnt” (page 15)

“Pupils are more likely to be engaged with the curriculum they are offered if they believe it is relevant and if they are given opportunities to take ownership of their learning. Learning, clearly, is not confined to the time they spend in school” (page 22, citing EPPI, 2005)


Figure 4 – Ways in which technology might contribute to personalising learning (page 29)

The recommendations on page 30 stop someway short of recognising the relationship between technology inside and outside of formal classroom use however. There is a nod towards it in this extract: “We recommend that…all local authorities should develop plans for engaging all schools in their area on how personalising learning could and should influence the way they approach capital projects… Alongside the design of school buildings, schools will need to consider: – what kind of ICT investment and infrastructure will support desired new ways of working – how the school site and environment beyond the buildings can promote learning and pupils’ engagement… goverment should set standards for software, tools and services commonly used by schools to facilitate exchange and collaboration within and between schools software packages from home.”

Bransford J.D., Brown A. L. and Cocking R. (eds.), How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2000. teaching principles and the design of quality tools for educators. Technical report

Eppi Centre Review: Asystematic review of what pupils, aged 11-16, believe impacts on their motivation to learn in the classroom, 2005. Available at: