Kitcher Society, 7 May 2019: What is good education?

Thursday 09 May 2019

A panel comprising Mrs. Fleming, Mr. Perriss, and Mr. Hatton, and chaired by Mr Stannard, discussed the nature of good education, concurring that education’s main purpose is to develop the individual, but having different perspectives on how to go about this.

Mrs. Fleming focused on the importance of a balanced education, containing music, literature, maths, physical exercise, and ‘dialectics’ – debate enquiring about truth, as set out in Plato’s four principles of an ideal education. Mr. Perriss felt the education system should produce curious, kind and confident individuals, enabled chiefly through learning outside the classroom and students learning from each other, alongside high quality teaching, which inspires curiosity. Mr. Hatton, slightly controversially, focused on facts. He used knowledge’s position at the bottom of Bloom’s taxonomy (a pyramid hierarchy of cognitive skills) to claim facts are necessary to access the higher tiers, such as analysing and creating.

In response, many questions were raised and discussed. Some focused on the role of tradition, religion and practical life skills in education, as well as the merits and demerits of exams, whereas others were more philosophical asking, for example, whether we can know anything at all given the possibility that we are living in a matrix-like illusion.

By Lottie, Deputy Grecian / Year 12