Get pupils out of the classroom and into the community, says think-tank
School coursework should be revamped to encourage learning out of the classroom and let pupils gain valuable character skills to prepare them for later life.
The idea is being championed by the think-tank Demos, who suggests traditional desk-based projects could be replaced with volunteering-style tasks, or what educational experts call ‘service learning’.
The idea could see pupils researching and giving guided tours of local historical monuments, teaching pensioners IT skills, or coaching younger pupils to play new sports.
Politicians from all sides have spoken about the importance of teaching character in schools, indicating a shift towards more project-based learning would help arm pupils with sufficient soft skills for employability upon leaving school.
In a speech earlier this year, Education Security Michael Gove said employers are looking for young people who are ‘self-disciplined’ and suggested schools could cultivate skills through co-curricular activities such as team sports, cadet forces or drama.
Meanwhile Labour’s education spokesperson Tristram Hunt recently echoed the sentiment that character education should be included in initial teacher training.
He added: “We should encourage all schools to embed character education and resilience across their curriculum.”