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Reflection Tool One: The Compass

This tool is designed around a set of opposites that relate to educational philosophy. By exploring the ‘extreme poles’ in debates, it helps to clarify what we think and expose differences (both crucial for further philosophical discussion). 

The opposites used will probably be familiar. ‘Child-led’ and ‘Teacher-led’ approaches to education relate to whether we believe learning is most fruitful when initiated by adults or learners. The other polarity relates to whether we believe education is about tradition – passing down canonical information (‘the past’) or is primarily about new areas of knowledge and ways of doing things to prepare for ‘the future’. 

Have a look at the Compass below and reflect where you initially would place yourself. This is about stimulating thought rather than giving people a fixed position. In fact disruption requires moving into different quadrants at different times. I sometimes find myself in different quadrants in the same meeting!

It’s worth emphasising that there is no value judgement attached to the plotting. All expressions are equally valid. The task is to work out what you think and why.