Guardian Teacher Network post on Purpos/ed!

Guardian Teacher Network post on Purpos/ed by Doug Belshaw

Earlier this week Doug Belshaw, co-kickstarter of Purpos/ed, had a blog post published on the Guardian Teacher Network. Entitled What’s the point of education? the whole post is a series of questions to get people thinking.

We’d appreciate it if you could share the link to the article and comment if you’ve got something constructive to add. :-)


David Warlick on the purpose of education

David Warlick

David Warlick is well-known American educator and change agent. This week he wrote a post summarising his experiences at a conference session:

Then, what really kicked me in the head was when someone said…

“..anyone who is not a programmer is part of the program.”

Sounds of thunder resounded in my skull.  Then one of those startling moments followed, where previously held notions began to breakdown and recombine into something new.

“What is the purpose of education?”  It’s a frequently asked question these days and I have long said and written that the purpose of education is to prepare our children for their future.  Now I believe that,

The purpose of school is to prepare our children
To Own Their Future!

Are we (educators) making programmers, or are we just making software?

In England and Wales, Computer Science seems to be in the ascendancy over ICT. In fact, Education Secretary Michael Gove recently scrapped compulsory lessons for the latter and encouraged schools toward the former.

Comments are open.

Image CC BY-NC Ewan McIntosh

Noam Chomsky on the purpose of education

We were delighted last week when Learning Without Frontiers 2012 kicked off with Noam Chomsky talking about the purpose of education:

Not showing? Click here!

Have you signed the HM Government petition yet?

Purpos/ed at #LWF12


Doug Belshaw, co-kickstarter of Purpos/ed is facilitating a workshop with Prof. Keri Facer (the inspiration behind Purpos/ed) as part of the FREE festival part of the Learning Without Frontiers conference 2012. Entitled Education for the Apocalypse the session situates our call for a public debate about the purpose(s) of education in the wider discourse. Do come along if you can!

Date: Wednesday 25th January 2012

Time: 5:00-6:30pm

Location: Salon Foucault (S1) LWF Festival Area, National Hall Gallery, Olympia, London


(Have you signed the HM Government petition yet?)

Purpose of Education: An Extensive Public Debate

Purpos/ed petition

We’ve always said that you don’t have to ask permission to get the message out about Purpos/ed and our core message that we need a public debate about the purpose(s) of education.

That’s why we were delighted when on Thursday we came across an e-petition on the HM Government website asking for the following:

There is a need for an informed public debate on the purpose of education. No expansive debate has taken place in recent years. Significant global, environmental and socio-economic conditions make such a debate vital. Policies are set by dominant political parties representing a minority of the electorate. Ministers often have no professional background in education. Numerous organisations and individuals holding significantly different views exist. Existing debates and policies are limited by party political arguments. Broader informed and diverse debates incorporating alternative perspectives are required to ensure vested interests are not over-represented. Government should ensure there is an extensive national and public debate around the purpose of education. An independent body should be established to explore varying perspectives and utilise mechanisms and media to ensure such perspectives inform wider public debates. Government should pledge to act upon outcomes.

Please do sign the petition and get others to do likewise and use the link!

2012: another big year for Purpos/ed!

Happy New Year!


We’re delighted that people are starting to debate the purpose(s) of education in physical as well as online spaces. Take the Guardian Innovation in Education event, for example, where Lord David Puttnam did just that, or The North of England Education Conference (starting tomorrow) where similar questions will be asked.

Do make sure you’ve subscribed either to RSS or email updates from this site, and to our newsletter. We’ll be in touch with more news and details of future campaigns to coincide with our one year anniversary in February!

If you’d like Doug or Andy to speak at your event or run a workshop, do get in touch:

Image CC BY-NC-SA Stuck in Customs

What is the purpose of higher education? [Guardian debate] #HElivechat


The Guardian have announced that they are hosting a live debate about the purpose of higher education tomorrow.

Date: Friday 16 December 2011

Time: 12:00-14:00 (GMT)


Hashtag: #HElivechat

Please do get involved on Twitter, using the hashtag above as well as #purposed (and do link to this site!)

Check out Purpos/edES and the School Purpose Project!

While we’re taking stock ready for new campaigns in 2012 we thought we’d take the chance to flag up two separate but related projects looking at the purpose(s) of education:



Almost as soon as we started Purpos/ed in February 2011 a group of people in Spain wanted to get involved. They ended up creating a whole new programme of campaigns, events and even an internet radio station! We’ve got a lot to learn from them – especially about website design…

The School Purpose Project

The School Purpose Project
Over the last month or so a new website called The School Purpose Project has sprung up. It seems to be a fairly short-term project by two graduate students and teachers called Trevor and Zac who are taking contributions via audio, text or video. Go and get involved!

Phoenix from the flames

After the disappointment of having to postpone Purpos/ed Oxford: Hacking Education we were delighted when we received two suggestions that may go some way to filling the gap.

Firstly, Russell Prue got in touch to suggest a coffee shop meetup for people near Oxford on 19th November. We’re happy to extend this open invitation. Get in touch with Russell (@russellprue) or Eylan Ezekiel (@eylanezekiel) if you’re interested!

Secondly, Whole Education have offered cost price entrance to their annual conference to those who had tickets for the Purpos/ed Oxford event. Entitled How well are we preparing young people for life and work in the 21st century? it is being keynoted by Prof. Keri Facer on 6th December 2011. To get your ticket for £90 forward your postponement email to

(anyone else interested in attending the conference can benefit from a 20% discount off normal price by entering the code PEd20 at the sign-up page)

Postponement of Purpos/ed Oxford: Hacking Education

We’re sad to announce that we’re postponing Purpos/ed Oxford: Hacking Education. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause but feel it to be the right (albeit very difficult) decision. The velocity of ticket sales, the lack of sponsorship and some logistical issues all meant that the event was unlikely to be as successful as we’d hoped.

Delegates will be refunded in full and we hope to learn from this experience to plan the next event more effectively. If you thought about attending Purpos/ed Oxford, but decided against it, we would love to hear from you to understand what led you to that decision.

We’ll be in touch soon with regards to new campaigns and ideas for future events!

CC BY-NC-SA lonely radio

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