Participatory Budgeting in Schools#5: Knit & Natter or Twit & Tw*tter

Next one-minute read on our collaborative initiative to introduce Participatory Budgeting into schools. Never mind core subjects: The format of debate and its associated behaviour will, literally, mean life or death for the democracy of the future. Forget seedy sites and Brexit: It is sufficient of a safeguarding issue for students to visit EduTwitter.

Before we get to the maths & English, it is vital to remind ourselves of the bigger picture. To divorce Participatory Budgeting in schools from the bigger issue of engagement and participation in the digitised 21st century is to sell the concept woefully short:

The previous post notes the trite truism that the education debate is certainly not cut and dry. In Participatory Budgeting in Schools #2; Progressive Traditionalism?, I have previously held up Katharine Birbalsingh as the living personification of these fluid and porous boundaries: As @MissSnuffy, she is also the archetypical example of why social media, and especially EduTwitter, is not a suitable platform for any meaningful discussion about large-scale solutions – and certainly not a solution as comprehensive as Participatory Budgeting, which effortlessly spans the categories of child-empowering social action and competition-driven Enterprise Education. 

Peeping Major Tom

I have spent five years quietly observing EduTwitter from the high orbit of non-engagement. My question is simply: When we, the men and women dedicated to educating future generations, resort to threats, sarcasm and taunts, what exactly do we have to offer children?

Call me naive, but I want to think the best of my colleagues. I therefore suggested in my initial presentation that the depersonalised filter-bubbles of social media actively promote poor behaviour among adults who are otherwise sensible. If you disagree, just remember the most hateful comment you have ever encountered on EduTwitter. Now, imagine someone making that same comment sitting with a cup of tea next to his intellectual opponent, with at least two other adults present. I personally doubt a certain unnamed “Twitter Guru” would try to sexually harass a female colleague in that context.

Next up…. the alternative.

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Overview of all articles on Participatory Budgeting in Schools


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