Participatory Budgeting in Schools#6: “Participatory-Project-Learning-Thingie…?” – The counter-kerfuffle

For reasons outlined in the previous post on the shortcomings of EduTwitter, I am convinced that only by meeting in the controlled and safe environment of a Co-creative Conversation can antagonists successfully meet across the troubled waters of the education debate.

[ 1-minute read ]

With this in mind, Shared Future and I were quite conscious about attracting voices from both camps for our workshop on Participatory Budgeting in Schools and I took active steps to invite Robert Peal, Professor Donald Clark and other figureheads of the traditionalist movement.

Thankfully, we could not have wished for a more balanced group of delegates. (As it turned out, we actually ended up short on representatives from the social action circuit, but thankfully, Jez and Jayne from Shared Future were more than capable of advocating its relevance in the curriculum).

Original slide from "Empowering KS2-5 learners through Participatory Budgeting" at The Birmingham Midlands Institute, 20 May 2019.
For more on my reservations about conferences and consultations, see The VNET Conference Narrative in Participatory Budgeting in Schools? #1 and Thoughts on CPD accreditation #1; Consultation or Conversation? respectively.

The acid-test of dreams is the rude awakening

Shared Future and I did not host this event because of our conviction that Participatory Budgeting in schools is the best hope for the next generation (and their overworked teachers). We hosted this event because we want to listen to people who disagree and work with them to make it so.

Thus, over the course of the day, the structure of the Co-Creative Conversation fused our delegates’ experiences, insights and varied perspectives on the mechanics of education with our input on Cooperative Learning and Participatory Budgeting. One of the intended outcomes of this was to identify obstacles to our ideas.

Among the most treacherous of these obstacles is that decision-makers will reject the idea of Participatory Budgeting in schools simply because they erroneously conflate Participatory Budgeting with their notion of Project-Based Learning, and then conflate that with Cooperative Learning. All three are, in fact, more different than similar.

The following Venn diagram is an attempt to create clarity for the kerfuffled. Click to enlarge.

Whether you think Project-Based Learning is the bee’s knees or a scene from the apocalypse, this is not the time to stop reading. The following micro-posts will elucidate the above Venn diagram by describing one of the central activities in the workshop. And perhaps point to how Participatory budgeting could take place in schools. Get notifications of related posts on Twitter or join the mailing list for updates.

Next up:

Participatory Budgeting in Schools#7: In the bright light of Rosenshine

werdelin.co.uk is the business end of cooperativelearning.works.


Previous on Participatory budgeting in schools

Overview of all articles on Participatory Budgeting in Schools

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Some related reading

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