Here at SEEd we are consistently fascinated and, to be quite honest, often somewhat perplexed by the responses (or lack of) to some of our facebook posts. Whilst a number of them can easily hit over 600 views, others barely make it to 20! I’m constantly intrigued to discover how many views a particular post has received. At this point your advice to me might be (quite rightly!) to get out a bit more or start a new hobby, but instead I decided to do some investigating into why this might be and was struck by two distinctive trends that feature in our most popular posts. The first: people are drawn in by positive news stories. In a previous blog post, our lovely newsletter editor, Rachel touched on this point by highlighting that mainstream media is overwhelmingly inundated with negative news stories about climate change, biodiversity loss, the breakdown of human and planetary systems, i.e. ‘ it’s all doom and gloom’. In contrast, our most popular posts tend to be those that focus for example on the positive benefits of spending time in nature, or showcasing the wonders of the natural world.
The second reason, and the one which resonates most strongly with my own experience of using social media, is that SEEd provides an alternative to what is being touted as ‘normal’ in education in the UK. Examples of this include an article we posted on the ‘happiest school on earth’ which explored some of the ways that a deputy head teacher in West London is trying to improve working conditions for his staff by giving them an extra week paid holiday and by ‘drastically reducing the amount of written feedback’. The results of this have been that feedback overall has risen as teachers are doing so orally and encouraging pupils to think about how well they are getting on. You can read the full article here.
However, without doubt our most popular facebook post yet which hit over 1,200 views, is one that we published at the beginning of July entitled ‘No grades, no timetables : Berlin school turns teaching upside down’. Now it may be that of the 1200 or so people that viewed this article, a large number of them don’t agree with the philosohy of this school, but i’m more inclined to think that the majority are, like us here at SEEd, interested in an alternative to the current form of education. This school’s approach to education is to emphasise creativity, collaboration, and, crucially, encourage young people to take control of their own learning and ‘prepare them to cope with change or, better still, look forward to change’. Over the last few weeks, the UK has undergone a seismic change in our political landscape, one which will undoubtedly impact on our education system. Our hope here at SEEd is that this might be the opportunity that we have been waiting for to affect some real change. We will continue to lobby and campaign to ensure that all young people are given the opportunity to learn for sustainability. In the meantime, we will continue posting positive examples of alternative education systems and educators who are developing innovative ways to embed learning for sustainability into their classrooms. Please do get in touch if you have any exmaples of these that you would like us to share and make sure to follow us on our facebook and twitter pages.
SEEd Projects Manager