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What’s the Point of Education?

Smiley Talk

For much of human history, education has served an important purpose – to provide us with tools to survive.  But, should survival be the extent of young people’s life aspirations today?

In October’s Big Education Conversation in Cambridge (‘How Can We Better Prepare Young People for Their Future?), we recognised that teaching ‘soft skills’ and harnessing interests and talents in a more ‘learner-centric’ approach helps develop more well-rounded individuals, who are better equipped for adulthood.

Yet traditional institutions still teach old fashioned curricular to new generations, often resulting in poor outcomes.

In this second edition of the Big Education Conversation, Smiley Movement has once again teamed up with National Leader of Education Rachel Snape and Whole Education, to look at the bigger picture of education. Joined by expert speakers, guests and young people, we will be going on a quest to find out:

  • What is the point of education today? Is it still just about finding a job?
  • What does successful education look like?
  • What do millennials look for in the workplace? What are they passionate about?
  • Should soft-skills (communication, work-ethic, creative-thinking, teamwork, time-management, problem-solving etc) be taught at home or at school?
  • Are schools doing enough to harness individual talents and interests?
  • What role do schools play in nurturing a sense of identity, purpose & sustainability in young people?
  • What role does education play in social entrepreneurial skills? Becoming changemakers, innovators and having a positive influence on society?
  • Should schools educate young people about the volunteering and doing charity work in the UK/world? Including the incredible personal journey and skills development a career in a non-profit provides?
  • How do young people define happiness? (Success? Freedom? Love? Self-Fulfilment? Something else?)
  • How does education contribute to achieving all of this?

Educational needs are changing and our mission to understand ‘how can we better prepare young people for their future?’ continues.  What remains unchanged is education’s power to positively transformation young people’s lives. We believe we owe it to them, to our children, to future generations and our planet to get it right.

Join us on the 4th March at 6.30pm at the Milton Road Primary School in Cambridge, and join the conversation with an inspiring mix of speakers from millennials, academics, innovators and disruptors about their vision for the purpose of education, and how we can all support it.

  • 6.00pm - 6.30pm: Welcome & Registration
  • 6.30pm - 6.35pm: Event Kicks-Off: Introduction to Smiley TALKS
  • 6.35pm - 6.45pm: Keynote by Rachel Snape – Ashoka Changemaker and Headteacher at Milton Road Primary
  • 6.45pm - 7.25pm: Panel discussion with Whole Education, Cambridge Assessment and Every Child Should
  • 7.25pm - 8.25pm: Audience session – Guests split up in tables soft-chaired by Speakers sparking different conversations about the purpose of education in 2020 and how we can better prepare young people for their futures, concluding by sharing ideas and light bulb moments with the rest of the room.
  • 8.25pm - 8.30pm - Closing Remarks
  • 8.30pm - Networking & refreshments
  • 9.30pm - Event Ends

Want to continue the conversation

Kate McAllister

Co-founder, Crisis Classroom

Kate McAllister

Co-founder Crisis Classroom, The Human Hive & Rethinking Education. Former teacher in international schools and refugee camps.

Rachel Snape

Head Teacher/National Leader of Education, Head at The Kite TSA, and Flamingo of Hope

Rachel Snape

National Leader of Education, Headteacher of Spinney School, Head of Kite TSA and a Flamingo of Hope!

Lara Rathod

Moderator, Speaker, Facilitator, Creator & Host of the Red Sofa Conversations

Lara Rathod

Lara uses her voice to empower and uplift others as an authentic engaging speaker, facilitator, content creator and voice-over artist.

Anita Kerwin-Nye

Charity & Education Leader

Anita Kerwin-Nye

Charity leader and expert in school/charity collaboration, inclusion and access expert. Director of Strategy and Engagement YHA and Lead of Every Child Should, Former Head of Education at British Red Cross and Founder of Whole School SEND and The Communication Trust.

Dan Frost

Learning Technology Lead at Cambridge Assessment

Dan Frost

Experienced Tech Director working for education, travel and media, taking ideas from concept to production and commercial viability, leading development teams providing technical and strategic advice to start ups, SMEs and public sector.

Every Child Should & Youth Hostelling Association
Cambridge Assessment
The Human Hive
The Kite TSA
Cambridge Judge School
Whole Education
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Who is Attending (2)

Christina Medici

Head of Global Partnerships
at Smiley Movement (CIC)
  • Interests: Gender Equality
  • Offers: Business Development
  • Needs: Writing & Journalism

Omar James

Marketing and Engagement Coordinator
at Smiley Movement
  • Interests: Affordable and clean energy
  • Offers: Communications
  • Needs: Writing & Journalism
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