Read on for full information about the philosophy and evidence behind Expansive Education...
What is Expansive Education?
Expansive education is an umbrella term coined to describe teachers, schools, colleges and organisations that are committed to focusing on the development of useful, transferable habits of mind throughout mainstream education. Other words for 'habits of mind' include 'capabilities', 'competences', 'attributes' and 'dispositions'. Those interested in expansive education tend to use this kind of language as part of a conscious attempt to be more precise about what young people are learning as well as knowledge and skills.
Those interested in expansive education believe that the idea that education must be centrally about expanding young people's capacity to deal with real-world complexity and uncertainty and want to explore ways in which this vision can be turned into a practical reality.
Expansive education is not the property of any one organisation but a phrase to describe the common ground which exists between many pioneering organisations, schools, colleges, universities and practitioners. The kinds of habits of mind it is promoting include but are by no means limited to:
The learning dispositions listed above taken together constitute the kinds of all-round capabilities expansive educators seek to cultivate in all young people.
It is a feature of expansive education that the processes of learning are themselves considered to be important and that, wherever possible, they need to be visible. Sometimes referred to as 'meta-cognition' or 'meta-learning', the process of learning is itself an important aspect of expansive education. For we know from decades of research that students who are more meta-cognitively aware become better learners and achieve and attain more.
Who is eedNET aimed at?
eedNET is likely to appeal to teachers and schools who are involved in a variety of approaches to expansive education, for example:
Building Learning Power
Habits of Mind
Learning to Learn
Philosophy for Children
eedNET is coordinated by the
The brainchild of professors Bill Lucas and Guy Claxton, eedNET builds on work they have been doing with teachers for two decades, championing expansive education. For Guy this has especially focused on Building Learning Power and for Bill, while he was CEO of the Campaign for Learning, this included helping to create the first national learning to learn research project in England. Most recently their collaborations have involved facilitating action research with hundreds of teachers in a number of local authorities - Ealing, Milton Keynes, Newham, Hammersmith and Fulham, Hampshire. Some of the work of these pioneering teachers is featured in the member area of this site.
But Guy and Bill's vision 'stands on the shoulders' of many others, several of whom are part of the partnership of universities and organisations which make up eedNET. And globally it draws on the work, for example, of Professors Mihalyi Csikszentmihalyi, Carol Dweck, Michael Fullan, Howard Gardner, John Hattie, Ellen Langer, David Perkins, Lauren Resnick, Sir Ken Robinson, Martin Seligman, Robert Sternberg and Dylan Wiliam.
In the current climate hanging on to this vision is increasingly necessary and challenging.
But we know that thousands of great schools want to do just that and want to share their findings as they do so. Many of these schools have benefitted from the kinds of approaches offered by our Expansive Education pioneers.
And some have been going it alone and developing their own approaches. Whatever, there is a wave of schools who are already trialling practical ways of expanding pupils' confidence and capacity - and who would love to have a way of sharing what they are finding out, and learning from other schools' enquiries.
eedNET is generously sponsored by the Comino Foundation
eedNET is currently supported by universities spread across England and Wales.
Expansive Education Pioneers
eedNET is proud to be associated with a number of pioneers in Expansive Education.