The Learning Revolution

Episodes

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Broadcast
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01Knowing20200417

Alex Beard imagines a world without the school as we know it. Episode 1: Knowing.

The Learning Revolution

01Knowing20200417

In a world where a tiny parasite can immobilise societies across the world, Alex Beard asks what kind of knowledge will be crucial to learn in the future.

Today, we have more access to information and knowledge than we have ever done before. So what does knowing mean today when you can simply ask Google? We take a deeper look into how our brains use and store information, and find out whether future generations could be using their brains in very different ways.

And as a species, what we know grows in reaction to the ever changing, and often challenging, world around us. In the midst of these changes, we ask whether facts and figures have a place in education when those facts and figures are changing.

Alex Beard used to be a teacher, and is now an education explorer, of sorts. In the first episode of The Learning Revolution, he quizzes some of today's biggest minds in philosophy, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, urban innovation, and climate change, to find out what we'll really need to know in an ever changing world.

Presenter: Alex Beard
Producers: Emma Barnaby and Dan Hardoon
Executive Producer: Deborah Dudgeon
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Alex Beard imagines a world without the school as we know it. Episode 1: Knowing.

02Teaching20200424

Alex Beard imagines a world without the school as we know it. Episode 2: Teaching

The Learning Revolution

02Teaching20200424

At a time when many parents unexpectedly find themselves taking on the role of the teacher, Alex Beard sets out to discover how teaching might look very different in the future.

We are used to a system of teachers who know and learners who don’t. The model of a large group of students sitting in rows, eyes trained on a single teacher, has proven remarkably resilient. But in today’s world, where new fields of knowledge are emerging rapidly and lifelong learners may not always have access to a dedicated teacher, is it time to rethink how teaching is done?

Artificial intelligence is already playing a significant role in education. Some edtech companies are developing technology which can track a learner’s progress by monitoring their heart rate and eye movements. But where does all this leave the human teacher? And how can new technology be harnessed in the best interests of teachers and learners?

Alex Beard used to be a teacher, and is now an education explorer, of sorts. In the second episode of this series, he observes teaching around the world, and talks to important thinkers in artificial intelligence, philosophy and pedagogy, to find out what role teachers will play in the Learning Revolution.

Presenter: Alex Beard
Producers: Dan Hardoon and Emma Barnaby
Executive Producer: Deborah Dudgeon
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4

Alex Beard imagines a world without the school as we know it. Episode 2: Teaching

The Learning Revolution

03Learning20200501

Alex Beard imagines a world without the school as we know it. Episode 3: Learning

The Learning Revolution

Right now, more than 860 million students worldwide are not at school due to the coronavirus pandemic. Many are studying from home but, amid endless distractions, are they actually learning?

For centuries, formal learning has been confined to a dedicated school or university building at a particular stage of life. Now more than ever, that looks set to change.

In designing an education system fit for the future, how might we harness the human brain’s incredible capacity for learning? There’s much to be gleaned from how babies and teenagers learn. Lifelong learning will also be an important part of education in the future – but what might it look like in practice?

Alex Beard used to be a teacher, and is now an education explorer, of sorts. In the final episode of this series, he hears from neuroscientists, psychologists and education experts, and sets out the blueprint for his Learning Revolution.

Presenter: Alex Beard
Producers: Dan Hardoon and Emma Barnaby
Executive Producer: Deborah Dudgeon
A Whistledown Production for BBC Radio 4