I’ve been thinking about this article, and your comments, for a few days. I agree with Elizabeth that there is capacity for this at some stages of UK schooling but in my experience even our primary schools are so tied to sats that they struggle to move away from drilling data into children.
I spent yesterday morning in Inset training with my school who are focusing on a new ‘school vision’ with a post covid lilt – Re-connect, Re-engage. A significant part of the morning was spent talking about how, in years 7-9 we have an opportunity to run interdisciplinary units and what those might be. This arises in our school, as a consequence of running the IB’s middle years program which seeks liberal education at all stages and seems to work best in project based, inquiry focused teaching.
However enthusiastic the teachers are about this and about a similar approach in the 6th form for the Diploma students, they all agree that we have a gap to breach at GCSE where we are simply cramming facts again. I love working in an IB school for this reason, the opportunity to look at the interdisciplinary units and work with teachers to embed Fosil and implant the IB’s research skills (attitudes to learning) is really engaging. I am aware I am all talk, I still struggle to get beyond the Library admin and find enough teacher facing time to enact any plans. I do think that simply being included in Inset has to be a step forward.
I really can’t see how a UK education without the IB could be liberal in the sense the article talks about. Such a sea change is required to move away from the national curriculum and a culture of ever increasing tests, to embrace a skills based, inquiry led education and I do not sense a hunger for it or an understanding or it beyond a very small number of people in my echo chamber. I am not pessimistic but the authors are clearly struggling to implement this in higher education in the US, I suspect Elizabeth is right, it is many years away here.