• Open Futures: an enquiry- and skills- based educational programme developed for primary education and its use in tertiary education

      Crabbe, M. James C.; Egan, Eamonn; O'Rorke, Lucy; Hadawi, Ali; University of Bedfordshire; Central Bedfordshire College (University of Bedfordshire, 2015-03)
      Open Futures is a transforming enquiry-based and skills-based system for education that is central to the curriculum, linking learning and life. It was developed to help children discover and develop practical skills, personal interests and values, which will contribute to their education and help to enhance their adult lives. Open Futures works in partnership with groups of schools in local clusters to develop a bespoke training programme, which extends the existing curriculum and nurtures independent learning through pupil-led approaches to personal learning. Schools benefit from the experience, knowledge and support of like-minded education professionals locally, nationally and internationally. Working with schools and their communities in the UK and India, Open Futures has been running with widespread success for 9 years. It now reaches more than 30,000 children in the UK. There is a body of independent evidence from primary and secondary education showing that both individual strands, as well as the complete Open Futures programme, significantly improve learner outcomes. We now wished to move Open Futures into the tertiary education sector. It was felt that an Open Futures approach to learning and teaching, particularly involving askit, would be beneficial to the community of learners at Central Bedfordshire Further Education College, rated Grade 2 by Ofsted in October 2013. Training has been in three areas so far: Construction, Public Services and Pathways (i.e. Learners with learning difficulties and disabilities). In all cases, there were significant positive impacts for learners and for teachers. As experience with Open Futures develops in the College, it should become clear how such a central enquiry-based and skills-based approach will help learners, and provide evidence for the use of Open Futures in tertiary education that could be used in other tertiary educational institutions.