Students’ vision of education

A student-led lesson

During our recent Learning Circles workshop, in which transition year students get the chance to think about how they learn best and try to put that into practice for their peers, we asked each team to imagine they were opening a new school. As part of this, they had to come up with a vision, a mission and a set of values that would guide them in how they would run their school. After only a few minutes, one team wrote this…

It reads:

We have a vision that…

We should all learn from each other in an equal environment, promoting creativity. 

And our mission is…

To develop learning to help like in the 21st century.

Our Values:

[Students can] Express themselves in a friendly and accepting environment.

Make sure we have the abilities and resources to allow them to think outside the box.

To learn in groups of mixed abilities.

The ensure that students are given responsibilities to be a leader and a participant.

There are many definitions of 21st century learning but we feel this one stands up to most of them. What’s more, we think it’s a great insight into what young people want from education and what they believe is important about learning. With major change and innovation in our education system fast approaching, we reckon this is a thumbs up from the students for Minister Quinn’s espoused beliefs and vision for the new Junior Cycle. Well done Team Macacos!

What is the vision for education of students in your school? What do they value about learning? Why not try this activity with one of your classes this week? It’s perfect for a TY group, or even a junior cycle CSPE class. You can email Kevin ( for a copy of our activity plan.

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