Doing school differently: the not-school movement that’s helping young people re-engage with learning.July 02 2018
In a paper presented at the Education and New Developments 2018 Conference in Budapest in June, Dr Stehlik says that the growing ‘not-school’ movement is challenging the confines of traditional schooling because the one-size-fits-all solution for modern education is not working.
“Compulsory schooling is considered a basic responsibility of civil society, yet for many young people, school is a narrow experience that can restrict their potential,” Dr Stehlik says.
“We need to start looking at education from the perspective of the student.
“The not-school movement is all about encouraging different educational initiatives and practices that ‘think outside the box’ to provide young people with positive education experiences that they enjoy.”
Including all educational programs that occur outside of the school environment, the not-school movement covers activities from art-based initiatives to home schooling. Often unstructured and informal, not-school learning can be delivered by adult educators, youth workers, community developers and parents.
Echoing the findings of the 2018 Gonski Report, Dr Stehlik says that today’s mass approach to education is outdated and despite long-term calls for change, little change has occurred.
“Young people have different individual learning needs and talents, but when we try and fit everyone under the same standard schooling model, it doesn’t work,” Dr Stehlik says.
“Different educational experiences can provide options for those who do not respond well in traditional school environments, including alternative career and post-school pathways; as well as contributing to an improved sense of identity and wellbeing.
“Just think of the gap year. One in four young Australians take a gap year post-secondary schooling; it’s essentially formal time out of study, yet is looked upon positively as a means to gaining real world experience.”
Dr Stehlik says that Australia needs to think more broadly about how we deliver education, particularly given the growing demand for innovation and creativity and other ‘21st Century skills’ that by definition require unconventional teaching approaches.
“Given the increased use of flexible and online learning methodologies, it is surprising that more alternatives to face-to-face classroom teaching are not being considered,” Dr Stehlik says.
“Innovation is considered critical for the sustained success of Australian business, but this starts with education. If we’re not being inclusive of those young people who do not fit the convention, Australia could be overlooking a whole sector of creative and alternative thinkers.
“We know that one educational size does not fit all. It’s time to ask ourselves ‘What else can we do?’”
The paper is based on a chapter of Dr Stehlik’s new book, Educational Philosophy for 21st Century Teachers, published by Palgrave Macmillan, which provides an in-depth analysis and review of alternative education options and questions our current approach to schooling and the traditions upon which it is based.
Contact for interview: Dr Tom Stehlik office (08) 8302 4534 | mobile: 0438 792 843
Media: Annabel Mansfield office (08) 8302 0351 | mobile: 0417 717 504
Areas of study and research
- Health Research
- Alliance for Research in Exercise, Nutrition and Activity (ARENA)
- Centre for Cancer Biology
- Centre for Drug Discovery and Development
- Centre for Population Health Research
- Centre of Research Excellence for the Prevention of Chronic Conditions in Rural and Remote High Risk Populations
- International Centre for Allied Health Evidence
- Medicine and Device Surveillance CRE
- Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre
and Social Sciences
- Art, Architecture and Design
- Communication, International Studies and Languages
- Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy
- Hawke Research Institute
- Asia Pacific Centre for Work Health and Safety
- Australian Centre for Child Protection
- Barbara Hardy Institute
- Centre for Research in Education
- Hawke EU Jean Monnet Centre of Excellence
- Centre for Islamic Thought and Education
- International Centre for Muslim and non-Muslim Understanding
- Research Centre for Languages and Cultures
- Zero Waste SA Research Centre for Sustainable Design and Behaviour (sd+b)
IT, Engineering and
- Future Industries Institute
- UniSA College