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Imagine a Glastonbury for Kids and Educators

by Rebecca Thomas and Steve Saville

An iconic festival that brings thousands of people together from all around the world always starts somewhere - humble beginnings.

Glastonbury’s original aims were to stimulate the youth culture, explore alternatives and allow people to express themselves, it was first held in 1970 the day after Jimi Hendrix died. Today it has grown to be an event everybody wants to be part of, and everybody longs to hold a memory of it in their timeline.

Imagine if we could do this for education. Imagine we could offer our young people a festival where their voices are heard and their needs are catered for. Imagine how big it would become after 53 years.

What would it take?

Applied imagination to find alternative possibilities where education can be built from the ground up. Change from within. Voices amplified over policy makers and ministries.

Finding speakers and motivators that pledge to do things differently wouldn’t be that hard to find. There are many ‘left field’ thinkers out there beating their drums, keen to think about ways we can get students' experiences to influence education for the future. Ways we can bridge the gap between academic research and what unfolds in the classroom.

For too long the system in which we work is based on a filter down effect. The model where change comes from the top until it eventually reaches the students and teachers. We are encouraged to believe that the best way to change education is to start from the position you are in within the system. If we can change the experience of education for the people we work with then you have been successful - you have changed the system.

There has never been a more perfect time to begin a beautiful quest such as this. There has never been more need to see our young people and valuable teachers thrive again. There has never been more determination to pause and push reset.

Where there's a will - there must be a way.

For now, these humble beginnings are brewing in London at the Rethinking Education Conference (you can join online of course). If you haven’t got your tickets yet, be quick. Be part of the memory where a revolution first began, be part of this empowering experience.

Maybe next year this event can be hosted and ran on the other side of the world in Wellington, or Auckland? I’m looking forward to this event being the spark that brings the educational community together as one, the event that lights up the dark for us all.

So far the line up looks like this:

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