The learner power

One of the conclusions of the “Education and Skills for Life Report” is in words of  Sir Michael Barber, Chief education advisor at Pearson, that ”even the highest-performing countries in The Learning Curve Index are far from providing education that would ensure every single student is prepared for informed citizenship and 21st century employability.”

This may mean that an improvement in the education systems alone will never be sufficient to respond to people’s needs and expectations. Education is increasingly happening outside schools and universities. And the power of education can’t be easily controlled.

The “Learner power” may well be a new descriptor for the revolution that is taking place and the expression of a complex reivindication to learn the way we want. Learners claim for the right to design their own learning path, identify their own learning sources, create their own learning contents. Learning and learners can’t be confined any longer by school’s walls.


Learners see themselves as makers and have the capacity to transform the communities they live in. They may not need the schools we know to but innovative learning spaces where knowledge can flow freely, be used, transformed and reused by others. Learning in the street, in a park, in a public library, at home… explode the boundaries of all education systems.

The transformation that is taking place from the inside of the systems, changing curricula, training teachers, introducing technology are therefore nothing compared to what is happening outside. Instead of strengthening the systems and improving them, it might be more efficient to prioritize the “learner power”, fostering peer learning and mentoring, acknowledging informal learning and creating learning hubs at the community level that will progressively complement then substitute our schools.

Svenia Busson, one of her newest education thoughtleader is starting her edtech tour in Europe. Her journey takes us closer to the “learner power” at the periphery of these education systems that can’t be reinvented from the inside.




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