Professor Adrian James Oldknow
Areas of educational interest: My principal fields of interest are in secondary school education (11–19) and associated resource provision and teachers’ professional development. I have been involved with projects both to encourage whole-class teaching, especially with interactive whiteboards, and also individual and small group student use of ultra-mobile computing devices, such as graphing calculators, PDAs, tablets and data-loggers. I am particularly concerned to see digital technologies applied by students in their own problem-solving, research and creative activities, as well as to support collaborative approaches with others.
Why I’m involved in EFF: I have been honoured to receive an invitation to join EFF, which I regard as a very exciting global move by two of the most progressive technology multinationals to share and critique cutting-edge ideas in education. Last year, I was privileged to participate in the work of the UK’s Fit For The Future think-tank and I hope to bring to the virtual table some of the ideas developed there.
Adrian holds degrees in mathematics and computer science, and taught in secondary schools, further, teacher and higher education. He has a personal chair in mathematics and computing education and fellowships at universities of Southampton, London, Malaysia and Amsterdam.
He has an international reputation as an author and speaker on Information Technology in mathematics, science and technology education. He has been an advisor for the UK and Colombian governments, as well as the World Bank.
He maintains close contact with teachers and students through work with the subject teachers’ professional associations, as well as major multinational technology companies and agencies.
Adrian leads a group of school heads’ and STEM subject teachers’ associations, which has developed a whole-school, sustainable, bottom-up strategy for schools to respond directly to the worsening technological skills shortages threatening UK economic competitiveness and future prosperity. He has established the Cambridge Centre for Innovation in Technological Education (CCITE) to develop, test and disseminate the knowhow and support that schools will need to make that response. Central to the CCITE approach are the ‘20-20 CCITE STEM Projects’ – half-termly, interdisciplinary, group problem-solving projects engaging all students at Key Stages 2 and 3 (8–14), which ensure that they make informed choices of pathways and qualifications from Key Stage 4 onwards, while also developing associated employability skills such as teamwork, self-supported learning and communication. Teachers mentoring these projects learn about new applications of their subjects alongside their students and build on them in their classroom teaching of mathematics, science, technology and computing. Adrian is also engaged – with the support of organisations such as the 21st Century Learning Alliance, NESTA, CBI, INTELLECT, BCS, Baker-Dearing Educational Trust and the Royal Society – in persuading policymakers of the urgent need to encourage and reward schools and teachers for engaging in this vital regeneration of UK technological education in which the nation can once again become a world leader.