Areas of educational interest: Schools are both a place of learning and a way of learning. I ask how design techniques can be used to improve and reform the educational service. For instance, the switch to lifelong learning has not been adequately reflected in the design of our schools, which remain age specific. I’m excited by the idea of redesigning the learning experience around a wider age range and dispersing the learning experience across the city. So on the one hand, I’ve tried to show how the internet of things can help schools to share resources and make learning much more immediate and real; and on the other I’ve argued that the negative impact of using cheap plastic seats far outweighs the positive impact of a good teacher.
Why I’m involved in Education Fast Forward: I am excited at the prospect of trying to repeat what the Victorians did – to invent and popularise systems of learning that will take us out of one socio-economic paradigm and into another. Joining the EFF provides an excellent opportunity to swap and generate ideas with some of the very best thinkers out there today.
Sean McDougall is internationally acknowledged as a pioneer in the field of co-design and stakeholder engagement and works as a consultant for governments, think-tanks and social service providers around the world.
He first came to prominence while running a campaign on the design of secondary level learning for the Design Council. His work on user-led design of primary learning then won Futurelab’s 2006 innovation competition.
More recently, he worked as lead designer on Project Faraday (a UK initiative to conceive and prototype a new approach to science teaching and learning). He presently holds a visiting lectureship at Trinity College Dublin in user-led design of public services.
EFF is helping people to identify and then break the rules that govern the way we think about future school design.