events archive

Who has made the most important impact on education?

7:00pm, Monday 11 December 2017, CIEE London Global Institute, 46-47 Russell Square, London WC1B 4JP

Celebrate the end of term with banter, belly laughs and free booze at the Education Forum Christmas balloon debate and party!

After a year of sober discussion on matters education it`s now time for some alcohol-fuelled banter and barnie on matters education!

The Education Forum invites you to kick off the Christmas celebrations by getting nicely drunk and raucous with us as we present our first ever Christmas Balloon Debate Party.

We’re going to stick a bunch of edu-experts in a metaphorical balloon and get them to argue the case for the individual they think has made the greatest impact on education. Then the rest of us get to vote on them, and chuck the least persuasive arguers out of the balloon until there’s only one left.

Who will they choose? Will it be that fine old English gentleman Matthew Arnold everyone keeps banging on about? Or that old Greek boozy beggar Socrates? What about our youngest ever Nobel Prize laureate, Malala? Or Paulo Freire (no, not a Brazilian footballer but author of The Pedagogy of The Oppressed)? Would you believe one of our speakers is thinking of nominating Margaret Thatcher, while another has already chosen Michael Gove? A couple of our anoraks look likely to try on a bit of Russian interference in proceedings with a guy called Vygotsky, but let’s see if they can still say his name after a couple of glasses. What about Piaget – is that a red or a white? Anyway, to restore a bit of intellectual sobriety, Plato and Frederick Douglas have already been taken. Who would you choose?

I am thinking of nominating my old teacher Mr. Heaney – Seamus to you. Yes, the world’s finest poet really was my old teacher who taught me everything I know about how to enjoy life!

We have a great line-up of stellar speakers ready to switch their baccalaureates for a bacchanal. All members of the great and good, almost as great as the people they are nominating. We had one major criterion in mind when selecting them: are they a right, good laugh?

Fighting it out for their nominee will be: Tom Bennett, Joanna Williams, Martin Robinson, Elizabeth Terry, Cara Bleiman, Shirley Lawes, James Heartfield and Tarjinder Gill. Only one of them has nominated Michael Gove, but who is it…? In the chair - and the Santa hat - will be Gareth Sturdy.

Our Christmas Party is of course free of charge. We will provide wine on the night but do feel free to bring a bottle or two yourself. We want the night to be rowdy and raucous so heckle and interrupt as much as you want. This is going to be a mighty night of unruly educational craic. Crackers optional.

We really hope you can join us in letting our hair down (well, those of us who still have any…) with a jolly good ding-dong-merrily-on-high. See you there!

Kevin Rooney
Education Forum convenor