2nd Edition

The School I'd Like: Revisited Children and Young People's Reflections on an Education for the Future

By Catherine Burke, Ian Grosvenor Copyright 2015
    202 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    220 Pages 25 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    ‘Wonderfully illuminated by children's essays, stories, poems, pictures and plans, this ground-breaking book offers a unique snapshot of the perceptions of today's school pupils’. -French bookstore Lavoisier www.lavoisier.fr

    In 2001, The Guardian launched a ground-breaking competition called ‘The School I'd Like’, in which young people were asked to imagine their ideal school. This vibrant and compelling book presents material drawn from that competition, offering a unique snapshot of perceptions of schools by those who matter most - the pupils. In 2011, The Guardian re-launched the competition and this updated 2nd edition reflects upon the next generation of reflections and summarises, through the children’s insightful commentary, what has changed over the intervening decade.

    The book is wonderfully illustrated by children's essays, stories, poems, pictures and plans. Placing their views in the centre of the debate, it provides an evaluation of the democratic processes involved in teaching and learning by:

    • identifying consistencies in children's expressions of how they wish to learn
    • highlighting particular sites of 'disease' in the education system today
    • illustrating how the built environment is experienced by today's children
    • posing questions about the reconstruction of teaching and learning for the twenty-first century.

    The School I’d Like: Revisited offers a powerful perspective on school reform and is essential reading for all those involved in education and childhood studies, including teachers, advisors, policy-makers, academics, and anyone who believes that children's voices should not be ignored.




    Introduction: neglected voices

    PART 1: Forgotten spaces

    1. School buildings: ‘A safe haven, not a prison’
    2. Canteens and lunchrooms: The edible landscape of school
    3. School yards and playgrounds: ‘It’s very big but there’s nothing in it . . .’
    4. PART 2: Learning and knowing

    5. Knowledge and the curriculum: ‘The notion of writing prize-winning essays on tropical rainforests without taking some action would be seen as strange’
    6. Learning: ‘Let us out . . . !’
    7. Teachers and special people: ‘Nobody forgets a good teacher . . .’
    8. PART 3: Staying power

    9. Identities and equalities: ‘I resented being told what to wear, what to think, what to believe, what to say and when to say it’
    10. Survival: ‘Schools may be getting good academic results but they are not helping the pupils as individuals’


    Catherine Burke is Reader in History of Education and Childhood at the University of Cambridge.

    Ian Grosvenor is Professor of Urban Educational History at the University of Birmingham.