Martin Robinson

Author and Education Consultant, Trivium 21c Ltd.


What is a Knowledge-Rich Curriculum?

In answering this question this talk will explore some of the current debates about curriculum design by unpicking controversies such as ‘whose knowledge’? and ‘we all teach knowledge’, and 21st Century skills curricula will be compared to more traditional ideas around teaching ‘the best that has been thought and said’.
How a teacher gets a pupil to know and remember what they’ve taught them will also be explored, is knowledge transferred simply from one brain to another or is it a whole lot more complicated than that?
In a fun-packed forty-five minutes controversies will be unearthed and questions will be asked and, by the end of it, you should understand what a knowledge-rich curriculum might be.


Education Advisor: Royal Society of Arts

Expert on curriculum design. Advocate for the great tradition of liberal arts education. Former teacher for over twenty years in East London state schools, member of senior leadership team, and AST. Has also experienced the exciting world of supply teaching. A regular on the conference circuit both in the UK and internationally, Martin’s talks are challenging, entertaining, and sure to get people talking and reflecting on their practice.


What Is The Role For Research In Arts Education?

There has been a Research Ed for maths teachers, could there ever be one for arts teachers? If research can show us how to get higher grades in an arts subject, what does that tell us about art education? If research can show us how to make better art, what does that tell us about art? Is teaching an art or a science? Does any of this matter if the arts are in decline in our schools? This session looks across the divide of the two cultures, science and art, and will answer these questions. Robinson will also look at what ramifications his answers have for research in education and whether research is solely a feature of instrumentalist and managerial approaches to learning.

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How to Direct Plays and Teach Theatre for English Teachers

Using his extensive research and knowledge of repertory theatre, Martin will present a session for English teachers which will tell them everything they need to know to make a play work in the classroom or on the stage. These ‘rules’ are the rules that theatre companies used to put on a new play, every week, without the need of a director. Answering questions such as: Where should Macbeth enter from? How about the three witches? Where on the stage should Hamlet do a soliloquy? How do you make iambic pentameter sound interesting even if you’ve no idea what the hell is being said? How does an actor tell the audience all they need to know about a character in the first ten seconds of their performance? All these questions and more will be answered in this barn storming, extraordinarily informative, and intricately researched session.

Proper acting for proper teachers.

Technology and Creativity: Are you the Maker or the Tool?

Technology and creativity are often conflated in the education world. There is an argument that suggests that the use of technology in schools is creative. However, far from encouraging it, I will argue that the rush to embrace technology might end up reducing authentic, ‘human’ creativity because contemporary technology is a very different tool by design to the tools of the past. Instead of an uncritical engagement with contemporary technology we should first teach children how to make aesthetic choices with tools that are in their total control, developing their creativity before they dabble extensively with modern ‘cybernetic’ tools that do far too much of the work for them.

Athene vs the Machine

What Happens When a Curriculum is Not for Excellence?

This session will look at whether a curriculum for excellence is a good idea in itself. It will question some aspects of the Scottish Curriculum and look critically at the current English national curriculum and the 2007 model. Instead of a curriculum being built around the ‘capacities’ of “successful learners, confident individuals, responsible citizens and effective contributors”, this session will suggest it should be built around an all-embracing pursuit of wisdom.