Key conversations: the future of oracy, women's voices and talking about race 

The future of oracy education 

To kick off Oracy October we started by reflecting on the role that the oracy has to play in the midst of Covid-19 and what role it should play in education in the future. We were joined by Emma Hardy MP shared her reflections, as Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Oracy and in light of Covid-19, on why the need for a high quality oracy education is more apparent than ever before. 

“We cannot continue with a system that is actively discouraging teachers from teaching oracy”
Emma Hardy MP,  Shadow Secretary for Education and FE, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group

If you want to have your voice heard as part of the Oracy APPG, you can fill out the teacher survey here.

Leading meaningful race conversations in the classroom – Matthew Kay 

October marks Black History month and 2020 the year when Black Lives Matter has risen to the forefront of media and public attention. There is no doubt that it is the time for meaningful, productive dialogues about race, but how can these be navigated in the classroom? 

 “There is a difference between saying this is space where your opinions are valued and actually creating a series of visible systems and structures that make that a reality.”
Matthew Kay

During Oracy October we were lucky enough to hear from Matthew Kay whose book, Not Light, But Fire: How to Lead Meaningful Race Conversations in the Classroom, is packed full of practical strategies and guidance to help teachers tackle race in the classroom. During his Book Club event, he spoke to us about the importance of planning these conversations carefully – ensuring all the structures are in place to enable students to engage with emotive topics with care and thought. 

For Matthew, it’s this careful planning which backs up our good intentions. It bridges the gap between us telling students their voice matters, and ensuring that they actually feel that in our classrooms every day.

The Power of Women’s Voices – Yvette Cooper MP

We were also delighted to be joined by Yvette Cooper MP to discuss her latest book and her personal reflections on using her voice as a leading public figure. 

“Why is it that when remembering the defining speeches of our times, we so often recall those delivered by men?”
Yvette Cooper MP

Yvette Cooper MP’s book She Speaks: The Power of Women’s Voices, seeks to rectify this. Highlighting a selection of inspirational, transformation and radical speeches written and delivered by women throughout our history, the book is a powerful reminder of how women’s voices have, and continue to, shape our society today.

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