Podcast 2: The World of Education Through a Role Play

The kids of the world became utterly inspired.

Looking at the way the adults were running the world had become an exercise in exasperation.

From a kid’s perspective, things were just not going as well as they could be and it didn’t look to be improving anytime soon.

Something had to be done and they were the ones prepared to do it.

KidZania Website

Who is driving the education? Government, school or teacher? Is a role play in a city build for kids only good and what can they learn from a real-life modeling?

Quality of device or quality of software content? What comes first? Who is better with technology: a teacher or a student? What is the main purpose of technology in our lives?

Learn about Kidzania and it’s role in kids’ education. The idea of having a prototype of a real life for kids to learn and play could be a really interesting aspect of learning. Kinds can gain the skills and knowledge that may be useful in their future life and career choice.

Dr Ger Graus OBE is a renowned figure in the field of education where he is currently Global Director of Education for KidZania. Previously, he was the Founder of the Children’s University Trust.

KidZania, where children aged 4 to14 can experience the world of work through role-play, is designed to inspire and empower: “from inspiration to aspiration”. Since its inception in 1999 in Mexico City, KidZania now has a presence in 24 cities on 5 continents with plans for further developments in some 20 locations including the USA, Canada and South Africa. KidZania London is the UK’s first such educational entertainment centre.

Dr Ger Graus OBE is the first global Director of Education at KidZania. He took up his position in March 2017. Dr Graus started at KidZania London in 2014, where he has been responsible for developing the UK-wide education strategy, including partnerships with schools, Higher Education, commercial and third sector learning partners. He has been at the heart of innovation and project development such as ‘KidZania World Online’, ‘KidZtalk’, ‘KidZania Careers Week’;  the education ‘Think-Tank’, ‘Ambassador Schools’ and independent evaluations by, amongst others the University of Cambridge.

Dr Graus was earlier the founding Chief Executive of the Children’s University (CU) Trust in 2007. Under his leadership, the Children’s University became a multiple-award winning international charity providing 5 to 14 year olds with exciting and innovative learning opportunities – through its ‘Passport To Learning’ – outside of the school day, at weekends and during school holidays. Graus is also a member of the Council of Europe’s Digital Citizenship Education Expert Group that concerns itself, amongst other aspects, with children’s wellbeing in and despite of the digital age and the latest on digital citizenship education.

Dr Graus moved to the UK in 1983 when he began his teaching career at Taverham High School in Norwich. He next moved on to a management position at Winifred Holtby School in Hull. Between 1991 and 1996 Dr Graus was Education Adviser to Manchester City Council, responsible for the introduction of Modern Foreign Languages in primary schools. He was also a Co-optee on the Curriculum Working Group for Modern Foreign Languages. In 1996, he became Senior Inspector for Salford City Council where he was responsible for introducing the Government’s Excellence in Cities initiative. Between 1999 and 2007 he was Director of the Wythenshawe Education Action Zones, the only two statutory education action zones in the UK led by one Director in partnership with the private sector (Manchester Airport Group Plc), raising standards of attainment across all their 30 schools. His professional experience spans across the public, third and private sectors.

Ger Graus was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by Staffordshire University in 2011 and was made an Adjunct Fellow by the University of Adelaide in 2013. In 2014 Ger was made an Honorary Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to children.

Dr Graus’s appointment as global Director of Education for KidZania has been widely welcomed and has met with global approval. Sir Ken Robinson, world-renowned author, speaker and international advisor on education commented: “KidZania are extremely fortunate to have someone of Ger’s experience, insight and passion to lead them.” In his book ‘Natural Born Learners’, author Alex Beard says of Graus: “In learning terms, Ger Graus is Jean-Jacques Rousseau meets Willy Wonka.”

To learn more please see Dr Graus’s presentation at the 2017 ‘Apprenticeship4England Conference’, London

Useful links:

  1. Dr Ger Graus OBE, Director of KidZania UK
  2. Dr Ger Graus from KidZania speaking about their innovative model
  3. KidZania Website
  4. Article by Dr.Graus “The mind once enlightened cannot again become dark”

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Podcast 2: The World of Education Through a Role Play