• About


    Alex has worked in education for a decade. After starting out as an English teacher in a London comprehensive, he completed his MA at the Institute of Education before joining Teach For All, a growing global network of organizations working to ensure that the next generation fulfil their potential. He is fortunate to spend his time travelling the world in search of the practices that will shape the future of learning and has written about his experiences for the Guardian, Financial Times, Evening Standard, Independent and Wired. His book Natural Born Learners is a user's guide to transforming learning in the twenty-first century, taking readers on a dazzling global tour into the future of education, from Silicon Valley to Seoul, Helsinki to Hounslow.


















  • Writing

    Selected articles

    Daily Telegraph

    A review of Jordan Shapiro's fascinating and provocative new book, The New Childhood: Raising Kids to Thrive in a Connected World, which argues that we should stop worrying and learn to love tech

    Evening Standard

    This week children nationwide are travelling back in time. After a long summer of sharing on Snapchat and surfing YouTube, they’re skipping through the school gates for the first day of a new school year


    China wants to be the world leader in artificial intelligence by 2030. To get there, it's reinventing the way children are taught


    If we could understand how the infant mind develops, it might help every child reach their full potential. But seeing them as learning machines is not the answer

    Financial Times

    “Schooling is not the same as learning,” wrote the authors of the World Bank’s World Development Report for 2018, the first of its kind to be devoted entirely to education

    Economist Intelligence Unit

    I spoke to the Economist Intelligence Unit about how our schools can do more to prepare children for the rapid changes they will experience during their lifetimes

    Open Education Europa

    Along with Jacob Kestner, I wrote an essay for the European Commission about how in the year 2030 students will continue to go to the school down the road; they’ll begin to go to the school in the cloud.

  • Speaking




    Zeg Festival, Tblisi, June 22nd

    AoC/Jisc Technology Summit, London, June 17th

    CogX, London, June 10th-12th

    Bryanston Education Summit, June 5th

    AIAED, Beijing, May 24th

    5x15, Wilton's Music Hall, April 17th

    5x15, Amsterdam, March 28th

    Girls' Day School Trust, March 14th

    Teesside University, March 7th

    Schools Now, British Council, March 6th

    Whole Education Conference, February 26th

    DLD College, February 26th

    Belfast Metropolitan College, February 11th

    The BETT Show, London, January 24th



    OEB, Berlin, December 7th

    TEDx Youth, Manchester, November 7th

    EduTech Asia, Singapore, October 9th

    CanvasCon, London, October 9th

    Creative Industries Federation, October 10th

    Wimbledon Book Festival, London, October 6th

    How To Academy, London, October 4th

    Altius Society, Oxford, September 29th

    Ashoka, Istanbul, September 27th

    Wigtown Book Festival, Scotland, September 23rd

    Big Education Conversation, Hereford, September 22nd

    World Bank, Belgrade, September 18th

    Shambala Festival, Northants, August 25th

    WeWork Festival, Kent, August 18th

    Edinburgh International Book Festival, August 14th

    5x15 at Wilderness Festival, August 5th

    The Future of Learning, Swansea University, July 17th

    Ways With Words, July 15th

    Learning Revolution, York Festival of Ideas, June 6th

    On Creativity, Hay Festival, May 30th

    Every Child, Hay Festival, May 29th

    Centenary Lecture, Swansea University, April 18th

    5x15, London, April 16th

  • Reviews

    Praise for Natural Born Learners


    'A manual on how to successfully grow a kid’s brain' (Ruby Wax, Author of FRAZZLED)


    'A dazzlingly fast-paced journey through the classrooms and laboratories of the globe in an attempt to tackle the Big Questions of our age' (Melissa Benn, NEW STATESMAN)


    'Readers should accompany Beard on his travels, because after myriad engaging anecdotes and encounters, he arrives at conclusions with universal relevance' (Miranda Green FINANCIAL TIMES)

    'One of the most optimistic, thought-provoking, and ambitious educational books of recent years' (Geoff Barton, TES)

    'A timely and passionate book on the need for a global educational renaissance' (Jane Shilling MAIL ON SUNDAY)


    'Lively and provocative ... Beard is inspirational on the capabilities of the brain' (Helen Brown, DAILY TELEGRAPH)


    'A grand tour, looking for what works in an era in which traditional educational models bump up against acute societal change' (Rebecca Asher, TLS)

    'Wide-ranging, often humorous, and consistently fascinating' (Stephanie Cross THE LADY)


    'Vital and vitalising, this is an incredibly important book' (Owen Sheers, METRO)

    'Fascinating' (Fiona Millar, GUARDIAN)

    'Really excellent' (Philip Pullman, Author, on an extract in the GUARDIAN)


  • Projects

    I run a lab for the future of learning

    I'm a Senior Director of the Global Learning Lab at Teach For All, a global network of independent organizations working on six continents to develop the teachers, school leaders and policymakers who'll transform learning.


    The Global Learning Lab launched in 2018, with the aim of facilitating, capturing and spreading learning and innovations and best practices in system-level and classroom-level reforms, within and beyond our global network.

    I'm on the board of the One Day Trust, home of the London Screen Academy. It's a brand new sixth form academy opening September 2019, LSA will enable 16-19 year olds to access the screen industries or progress to higher education through high quality learning within a diverse, accepting and supportive community.

    I'm an advisor to Black Mountains College, a new university in rural Wales. Dedicated to creativity, experimental learning and adaptive thinking, BMC will offer undergraduate and further education courses and professional development for teachers. It will produce undergraduates, skilled craftspeople and teachers schooled in creative methods and the latest technologies ready to confront the huge challenges facing our future generations.