Leadership

A new vision for schools in Australia…Are you up for it?

Vision – an overused and perhaps under-delivered concept. It is the picture of a preferred future. What would a vision of a preferred future look like for schools in Australia?

  • A place where students want to learn and they do
  • A generation who are lifelong learners
  • A curriculum that engages and inspires
  • A place where teachers know they are making a difference in the lives of young people

We are about to get a new Minister for Education in Australia. I think that perhaps the current one may be a little busy, now that she’s PM. In NSW we have had about six education ministers in as many years.  I would love to see a strong vision for education in this country.

This great big new vision doesn’t see schools as a lever to stimulate the economy during the GFC by the provision of billions of dollars in building projects, but instead, its the provision of billions of dollars that supports a BIG vision for education in Australia. This new vision needs to recognise that we are in a new era, which is very different to the one where I went to school and needs a significant rethink in design – physical spaces and curriculum.

I’m sad that these not-insignificant-funds have not come with significant thinking in our state. A real vision for education would see a rigorous evaluation of what we have and what is needed and where we want to go…VISION.

What would be my vision for education in Australia?

A united and strategically funded education system that prepares our young people with the skills they need in a globalised and connected world, with curriculum delivery that enables them to reach their potential and then continue learning through life.

How would this be achieved?

  • Schools, teacher and curriculum design that doesn’t look like they belong in the industrial-era
  • Learning opportunities for students that are personalised, engaging and stimulating
  • Teachers as facilitators and coaches of students
  • Significant changes in the language we all use. What picture is conjured in your mind when I say: Classroom, Library, Teaching. These things still tend to look the same from when I went to school.

I’m a bit of a *Pollyanna and firmly believe we can begin to see change but there’s lots of work to be done – talking, listening, putting aside our own experiences of school and embracing change.

Are you up for it?

*To you non-baby-boomers, Pollyanna comes from the classic children’s novel of the same name by Ellen H. Porter and the term refers to someone whose optimism is excessive to the point of naïveté.

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