Today I had the opportunity to speak to the Canterbury Primary Principals Association conference here in Christchurch. I was asked to provide a picture of what the shape of our schooling system might be like in 20 years? What are the factors influencing this change, and how should we respond?
The keynote was intended to provide an overview of some of the things that school leaders and classroom teachers should be doing now to contribute to this.
For Christchurch principals it is an important time to be thinking at such a broad and strategic level. With more than 20 schools to be re-built as a result of decisions forced by the earthquakes here, the education leaders in the city have a unique opportunity to re-conceptualise the provision of schooling in the city. I encouraged them to pursue a vision that is unequivocably learner-centred, and is focused on a view of networks rather than isolated, independed schools.
Of course, such an approch will involve significant commitment, and a significant change in the mental models that we have all grown up with and are influenced by – as illustrated in my presentation by the school room from the Jetsons! In the words of Sir Ken Robinson that I quote at the end of the presentation; "Education is a complicated business… if it were so simple, we’d have fixed it already."