The future of the profession

future-of-learning.jpgLast week, I was invited to speak to the B.Ed. cohort at the University of Wollongong to discuss where learning and teaching is heading.

I had a great time with the group and it was interesting to note the number of mature age students who are changing professions to work in schooling. It gives us all great hope and energy to see people feel they can make a real difference by becoming teachers.

I am amazed by the energy and passion of these soon to be graduates.  We had some terrific discussions around how to make a difference in young peoples’ lives today.  

The point I made was not to wait for permission to experiment and change current practice. In fact, personalised learning demands such an approach.  At the same time, they should develop robust teams with their colleagues so as to test ideas, share experiences and reflect on good practice. De-privatising teaching has to be a cornerstone for building a sustainable learning culture in our profession.

One thing I can say is the future of schooling is in good hands!

6 thoughts on “The future of the profession

  1. How encouraging to see such a positive outlook and to recognise such promise in the young (and sometimes not so young) teachers of the future.
    What you suggest in your post, Greg, is that there needs to be a culture of experimentation amongst teachers. Working together, we must be prepared to take risks and, yes, allow ourselves to make mistakes and learn from them. Sometimes, that’s the best way forward, but for some ‘established teachers’ this is too challenging, a bit too uncomfortable. It is important that we develop teaching practice so that it meets the demands of this century, not the last one. We need to break free from the shackles of narrow mindsets and embrace what the world has to offer. Admittedly, there can be some initial discomfort in doing this, but we need to move with the times in a way that best meets the needs of the learners in our care. And really, isn’t that why we are in education in the first place? Isn’t that where we get our energy from? Isn’t that how we are able to make a real difference in the lives of young people?
    I’m so pleased that what you’ve seen of the teachers still to join our ranks is so promising. In a time of change, that is happening at an unprecedented rate, it gives me hope and sustains my commitment to learning and teaching. This hope and optimism resonates very much with me and my sense of the vocation of teacher to which I have been called.

  2. “The point I made was not to wait for permission to experiment and change current practice. ”

    It is great to hear our educational leaders speaking with such wisdom!

    Enough of the red tape; let’s stand up and make a difference.

  3. Couldn’t have said it better! I think we are at a good time to be in teaching. We are at a turning point really one really full of promise. A retreat to the past would be a shame and a failure to the generation of teachers who are coming.
    We know the challenges and once we give proper control of the teaching process to the teacher and really build a profession of reflection and continuous learning things will really take off

  4. I love the idea that these technologies are defined as ‘disruptive’ because that is what schools desperately need – to be disrupted. The sooner we are creating global learning experiences that grow out of passionate questions the better, and if it takes MySpace to help that happen – bring it on!

  5. Greg, I love the passion in your comment. It is how things are going to change or else schooling is going to slip into irrelevancy, and that as Stephen Heppel observes, would be a shame
    Social technologies are only the beginning as the semantic web emerges, personalising our world in extraordinary ways. Are schools ready?

  6. Teaching in the 21st century is certainly challenging and invigorating. It is vital therefore that teachers use assessment tools that are going to achieve the best student outcomes and direct teacher instruction. Research tells us that assessment tools must be valid and based on scientific research. The adoption of the SEA package as an assessment literacy tool for 2008 I feel would be reverting back rather than forward. I base this judgement on research produced by the New Zealand Ministry of Education who found that
    • SEA was used in well over half (59%) of primary schools during 2001.
    • Twenty-eight percent of schools were not using SEA in 2001.
    • Only a third (31%) of schools were sending in SEA summary data to the Ministry of Education for analysis.
    • The majority (86%) of teachers using SEA in 2001 ‘always’ used Concepts about Print when they assessed a child compared with just 46 percent who ‘always’ used Tell Me.
    • Teachers were more positive about using Concepts about Print than they were about using the other two SEA components.
    • The Tell Me component was generally considered to be time-consuming and difficult to administer.
    • As well as identifying positive aspects about SEA, two-thirds (67%) of new entrant teachers using SEA in 2001 felt that SEA needed to be updated or modified.
    • Teachers most often commented on ways in which Tell Me could be updated or modified.
    (Dewar, S. & Telford.M. 2001)

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