In 2010, we find ourselves peering over the edge of a great chasm that has to be crossed tif we are to get to a world of new potentials. We move forward with a sense of excitement and possibilities
Technology has given us a window into the future. Just look at the hype and excitment around Apple’s release of the iPad. Who knows what technology we will be using in five years from now? At this point in time anything is possible and there is a sense of excitement in that.
Contrast this with current discussion and publicity of ACARA’s MySchool website and the use of a narrow data set to form judgements on school performance and student learning. As the world continues to open up new ways of doing things, there are countervaling forces using reductionists approaches that may stifle innovation
The point we are at in education reminds me of the beginning lines in Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities, “it was the best of times it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness”.
We seem to be in an in between period in education. There is so much possibility yet little consensus on ways forward, there is confidence in schools as institutions yet there is a lack of trust in the teaching profession. How do we make sense of it all and determine our way forward?
I was thinking about this yesterday and realised that we are currently working in an in-between space: a place of ambiguity and opportunity – it is the convergence of the past and future. The word I coined to make sense of this space is Pasture – a blend of both the past and future.
I see pasture as a wide fertile space for learning and innovation – full of potential, optimism and opportunities, open to anyone who wants to create the future by taking the best of what we know.
In meeting the challenges of schooling today, we should never lose sight of what we are striving to do overall. A national website comparing NAPLAN results should never be the driving catalyst for improving schooling. That responsibility lies squarely in the hands of good teachers.