Here in the southern hemisphere the 2015 school year has ended and I regret to say that we are still in an educational policy wonderland.
A change of Prime Minister has produced some stirrings around the future and the importance of innovation but it has not even filtered into the education sector. Despite the rhetoric of the Turnbull Government to deliver high-speed internet access via the NBN, the whole thing has become a white elephant! And still we hear from our politicians about how poorly our schools are performing in an age of connectivity. No wonder I feel gloomy!
One of the things that has struck me as the year draws to a close is how fortunate we are to be able to have discussions about re-imagining schooling in today’s world when other parts of the world are dealing with war. So many children are facing a future without access to education.
A point I was reminded about when I spoke in Rome last month at the World Congress for Catholic Education. A school administrator from Eritrea came up to me and said it would be wonderful if they could have conversations about creativity and innovation but her priority was to find ways of paying her teachers and putting roofs on schools.
Nevertheless, as educators we share the same aspirations – doing the best for our students with the resources we have. In 2016, we will continue the work of sharing ideas, knowledge and opening up our practice to critique in the spirit of improving student learning outcomes.
Thanks to those who continue to read bluyonder and contribute to the discussions – it’s always a rich source of learning.
Wishing you a safe and Merry Christmas wherever you are in the world. Here’s to a ‘connected’ 2016!