Wednesday, April 25, 2012

In the year 2525 (Zager and Evans)

I was asked recently for my thoughts on the challenges facing education in New Zealand in the next ten years.

This is a tough question and I thought about it long and hard.

This is what I eventually came up with.

·         Schools will continue to have to work with a lack of adequate funding. The Christchurch earthquake has had a deep effect on the nations coffers. It will take some time before education is again at the forefront of politicians' minds I fear.
·         Closing the achievement gap between Maori and non-Maori students. This has been a focus for the last ten years and will continue to be a focus during the next ten, I have no doubt.
·         Attracting the most talented and best motivated people to become teachers and making it attractive for the best to remain in New Zealand. Australia is a drain but so too is the rest of the world. It's a global market now. I have chosen to return to NZ but I am in a minority compared to my NZ colleagues in the UAE. They are considering Singapore, China, Europe, America...anywhere but here. What a shame that we can't attract them back at this point.
·         Extending new pedagogical approaches that focus on differentiated/student centred classrooms and disseminating emerging innovatory good practice. NZ is at times zenopobic about things that haven't originated at home. We have to get over that.
·         Utilising new technologies as aids to learning. Often new technologies are seen as a panacea and not what they are - tools.
·         Learning from John Hattie's meta-analysis (visible learning). There is so much to be distilled from Hattie's research and it will take ten years to make progress on his findings.

That lot should keep everyone busy and focused for the next decade at least.

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