A Different Type of School

I stand here today… to apologize.

Our education system is failing your children – which means that as a teacher, I am failing your children. I am failing to prepare them to be creative thinkers, innovators and entrepreneurs – due to an educational system steeped in tradition, nostalgia and old ideas.

Well, its time for a new tradition. Its time to rewrite the rules of education – to imagine a school with no timetables, with industry partners and one where technology is not only necessary but ubiquitous. A school where lifelong learning is modeled every single day, where children follow individual interests and passions and where they are invited to see the world in a playful way.

Its time our education system adapted to todays student, rather than having students adapt to it.

It’s time to lead a major paradigm shift that changes the face of education forever.

It’s our time – together, lets build a different kind of school and show the world what’s possible.

This was my one minute talk at Creative Innovation 2011. I think it missed the mark.

I received plenty of interest about what I am currently doing and ways business and industry can support Quantum Victoria, but the ‘big picture’ idea that I was trying to pitch, I think was lost on the audience. A majority of it is most certainly my own fault for not appreciating the backgrounds of those in the audience, but perhaps it is also a case of people not thinking big enough. There has been much talk about education at this conference, especially from those not involved in education, with most over-simplifying the concept of reform – aside from Stephen Heppell, everyone outside of the field has an ‘easy’ solution – and this is the problem. Everyone has a vested interest in education, and becasue they have spent varying amounts of time in places of education, everyone claims a level of expertise. There was not enough talk about the purpose of education and indeed the relevance, especially at the tertiary level, in a world with ubiquitous access to information and people – the dialogue, for the most part, still centred around ‘the old way’ of doing things.

And this is the conundrum. At the Creative Innovation conference, where you find some of the most successful and creative people in business,  industry and entrepreneurship – how do we elevate the dialogue around schools, and shift old mindsets? Because if it can’t be done here, I’m thinking we are going to struggle.

Many people and education departments site instances of ‘innovative’ practice in some schools, but they have missed the fundamental premise of education reform – radically different, better kinds of schools.

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