Learning Together

Learning Together

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

Activity 6:​ Contemporary issues or trends in New Zealand or internationally

Create a blog post where you identify and evaluate 2 contemporary issues or trends that are influencing or shaping NZ or international education, which you find most relevant to your practice.


Issue 1 Sir Ken Robinson has been an inspiration for me personally and professionally and one that inspires my passion of supporting children to retain their creativity, individuality and personality - rather than having it "schooled" out of them. 
Robinson states in his address, Changing Education Paradigms, that schools are modelled on the 'interests of industrialism' and 'in the image of industrialism.'
He explains this simply by demonstrating that schools are still organised by,
  • bell times
  • as factory lines
  • into separate subject area
  • and classes are based on batches of age grouped children
Education and institutions are increasingly more interested about conformity and standardisation rather than what and how children should be learning. 

We should be creating a model of learning that is based on divergent thinking. Providing many possible ways of thinking, teaching and learning. He further states, "our current system fails creativity and replaces it with education." 

This is sadly our truth. Our parents still believe that what worked for them will work for their children. However the research strongly tells us that with the exponential growth in population, demands on resources and time, and the pervasive spread of technology into every aspect of our lives (the Internet of Things), our children need to be developing divergent thinking skills in order to prepare for this unknown, exponentially changing future.

How do you respond to those issues/trends in your practice? 

The key message for our parent community is that the role of new technologies in transforming teaching and learning for the 21st century is heavily dependent on educators’ abilities to see the affordances and capacities of ICT in relation to all of the features of 21st century learning outlined in the NZ Ministry of Education report - 'Supporting future-oriented learning and teaching - a New Zealand perspective'.  

School management need to provide opportunities for staff to collaborate and up-skill in a multiple of disciplines to best meet the developing need for future divergent teaching and learning.

Parents need to trust the professionals or ask questions if they are not sure or if it is unfamiliar to them. Together we can Care Learn and Grow.

Issue 2
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times . . . it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair . . . we were all going direct to Heaven, we were all going direct the other way . . .”
Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities

The backdrop for A Tale of Two Cities was the French Revolution and the dawn of the Industrial Age. We are living through a similar transformative period in which the breadth and scope of possible developments—both good and bad—are equal to, if not greater than the aftermath of the political and economic revolutions of the late 18th century. (US National Intelligence Council (2012)).

According to the research and publication by the US National Intelligence Council (2012), there are many 'Mega Trends', 'Game Changers ' and 'Alternative World' issues that no matter where you live in the world, all have the ability to impact on our lives and roles as educators. There is no escaping.

How do you respond to those issues/trends in your practice? 
Firstly, to be aware of the potential changes on the horizon and prepare our children through education - encouraging creative problem solving, building empathy for and understanding of each other, being environmentally aware, encouraging sustainable practices and being proactive problem solvers.

Humans are in effect a virus inhabiting our world. As a virus, we are acting destructively. As Sir Ken Robinson notes, we are the only life form, that if we disappeared from the face of the earth, the earth would flourish rather than suffer harm or imbalance. 
Considering this, it becomes apparent that individual empowerment through knowledge and education will have the most impact globally because humans are both cause, effect and potential solution.  
As educators, we have the single most power to influence how humans impact their world through interactions, connectedness and building empathy towards other living things - people , plants, animals and their habitats. We can achieve this through programmes such as Paying it Forward by giving, by sharing and by exploring solutions to world issues and issues in our local communities. We need to ensure our future citizens embrace their local environment and learn to be self sufficient and appreciative. 

We are all inter-related. If we are at the centre of the issue, then we can work together to be a part of the global solution.


Bolstad, R., Gilbert, J., McDowall, S., Bull, A., Boyd, S., & Hipkins, R. (2012).Supporting future-oriented learning & teaching: A New Zealand perspective.Wellington: Ministry of Education. Retrieved 5 May 2015, from https://www.educationcounts.govt.nz/publications/schooling/109306.`
Pearson. (2013, April 26).Global trends: The world is changing faster than at any time in human history. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SdZiTQy3g1g

The RSA.(2010, Oct 14).RSA Animate - Changing Education Paradigms. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zDZFcDGpL4U.
US National Intelligence Council (2012). Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds. Washington, DC: United States National Intelligence. Retrieved 20 September 2015, from https://info.publicintelligence.net/GlobalTrends2030.pdf

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