I’ve decided to pronounce the year “twenty-ten”. Not sure what the popular wisdom on this matter will be but I suspect most will continue with the “two thousand and…” that we have been using for the first decade of the 21st century. “Twenty-ten” sounds like the never-arriving future is here - and I like that!
It is a minor matter.
What is more important than these semantics, from my POV, is personal renewal and direction. Last year, I posted about ‘directions and influencers’ but currently am endeavouring to reassess the larger picture for schools, especially mine. How to practically and effectively implement ‘a vision’, after a sound course has been charted, is always the challenge and pleasure of leadership. It is usually not so much a matter of a ‘new’ direction but confirming the route, with an eye on the horizon.
Digital technologies, advances in neuroscience, laptops, school infrastructure, web 2.0 and our 21st century tools are of great and continuing importance in the service of the ongoing challenge of maintaining and sustaining what is really important, our environment and civil society.
We are all going to need to learn, relearn, unlearn and want to learn!
Being traditionally, scientifically, digitally and, in fact, truly multiliterate is of the most profound importance, if we are to learn and grow. Reading is of fundamental importance. All humans must model and encourage reading for our personal and ever-widening interconnected web of interests to grow. It is pithy, and a reworking of a poster on a primary school door, but if we read, we will likely succeed!
Recently Dean Groom and Graham Wegner have posted about the lack of educational change in 2009. At my school, the last 12 months has seen more change than most teachers have seen in their career. Some of it has been superficial but mostly, significant platforms have been constructed for future progress.
Year 9 are flourishing! Their laptops have been a trojan horse and many are starting to understand the significance. Learning is personal and the teacher is there to help, instruct, model learning and facilitate. School now has endless windows, many of which can be fashioned by the learner, regardless of their status as ‘teacher’ or ‘student’.
I believe ‘teaching’ will have a renaissance this century, as we co-operate and collaborate and the citizens of the planet have the need to solve the growing challenges we will have to overcome. This renaissance has already commenced but will become truly evident during this new decade. Skilled teachers are already at a premium but those with vision, relentless enthusiasm and who love to learn, challenge and be challenged, will insist on thriving!
Is this you?
We need to watch and participate in the development of the Australian National Curriculum and resulting assessment closely, to safeguard a potentially enlightened future. There is incredibly important opportunity in this change but many threats abound too.
A curriculum for the 21st, not a previous century, is what we need.