Monday, 29 September 2008

I am sitting here in Helsinki and I realise that the challenges we face are the same the world over...

"The future is already here - it's just unevenly distributed"

The OECD/CERI Conference on 'Schooling for Tomorrow' highlighted the major forces impacting on the future of schooling, the future of learning; demographic, economic, technological, social, political and cultural forces are changing our learning places.

I think the challenge for us all is in managing the contradictions between inclusion and exclusion. It is very obvious that our shared vision, values and beliefs are creating brilliant: brilliant learning, a brilliant workforce, brilliant leadership and brilliant learning places connecting with home and the communities we serve. However, as we struggle with this task re-imagining and re-engineering the learning landscape we risk forgetting many of the very young people we serve who through their attendance, choices, marginalisation and failure are excluded by these brilliant systems. We need to balance the search for brilliant with attempting to engage and work with young people and to listen and learn from their voices and choices.

I am not yet convinced that many of the colleagues at the OECD Conference understand these contradictions and the real challenges we are facing on the front line!


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