Thursday, 11 November 2010


I attended the Education Guardian's 'Innovation in Education' Conference in London today...

The conference was subtitled '21st Learning in an Age of Austerity' and aimed to explore the models, principles and discliplines that will help us rise to the challenges we face in a changing world. I attended three sessions;
  • 'Developing 21st Century Skills' delivered by Yong Zhao, professor and director of the US-China Centre for research on Educational Excellence at Michigan State University;
  •  'Radical Innovation for Learning' delivered by Nelson Gonzales, Chief Strategy Officer at the Stupski Foundation;
  • 'Rethinking Education' by Josephine Green, former Senior Director of Trends and Strategy at Philips.
These sessions and the discussions around them reinforced the fact that we need to create learning hubs where we nurture and support innovation and creativity. We all know that incremental change is simply not going to deliver enough to maintain the competitive edge and that many of the assumptions that we make about learning are unjust and unacceptable. We don't need to be better than China or India; we simply need to be different! We also need to underpin everything we do with  value-based approaches that ensure equity and fairness and ensure that we get it right for those who are harder to reach and harder to teach by starting early, re-imagining learning and doing more. The key to the future is to create a collaborative and cooperative network of brilliant learning places and a learning platform where we can share great ideas and enable colleagues to learn together.
  • personalised approaches;
  • a focus on developing world class skills;
  • real engagement with young people;
  • performance based learning;
  • a comprehensive programme of support;
  • anytime, anywhere learning. 
We must above all continue to question, to challenge, to dream, to imagine, to experiment, to explore and to discover.

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