Exciting times ahead for teachers and students
It is exciting to contemplate the future of schooling in Australia because in so doing we are reflecting on both the future of our children and our nation.
Right now, there are opportunities for us as educators, as we contemplate the future of schooling together. If we can embrace positively this demand for transparency and accountability, we can restore a sense of honour to our profession that should have always existed.
In part this will mean coming to grips with the enduring presence of transparency and accountability mechanisms such as NAPLAN diagnostic tests and MySchool websites.
The honourable approach is to embrace such mechanisms as opportunities for feedback and development that can inform us on our progress and future directions. Of course, governments and politicians must assist here by resisting the ongoing temptation to over-read such mechanisms and afford them more significance than necessary.
This has been a challenge in the past and is likely to be a challenge in the future. I suspect there will also be a challenge to schools to ensure that education remains the key to a positive future for all children.
As any teacher knows it is exceptionally hard work to offer a school experience that enables students to transcend beyond disadvantage, or a challenging social context. It is becoming easier to understand though, that when we have quality leadership in schools, quality teachers, and quality relationships with communities, we get positive student results.
The cultural difference of a student, or the extent of social disadvantage of a particular child, is thankfully diminishing as an excuse for delivering poor-quality education outcomes.
Whilst we have some way to go, I am optimistic that there really will be no place for any teacher with low expectations to hide in any education jurisdiction in any part of Australia.
If we want our schools of the future to have intellectual integrity then this must absolutely be the case. As it is for schools of today, schools of the future will need to understand just three things to be effective. High expectations, high expectations, and high expectations.
It will not hurt either, to love children, and to love the profession.
Despite the exciting and unimaginable advances that will be made in our shared future, it will always be the case, that there will be learners and teachers, existing in a special relationship. While we may be great at interacting with computers and new technologies, we will always have to be exceptional in our relationships as exceptional human beings.
This piece was contributed as part of The Australian’s Shaping Our Future series (www.theaustralian.com.au/shapingourfuture) which this week is tackling the challenges and opportunities facing our environment in the future. Click the above link to read the full article.
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