Exploring the future of education in Aotearoa

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Can we be good ancestors?

The co-creation workshops led by global education thought-leader Valerie Hannon was an inspiring event that challenged attendees to consider and design what education could look like for our future generations. There were a wide-range of systems stakeholders present, including Central and Local Government, business organisations, NGOs and practitioners, the tech sector, and many more, who benefited from the opportunity to discuss and explore new ideas for the future of education.

Using a systems-thinking approach, Valerie encouraged participants to reset and co-create what ‘success’ will look like in 2030 and beyond, and to consider what are the implications for those working in education and how to work towards changing the status quo. Valerie’s thought-provoking insights and guidance have set the foundation for further exploration and collaboration to continue the conversation about what a successful education system looks like for our future generations.

Today, education has to be about learning to thrive in a transforming world.

Valerie argued that the underpinning education story is fundamentally individualistic, economistic and competitive. There is a focus on education in the sense that it makes nations more prosperous by increasing GDP. The measure of success in education is getting qualifications. Getting into university is a key success indicator, and subject-based academics are the qualifications that really matter.

She then shifted the group towards a focus on thriving instead of success as a measure of education. Valerie introduced the Levels of Thriving framework, which includes;

  1. Planetary/Global - the larger vision of how we support our planet and environment
  2. Societal - supporting our societies to thrive together
  3. Interpersonal - the relationships we have with others
  4. Intrapersonal - the relationship we have with ourselves

This is a question of paradigm shift, not a matter of just incrementally improving the existing system

Valerie is a radical voice for change, grounded in a deep understanding of how education systems currently work. She has advised governments and worked with systems and schools on every continent, working with a range of stakeholders and leaders in education innovation. Valerie advised the OECD on its Education 2030 project and is now working on its High Performing Systems for Human Flourishing program.

Valerie’s research and publications have been invaluable in guiding the conversations at the workshop. Her 2020 Australian Learning Lecture on The Future School was the basis for her new book, FutureSchool, and her 2021 Edufuturists’ award for Outstanding Achievement in Education is testament to her dedication to education innovation.

We can and must learn from the climate change movement. The two crises are interdependent.

Thank you to everyone who attended the workshop for your enthusiasm and participation.  We saw copious amounts of note-taking.  We heard silence, while you were listening to Valerie and Hana presenting, to a cacophony of noise and discussion as you engaged in deep conversation about the topics being raised.  We felt the energy in the room emanating from you.  We hope you found the sessions to be informative and inspiring.

The EPIT Team would like to thank our Board and funders who made this event possible.  The ongoing support they provide through their time and effort has meant that EPIT can chase big dreams.  We would also like to thank our partners, who have a shared vision of an equitable education system in Aotearoa.  The systems change we are working towards is accelerated by you sharing your learnings and insights, and your commitment to creating transformative partnerships.

Nischal Chakravarthy
30 March 2023
min read

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