Partner, a School for tomorrow

Despite the prevailing use of technology, I’m a firm believer that we’re in the age of the human.

ADRIANO DI PRATO

Permission is triumph

IN CONVERSATION WITH STORYTELLER SIAN

“Schooling and education in Australia needs a total renaissance. 51 years ago, ‘6th Form’ students sat for the first HSC (now simply called VCE). In 2020 Year 12 classes will do so again. While much about the way we live, work and communicate has transformed, VCE exams are conducted in almost the same way. We are in the 4th industrial revolution – technologies such as AI, automation and robots are prevailing. Yet, holistically the education sector has not embraced the possibilities that these technologies present in the way that other industries have.

I think that technology is something we should run towards not away from in education. It can facilitate innovation and creativity in our students. By making education accessible online, students can benefit from a more dynamic learning experience- returning to their learning to unpack it, to stretch and challenge or to seek further guidance if required. The university sector is taking it one step further with short courses and micro- credentialing, enabling students to pivot in all sorts of directions. The possibilities with technology are so exciting.

Despite the prevailing use of technology, I’m a firm believer that we’re in the age of the human. Our soft skills are going to be our greatest asset. Foundational skills in literacy and numeracy will remain critical but we should also be teaching our students scientific and enterprise thinking, as well as financial and digital literacy.

Schools should also focus more on the development of character by empowering young people to attend to their physical and mental wellbeing. We should be encouraging the pursuit of social justice and providing the psychological safety necessary to take risks. Students also need to develop resilience and initiative, while fostering curiosity and adaptability in order to bounce back irrespective of what they’re faced with.

You shouldn’t be in the education sector if you don’t have hope. And I hope to instill in each of the young people we educate, a great optimism and sense of possibility for their future.
We all need to approach each other with a glass half full attitude in order to thrive. So many of us have a positive ambition for social change. Australia should no longer embrace mediocrity and instead we should open ourselves up to all human possibility, diversity and endeavor.

s p a c e  was so energising last year because every person I encountered was prepared to take a risk, give of themselves and embrace what it means to be human.”

*Interview and write-up- s p a c e storyteller, Sian Gooden