When will schools know they have changed?

Last week I heard Valerie Hannon talk about change (quoting someone I cannot recall) saying, in comparison to the Industrial Revolution, it is happening at 10 times the pace and 300 times the impact. Therefore the scale of change is 3000 times more profound. Wow!

I was also made aware university degrees are becoming increasingly irrelevant for Google. Google now take 14% of non university graduates, think test scores are worthless and rely on predictive internal interviews. With the number of future careers for our current students increasing from two to something like fourteen, and for jobs that have not even been invented yet, are university degrees a thing of the past? If so, the ATAR score required to get into university will be come increasingly less regarded and so too will the exams that are converted to an ATAR.

Anyhow…… places such as Hi Tech High in San Diego are engaging with “new thinking and new action on education” by focusing on i) Primacy of the quality of student work, ii) Integration of heart, head and hand, iii) Integration of students and disciplines, and, iv) Teachers a designers – team teaching is the Norm. Do not see themselves as studying for a test.

Schools such as Hi Tech High and Australian Schools Rethinking Education are moving from “School Engagement” to “Learning Engagement”. “School Engagement” is a focus on attendance, attentiveness, exam results and behaviour. “Learning Engagement” is energy, enthusiasm, all the time everywhere, taking responsibility and achieving a wide sense of learning outcomes rather than commanding short term memory for the next test.

There are some schools who value learning more so than schooling, but when the majority of schools develop data sources which value energy, enthusiasm and others such as communication, connectivity, critical thinking, creativity, then we will know we have transformed schools to become contemporary places of learning. At the moment, schools are governed by state based tests which dictate schools as places which prepare students for a test at the end of 13 years of schooling. This needs to change because, as the bank HSBC have acknowledged, “In the future, age will be no barrier to ambition”.