Friday, July 22, 2016

Dr Yong Zhao - entrepreneurial and creative problem based thinking

I was fortunate to hear Dr Yong Zhao in the freezing hall of Christs College on the last day of the hols. 

So Dr Zhao was brought here by the 'Thought Leaders' - Who are thought leaders? I have no idea!!

Focus of the lecture - 21st century schools in age of globalisation 

Recent book to read - Who's afraid of the big bad dragon?

Zhao posed lots of questions:

What's makes a good education?

Are we delivering the right things?

Are we 'Counting what counts?'  

3 big issues in education: 

Interesting that he saw - Curriculum  - continually changing - lots of 'playing' 
What is the best possible curriculum to learn? 

Pedagogy and teachers - trying to prescribe how we teach - 

Assessment - large tests /Pisa  -,the trend to forced high stakes assessments
Patents want scores -bell who's doing a good job ? 

We want to improve education but according to Zhao we need transformation?

What we should be focussing on 'what matters' and this will be different from place to place - different contexts.

In one place you can be useless, in another you can be useful. 

3 problems in education
- disengaged kids 
- post school prospects - youth unemployment - a lot of the kids are 'stuck in the basement' - this generation has had more education than any than any other 'under employment' also an issue - 'the boomerang' generation - they've played the game but the game no longer works 
- equity - the achievement gap is a symptom of the equity gap 

Traditional educational paradigm - education to deliver prescribed outcomes to all  children. We deliver a package delivered the right way! 

Traditionally differences have had no value- but when applied tons specific contexts can it matters / means something. 

Dr Reiss - 16 basic motivations and objects of desire! 
Understanding that people have different motivators leads to reduced frustration! 

How do we decide what kids need to know? 
Historically this has been an homogenous process. 
The current system reinforces mediocrity, shuns excellence and diversity.

We're not delivering a poor education, but the wrong education. 

Transformational revolution - very few of these take place. 

The 4th industrial revolution - smart machines. 
No job is safe! 

What opportunities does this create to celebrate individual differences? 
To solve the 3 main problems in education?
Biggest thing we consume - choice

New paradigm - reverse of homogenised - diversified - creating a jagged profile of success - no one is the same. 

Another text to scan - The end of average. Todd Ross. 

Big data is useless for individual students - based on the average. 

Education needs to be: 
-  student driven and personalised - not compared to others, individual students have talent. Student autonomy. Have we changed teaching from instruction to supporting learning. 
- product driven - know how to problem solve - start with identifying what problems are worth solving ( are you bettering other people's lives) -
- globalised campus -do our students have the capacity to reach the globe 

We can't keep tinkering with education on a small scale. 

NB would have been interesting to be a fly on the wall when he spoke with Ministry and opposition around National Standards and Communities of Learners - neither of which he was in support of! 

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