Perhaps this has now become a cliché, but it’s worth reiterating that the jobs that today’s children will be doing when they’re adults haven’t even been invented yet. Meanwhile, successive governments making decisions about the direction and priorities in education seem to obstinately bury their heads in the sand and pretend that we can keep educating children like we did in the 19th century. As we can’t predict the future in a rapidly-changing world, wouldn’t it be more helpful if we ensured children are resilient, mentally-agile and able to navigate life and all its complexities, no matter what the future holds?
Don’t let your school get stuck in a developmental rut. In the latest IMS Guide - available here - these four disruptive educators share their top tips for doing things a little differently.
There is an abundance of initiatives helping to ensure that young citizens-in-the-making go on to a future beneficial for all living things. To help identify some of the exciting avenues that are opening up, here is a table with nine facets of education, and some critical thinking prompts, that could typify what forward-thinkers have been endeavouring to bring to fruition:
With the aim for the UAE to be #1 in the Global Innovation Index by the year 2021, it is hardly surprising that there is a heavy focus on innovation as part of the nation’s school inspection framework. However, as with most buzzwords, the term “innovation” has become somewhat debased. Even among experts the term is fiercely debated. This ambiguity leaves the average teacher with a quandary: they are being expected to increase the level of innovation in their practice, as well as helping foster innovation amongst their students, all the while being unclear of exactly what they are working towards.
I love the idea that Innovate My School is devoting a whole month to celebrating the mavericks and mayhem makers, the change agents and secret agents, the innovators and instigators and anyone not so classified who is trying to make change in education. I think I might qualify for inclusion. I was once profiled in a series entitled The Innovators. If you are ever desperate for distraction, you can use this link.
Be it through his current roles as the chair of a Multi-Academy Trust in Surrey, CEO of edu-organisation The Key, or as author of the 2017 book Mining for Gold: Stories of Effective Teachers, many of our readers will know the name Fergal Roche. Starting out as an English teacher, Fergal has since gone on to be headteacher at three schools between 1995 and 2007, and now works to improve the life chances of children and young people across the UK.
Education is ripe for disruptive change, leading to innovative practices that improve learning outcomes for our students. What might have worked in the past will not necessarily have the same impact today, as the world has changed dramatically in a short period of time. It’s safe to say that the seismic shifts we are witnessing as a result of technological advances will continue to reshape our world in ways that we could never have imagined. Disruption has become commonplace in the new world, and organisations have moved from adaptation to evolution in order to not only survive, but more importantly, thrive.
Each year I find myself seeking new PD opportunities that will help me grow as an educator and leader. More importantly, I am seeking new ideas to share with our upper school team here at Bullis School in Maryland. I have been fairly successful in this quest, although I always come away from the conferences with the same question. Why is the push for innovation and active learning always delivered in a ‘sit and get’ 45-90 minute session?