Today I presented to a group at the Australian Council for Educational Leaders. The presentation was entitled, Creativity and Innovation in Education: Moving beyond best practice. I was surprised by the fact that the workshop paper session was attended by over 100 people.
There appears to be a some serendipity and convergence of thinking. As a profession I think that teachers and educational leaders are looking for ways forward.
For me there are some key things.
An increasing awareness that schooling (as it is largely practiced in Western, English-speaking countries) is largely obsolete. It still functions, but not as well as it could. Many policies related to schools are more about public assurance from this position of obsolescence.
For me, finding answers to the problems that face the profession lies with the profession. I believe that teachers can play a significant role in providing solutions to the problems facing education. Part of this movement forward requires teaching to view itself as the learning profession.
One of the limiting factors in moving forward are the views of teachers and teaching held not only by others outside of the profession, but by teachers themselves. These views can see teachers as implementers of policy reforms and initiatives of others outside of the profession. There is a perception that teachers also require stronger accountability and tighter standards (to give public assurance).
The challenge is to make a difference to the learning outcomes and life chances of all students. Seeking public reassurance may lead to superficial differences for students.
The challenge is to find authentic ways to engage teachers in improving their practice.