Activity 6 (ACP)
The provocations to be addressed in this activity were separated into New Zealand and International contexts.
NZ – What are contemporary issues of NZ education which you find most relevant to your practice? To what extent does the issue impact on your practice? How would you address these issues?
International – What are current issues or trends of global education in the 21st Century? How would you respond to these issues or trends in your practice? Are there any lessons from other countries that you find particularly inspiring or relevant.
I wasn’t sure what angle I wanted to take so I did what any curious person doing research would do and read up about both New Zealand and International issues/trends. What I discovered was that there were overlaps in issues that education faces globally, so I want to address those overlaps this week. I think it is a good thing to know that the issues we are struggling with and aiming to rectify here are no different than the issues being faced and analysed in overseas schooling. It is comforting to know that where ever you go in the world the expectations of what we want for students is a global phenomenon and we are all working towards the same goal. This highlights the fact that so much is accessible online now that we are able to share our stories and resources to work for that common goal – STUDENTS and LEARNING. The 21st Century affects everyone and with the workplace branching out virtually all students need to be able to function in the global ‘playground’.
Firstly I read through a couple of NZ resources to pick out main themes here, then I aligned those same issues with what came up in international observances.
The Education Review Office (2012)stated in, The three most pressing issues for New Zealand’s education system, revealed in latest ERO report, that there are three major issues that need addressing in New Zealand. These are based around centering learning around the student, creating a flexible (“responsive”) curriculum and how assessment needs using to know about and plan for students. In A Global Perspective: Current Trends and Issues in ICT for 21st Century Education the international issues that aligned with ours were forming new conceptions of formal and informal learning, revising professional development, equitable resourcing and infrastructure of digital technologies, enhancing student learning,
Countries like Canada and Australia appear to have variations in national agendas as they are split into provences and territories, but there seems to be progress in aligning across the countries especially when it comes to assessment and teacher education.
Canadian researcher Michele Jacobsen outlined (in A Global Perspective: Current Trends and Issues in ICT for 21st Century Education) that enhancing student engagement through better resourced environments/increased access to systems and tool decreased inequalities, much like what researcher Niki Davis (from same article) said of the issues being addressed in New Zealand for priority learners.
Norweigan and Turkish educational reforms see enhancing opportunities and use of technology through greater professional development. The cultural aspects, like with NZ, are relevant to the construction of integration for their learners. The Turkish element does, however, have more of a focus on curriculum that improves the hardware in classrooms, which aligns with what Niki Davis states about improving access, across all areas of the country, to digital technologies.
The Netherlands, like NZ, talk about “personalised learning” where curriculums are flexible and personal to the learner. This is something that is a becoming a trend in NZ in creating new curriculums that align with 21st Century Skills.
What is clear is that worldwide the 21st Century Skills sought to be interwoven into more flexible curriculums are: “Communication, collaboration, digital literacy, social and cultural skills, problem solving, critical thinking, creativity and self regulation – important for living and working in a digital society” (A Global Perspective: Current Trends and Issues in ICT for 21st Century Education) and that education needs to reform itself to cater for the changes constantly being created.
What does all this mean to my own practice?
I am part of developing a more fleixble curriculum in my school, and from seeing what current issues are, this is what needs to be happening. I am readily able to look outside of our school and nationally for inspiration of how others are trying to implement such changes globally. The relevance internationally has actually surprised me, but I see this as meaning more opportunity to cast a wide net for educational connections. Not only are we negotiating these issues here, it proves that all learners, not matter the background or circumstance are the same, and seek the same supports to become confident and connected 21st Century learners. This means that my practice has to evolve with the world.
The education debacle: How do we solve this problem?
Retrieved from: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11168352
A Global Perspective: Current Trends and Issues in ICT for 21st Century Education
Lynne Schrum West Virginia University, Niki Davis Canterbury University (New Zealand), Michele Jacobsen University of Calgary (Canada), Andreas Lund ProTed, Center for Excellence in Teacher Education, University of Oslo (Norway), H. Ferhan Odabasi Anadolu University (Turkey), Joke Voogt University of Amsterdam & Windesheim University (The Netherlands), Jennifer Way University of Sydney (Australia)
Knowledge and Education as International Commodities: The Collapse of the Common Good
Philip G. Altbach
Retrieved from: http://ejournals.bc.edu/ojs/index.php/ihe/article/viewFile/6657/5878
Taking a “future focus” in education. April 2012. Shifting to 21st Century Thinking in education and Learning. NCER.
Retrieved from: http://www.shiftingthinking.org/?cat=269
Claire Amos. Wednesday, September 16, 2015. “Tech doesn’t improve student results – study” – why news reports like this are damaging (and missing the point). LEARNING LEADING CHANGE. A blog about teaching, learning, e-learning and leading change
Retrieved from: http://www.teachingandelearning.com/
Education Review Office (2012).The three most pressing issues for New Zealand’s education system, revealed in latest ERO report – Education Review Office.
Retrieved from: http://www.ero.govt.nz/About-Us/News-Media-Releases2/The-three-most-pressing-issues-for-New-Zealand-s-education-system-revealed-in-latest-ERO-report