It was a delight as ever to bump into Judy O’Connell at the ACEL Conference. Judy was busy doing some podcasting work for the conference, so I could only say hello in passing. Judy’s blog continues to offer a wealth of ideas, thoughts, comments and intelligent debate on the state of education, whether in Parramatta or across the world. A recent post from Judy on Creating Possibilities in Learning described the thinking under way in Parramatta Catholic Education, under Greg Whitby, to re-assess the fundamental questions around schooling, such as “what is education?” and “what does it mean to prepare students for their lives in the 21st century”?.
Notions such as disruptive intelligence, “thinking is a dialogic and societal process”, knowledge as narrative (as a “story that works”) were all part of a discussion provoked by Yoram Harpaz, founding Director of the Community of Thinking programme at the Branco Weiss Institute in Jerusalem. As Judy writes:
“Yoram mentioned many times that schooling has been a very successful sociological experiment, but a failure for our students because of our inconsistency in our pedagogical frameworks.”
One of my themes when I deliver a Keynote at ACEL tomorrow will echo this, as I feel that the changing nature of society, the shifting relationship between teacher and learner, brought about by the changing relationship we have to knowledge in a Web 2.0 world, all mean that traditional pedagogies alone can no longer fulfil the needs of our young people as they learn how to survive and thrive in the world they now face.