Friday, 29 February 2008

What does 21st century learning look like from where we are??

What does the future hold? - this somewhat unusual photograph showing the ceiling of the tent at the Opening Reception for the 2008 National Education Conference. The more you look the more you see, twinkling moving green spots of lights, the areas of blue light moving around - a form of endless ever moving horizon - clever idea!
A small group of us sat down yesterday to a) reflect on the massive journey we have been on in the past two and a half years, b) identify the successes we have already achieved and c) start to consider what learning will look / should look like as move towards the future.

Inevitably we spent ages talking about teaching and learning styles, the massive professional development issues, recruitment and induction of staff in this fairly transient teaching population and the changing role of leadership. With Professor Stephen Heppell with us how could we not also vitally discuss the complete integtration of technology for learning throughout the country, as we move towards the concept of 'Campus Cayman' - a learning country.

We also have a good number of professionals within our system who can offer the benefit of what the past two years has been like for them and identify what we learn from them, especially as we move towards our new secondary campuses in particular.

This is particularly true of our School Leaders who helped lead the charge from one massive secondary school to the creation of four small schools on one campus - the 'schools within schools' model. Whilst there is no doubt that over the past eighteen months it has transformed the learning and school experience for stuidents, staff and parents, the staff have much experience to offer as we develop this model further on the new campuses. Many developments take place around the world without using their own professional resources - we mustn't make the same mistake.

These conversations are so stimulating, and given the holistic approach we have taken as a country, this confirms my belief that I really do currently have one of the best jobs around in education - no question!.

Three of the discussion group: Professor Stepehen Heppell, Ministry Chief Officer; Mrs Angela Martins and Deputy Chief Officer; Mr Vaughan Carter try unsuccessfully to forget the camera as I take the photo.

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