Wednesday, July 8, 2015

NZPF Conference - The Storify Summary - Proceed with Caution

The beautiful Wellington Sunrise 
Last week was the NZPF Conference down in beautiful Wellington.  As always, it was a good opportunity to spend time with other leaders at the end of a very busy term, and a chance to think about all things educational - both locally and internationally.

Todays blog is simply the Storify Summary - future posts are forthcoming with my reflections, my wonderings and my two cents.  I think what struck me the most was the lessons that were told to us from offshore.  In many respects, we are most lucky here in 'Godzone'.  As a kiwi leader I, and my team, get a BIG say over what we teach, how we teach it and the kinds of authentic learning opportunities we want our students to participate in.  We develop our Charters, Strategic and Annual Plans and we develop the goals we wish to pursue, in consultation with our communities. Our Curriculum is rich and open - the jewel in our educational crown!  As self managing schools, we decide how we deliver it and in what ways we do this.

This is not the case in other Countries.

They are not so lucky.

Privatisation and the ever pervasive GERM (Global Education Reform Movement) have worked to systematically break down and dismantle key elements of the public education system, perpetuating the myth of failing teachers and failing schools.  The result has been an undermining of morale, those that were sharing their stories with us were very clear - they were signalling to us a very strong warning not to follow in their footsteps!  I will come back to this in future posts, as I was particularly struck by Meg Maguire from the UK and well know activist Diane Ravitch from the US .  Both left me feeling great empathy for our colleagues abroad, and concern for our worlds future generations.  The kind of meddling they outlined can not have a happy ending and I fear in decades to come, we will all be paying most dearly for this across the world.

Finally, whilst they are just some of my Twitter ruminations from the conference, they do highlight the warnings and some possible pathways forward, all of which I will explore in due course.  In the meantime, I leave you with the biggest message we were given.   That we need to protect the jewels in our collective educational crowns, not just for now, but for a global future.

In the words of Michael Fullan "You cannot mandate what matters".

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