I am not a huge fan of Ken Robinson.
In about 2007 I was excited by his Do Schools Kill Creativity? TED Talk which echoed the “Good radical stuff” espoused by Ivan Illich in the 1970’s.
In 2018 Ken is now Sir Ken, and his message sounds like popularist haranguing of teachers.
Does he think teachers don’t KNOW that they need to foster creativity in every student?
Does he think his badgering is helping them to grapple with a class full of demanding students, parents’ expectations, a rigorous curriculum and a school registrar who loses sleep over permission forms?
Schools don’t need Sir Ken Robinson.
Schools need a framework that facilitates engagement and collaboration between them, industry and community.
The Connecting the Worlds of Learning and Work report identified:
If school-industry partnerships are to be a priority in all schools – then industry engagement needs to first be prioritised at the system level. Rather than adding on more requirements for schools to deliver, this would mean education systems recognising the broader outcomes that industry partnerships contribute to, such as lifting career aspirations and increasing engagement in learning. (p19)
This is the sort of advice that will help schools to engage with the wider community.
There are 5 aspects to the enabling framework that schools need:
- A Governance Framework showing who is responsible for what and to what standard.
- A Management Framework that directs different aspects of the school environment.
- A Legal Framework that includes OH&S, child protection and industrial issues.
- A Financial Framework, and
- An ICT framework that facilitates data management and sharing.
It is in “2” the Management Framework, that we are seeing most change.
The West Australian State Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCASA) is responsible for managing the academic framework for schools. It is demonstrating its awareness of the need for change and there is an increasing number of SCASA endorsed opportunities for students to undertake to meet the requirements of their WA Certificate of Education (WACE).
As the WACE becomes more flexible, its viability as a management framework for education is becoming less critical. In the past, academic results, as measured by the ATAR, have been a shortcut for universities wanting to assess students’ capacity to undertake the rigours of university study.
Now only 26% of university students gain a place via their ATAR score. Universities are giving credit for university units to students while they are still in school and providing alternative pathways into university.
Students applying for vocational education places have always had a broader spectrum of application requirements….
Want to be a veterinary nurse?? What experience have you had with animals??
Apart from ad hoc efforts that are addressing the Management Framework I am not aware of moves to design comprehensive infrastructure that facilitates each aspect of collaboration.
The Fogarty EdFutures Foundation and Curtin’s Learning Futures Network are enthusiastically working to introduce strategies that will change the school environment but without fundamental enabling infrastructure that addresses each of the 5 Frameworks, they will be forced to tinker at the edges.
I have significant anecdotal evidence that enthusiasm to help schools from industry and the community is being left on the table for want of enabling infrastructure.
Invitation to Collaborate
If anyone has the capacity to kick start a project to develop and pilot infrastructure that engages all available resources to help our students to succeed, I would welcome the opportunity to become involved.