Oceans of Innovation

Posted in: Comment, New Publications

A new publication from the IPPROceans of innovation: The Atlantic, the Pacific, global leadership and the future of education: economy, education, political ideas, world politics. training and skills.

The blurb begins ...

The economic and educational achievements of the Pacific region in the past 50 years are spectacular – unprecedented in fact.  They lay a foundation for the next 50 years – a much better foundation than exists in many Atlantic systems – but the mix of factors that brought those achievements will not be capable of meeting the challenge ahead.

... and goes on ...

This long essay by Sir Michael Barber, Katelyn Donnelly and Saad Rizvi assumes the near certainty that the Pacific region will take primary leadership of the global economy in the near future and explores the implications for their education systems, calling for a 'whole-system revolution' in the structure and priorities of teaching and learning in the region.  What is clear, though, is that education – deeper, broader and more universal – has a significant part to play in enabling humanity to succeed in the next half century.  We need to ensure that students everywhere leave school ready to continue to learn and adapt, ready to take responsibility for their own future learning and careers, ready to innovate with and for others, and to live in turbulent, diverse cities.  We need perhaps the first truly global generation; a generation of individuals rooted in their own cultures but open to the world and confident of their ability to shape it.  The growing pace of change and increasing complexity mean that global leadership will no longer be merely about summits behind closed doors.  In an era of transparency, leaders will find themselves constantly in dialogue with those they purport to lead.  Meanwhile, innovations which transform societies can and will happen anywhere.   Leadership, in short, will be widely dispersed and will require increasing sophistication.

The Atlantic story is a well-known one, told with verve by many, including by Simon Winchester (directly) and by Henry Hobhouse (more obliquely), and looking to the Atlantic has been the present and future of these islands for almost a thousand years.  All this is an absorbing read, but it's telling that the authors are sufficiently confident to ignore questions about the significance of the sustainability of the environmental / social sort, apart from a couple of passing references.  Hubristic, perhaps – or a genuine conviction that what schools do in relation to this doesn't matter all that much?

And what will our own national curriculum revisions say about this?  Still waiting ...

Posted in: Comment, New Publications


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