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Nick Mackeson-Smith
Nick Mackeson-Smith
Chief Curiosity Officer, Founder and Director
October 14, 2019

Education today is changing.

It’s different to what many of us grew up with, and may feel unfamiliar or “loose” to those of us who had a more formal and structured education. These days, knowledge can be accessed instantly and doesn’t necessarily need to be committed to memory for ever. The skills our children will need to be successful in this world are demonstrably different to the ones we developed at school. The rate of change has increased significantly, and our approach to education has had to make some pretty big leaps to stay relevant.

I visited Nick Pattison and his colleagues at Ormiston Junior College in Auckland, NZ to see a well-established modern learning programme in action, and I loved what I saw.

  • The “see how much you can remember” is largely replaced by “see what you can discover and figure out”.  
  • Control and rigidity is replaced by flexibility and freedom to explore in a high trust setting. Students were asked what they were working on, what support they thought they needed, and then encouraged to self-organise (which they did… no-one drifted off… everyone remained on task).
  • Children are encouraged to make connections outside of their sphere of influence to gain different perspectives and increase their understanding. In the time I was there, I heard from students about their findings after conversations with overseas teachers, local iwi, and business leaders in NZ.
  • The children used technology with ease - using Microsoft Sway, Pages, Notes, PowerPoint, Prezi, iMovie - whatever tools they wanted to use and felt comfortable to use to convey their ideas. It was also neat to see them streaming their content to the nearest AirPlay equipped TV when they were ready to seek feedback on their ideas!
  • Individual reflection and assessment is a huge part of the daily routine. Students talked about “their biggest learning challenge” over the last week, and talked eloquently about “needing to fail faster”, or “collaborate more”, or “move out of procrastination and into delivery more quickly”.  
  • The role of the teacher has evolved to one of a learning coach - there to guide and support the children in discovering things for themselves.

I see this in many schools I visit and support - OJC certainly aren’t the exception to the rule in the work they are doing. The important thing is that it wont be long before programmes like these are more widespread, and these young learners enter the workforce; with them they will bring their ways of thinking, collaborating, problem solving, and their incredible growth mindset.

To say it’s going to rock our worlds would be an understatement.

Employers - get ready.

Chat to us at Five…. we’re here to help you and your business get ready for these incredible people, and all the skills and capabilities that they’ll bring with them.

Photo by Resume Genius on Unsplash

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October 14, 2019
October 14, 2019

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