New Zealand education has charged further into the future since 2015 and so it’s time to make this book free. I received fantastic feedback from readers and a huge thank you to all those who bought a copy.
A ‘build back better’ move would be to allow a portion of students’ load to be delivered remotely, giving teachers and students some space for variety in their schedule, and freedom from the byzantine and industrial timetable of schools.
In part, this reminds me of Dean Shareski’s call to use this distance to reassess education, although he is not alone with this callnot alone with this call. The challenge with this is at what cost does such change occurs. To staffing budgets? To equity? To privacy? To mental health? From this perspective, I was really taken by Naomi Klein’s post on the ‘Screen New Deal’. This quote summed it up best:
While there is no doubt that the ability to teleconference has been a lifeline in this period of lockdown, there are serious debates to be had about whether our more lasting protections are distinctly more human. Take education. Schmidt is right that overcrowded classrooms present a health risk, at least until we have a vaccine. So how about hiring double the number of teachers and cutting class size in half? How about making sure that every school has a nurse?
This is a point correlated by Bianca Hewes:
We need more teachers so we can reduce teaching loads and improve the lives of our teachers, and our students. We can say it’s up to individual schools to innovate in the post-COVID world, but it shouldn’t be an individual case thing – it should be a centralised decision so all teachers benefit.
I think that Truss captures this in highlighting the need to be slow and thoughtful about such transformation. Thinking about your own work, I feel that there are benefits to be gained around flipping instruction. However, I am not comfortable of wholly moving learning online on a permanent basis for learners and the various implications that has for education and learning.
I actually think that we still need significant development in regards to some of the byzantine software used to support the fluid structuring of learning, but that is a whole of comment that I do not have time for at the moment.