I went to this event last night as part of Vivid Creative Sydney (#VCS). With me were: Jemima McDonald (change agent, @jemimaeve special subject: Shark Island), Sophie McDonald (Jemima’s mother, @misssophiemac special subject: workplace disruption) and Dr Belinda Tiffen (intellectual, @bella1609 special subject: big words). I was invited to tag along because they felt sorry for me and because they thoight it would be good for me to hang around with some smart people.
Christopher Nicholls the founder of Sistema Australia was up next and spoke of the power of unlocking imagination through culture and technology. His initiative with Sistema brings to Australia a program started in Venezuela that transforms the learning and development of disadvantaged students through the power of music. He says it develops their ability to imagine and that is lacking in our current learning structures, possibly because of too many boundaries, rules, measures that do not value creativity and competition between institutions.
Finally Sharon Clerke from the Foundation for Young Australians/NAB Schools First program spoke of the benefits of deeper community involvement and partnerships in school education programs.
The discussions after their short presentations stressed the importance of social connections, sharing and a future in which personal and learning connections extend well beyond physical and institutional boundaries. The panelists saw great benefit in immersive sharing and the use of social capital if it is accessible as well as blurred boundaries between school, community, home and work. There was some talk about performance measurement and assessment in schools and how that fails to properly recognise the humanities and creative skills.
When asked to quickly sum up their key points for the future these were their final messages:
- We must unpack all of our current assumptions about education;
- We should embrace change now because it is only going to become more rapid;
- We must understand our humanity; and
- We need to increase our openness to community & our willingness to share.
For me I was reminded of the power and importance of connections and community and the importance of altruism for the future. I think that if these key points are ignored institutions will be locked into a world of isolation, defending their own selfishness.