Tony Moffa – Senior School Learning Area Leader

During the Professional Development week at the beginning of the year, teaching staff had the pleasure of spending one day with educational thinker and futurist Louka Parry. Louka’s brief was to challenge us by highlighting the emerging narrative around the future of learning. He modelled the Standford University Design Model, and we developed prototypes of what learning may look like at Cornerstone in the future, based around 5 key provocations.

  1. What do we understand about the pace of change?
  2. How do we allow for more curiosity, self-exploration and student agency?
  3. How might we treat learners (students and teachers) as whole people – learning focusing on physical, spiritual, social, emotional and mental wellbeing?
  4. How might we design a compass with our learners, not build the map?
  5. How might we ask better questions?

As we were discussing the future of learning, we thought it important to include students’ perspective and voice. We invited our Student Leaders to take part in the workshop. More than 20 current and 2020 Student Leaders gave up a morning of their holidays to join the staff in professional learning. Their contribution was insightful and invaluable. Louka is an advocate for student agency and was impressed with our students’ perceptive, mature and honest contribution to our discussion about what learning could be at Cornerstone.

When compared with previous industrial revolutions, the 4th is evolving at an exponential rather than a linear pace. Moreover, it is disrupting almost every industry in every country. The breadth and depth of these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management and governance. Education, without question, is being disrupted by the pace and scale of change.

One aspect of Louka’s presentation that resonated with me, and with most staff, was that even though we have never been more connected (virtually) as a global community, our physical connectedness has declined. This is evident from research highlighting that people have become more physically isolated as they worked or learnt from home during the pandemic. In fact, I am still frustrated by the global community’s call to ‘social distancing’ during the pandemic. Surely, we should be maintaining physical distancing but advocating enhancing our social networks for our wellbeing.

The challenges we worked through with Louka are shown below. Using the Design Thinking Model enabled us to examine our current practices in one of these areas to consider possible future directions as a learning community.

One area we are currently exploring is the development of a whole school model and consistent language around design thinking, a critical competency for the future of learning and work. We have started by unpacking what each learning area currently does in the area and are in the process of creating a Year 7-10 inquiry cycle prototype to be used by all learning areas. We are continuing our work in both the AISSA Learner Profile and Meta-Praxis Projects, their focus being on capturing evidence around the general capabilities. We continue to develop best practice around the challenges of mental health and social cohesion.

I leave you with one of the quotes that Louka uses:

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make”. Jane Goodall

The Future of WorkInnovation CapacityEducational AttainmentMental HealthSocial Cohesion
How can education equip all young people with the skills and competencies for rapidly evolving economies and the digital revolution?How can schools foster initiative, resilience and entrepreneurial spirit?How can we improve learning outcomes in all contexts, especially for those children and adults on the margins of society?What can education do to help promote wellbeing and reduce mental health difficulties?
How can we help young people feel confident in their own identities and vested in community at local to global levels?