There is a sense of safety and security when things stay the same.
The Cold Chisel song, Flame Trees, provides a vignette that speaks of our desire to go back to where we came from and find it unchanged:
Oh the flame trees will blind the weary driver
And there’s nothing else could set fire to this town
There’s no change, there’s no pace Everything within its place
Just makes it harder to believe that she won’t be around.
Number one is to find some friends to say “you’re doing well”
After all this time you boys look just the same
Number two is the happy hour at one of two hotels
Settle in to play “do you remember so and so?….
This sense of wanting things to stay the way they were is particularly strong if our memories are pleasant ones.
And so it can be in relation to our views of school and schooling.
If our experience of schooling was positive and it prepared us for a happy and successful life after graduation, we can sometimes be uncomfortable when we find that the school world of our children is very different to what we experienced.
As someone who found education exciting as a student and who has, generally, pleasant memories of being a student (despite unfounded rumours, begun by my peers at another school, that I was once expelled from two schools), I can understand the sense of loss that some parents may feel looking at where education is going.
While we will never demean the value of core educational skills: literacy, numeracy, clear behavioural expectations and high aspirations, a new mode of education is being created to meet the world our students will inhabit in the future.
On January 23rd this year, we launched the St Columba Deeper Learning program to our parents.
Those who were able to attend (and we apologise that the air-conditioned theatre was unavailable as it is undergoing its final fit out) were given a picture of how we are going to address the demands of our rapidly evolving world so that our students have the greatest opportunities to succeed now and in the future.
Terms like the 6C’s, Project Based Learning (PBL), Collaboration, Resilience, Agility and Transferable Skills will become the new language of education that our students will come home and share with parents.
I ask our parents not to panic if this all seems a bit strange, new and frightening.
For the last three years we have been trawling the best and most successful educational minds and movements from around the world so that we are able to continue to offer the very best in education to our students.
It would be much easier for a school like ours to sit back and hope that what has worked for our students in the past will continue to work in a world that is rapidly shifting and changing.
“The sun is behind me.
Nothing has changed since I began.
My eye has permitted no change.
I am going to keep things like this.”
Hawk Roosting, Ted Hughes.
It would be easy for me to believe that we can hold back the tide that will see out students competing, not just with their classmates or neighbours but the rest of the world in their careers, but this could be seen as a betrayal of our students.
They deserve better than that!
“Early domination in any market does not ensure future success”.
Mark Scott, Secretary, DEC
Deeper Learning is no transitory educational “fad” but a teaching and learning process that is shown to successfully engage students in the kind of learning that will prepare them for a successful life after school.
If what you see and hear about how and what your child is learning worries you, I ask that you contact the School and talk to your child’s teacher, talk to our Academic Directors or Head of School because we believe:
The world of education may not be the same as the one you experienced as a student, but one thing has not changed, our Vision for our school:
At St Columba we will transform the lives of our students by offering the educational opportunities that will allow them to have lives of purpose, service and engagement.
Mr Terry Muldoon
Principal, St Columba Anglican School