Let’s start with some positivity this month! The Qatar Foundation recently held their annual WISE Conference (virtually) in which they explored the implications of COVID-19 on the future of education leadership and school systems with some of the world’s best minds and leading thinkers on the topic.
Their overall summary? That “COVID-19 has offered a ‘golden ticket’ to the future of education” and that is such a fantastic and much-needed perspective to be taking right now:
Experts from around the world outlined how COVID-19 has left indelible marks on the global education landscape but could also lead to it being reformed in a way the world has never seen before. Professor John Hattie, Director of Melbourne Education Research Institute, commented on the paradigm shift in education caused by the pandemic, saying:
“Educators have engineered an educational revolution, and have worked out how to best suit their students online and blended learning. We could say that COVID-19 has offered us a golden ticket, a chance to disrupt the traditional grammar of schooling, to engage many more students during classes. It has given educators – and not policymakers – the opportunity to drastically improve learning in our schools, a chance to truly hear how students think, how they problem-solve, how they engage in learning, and how they could be efficient learners.
“We need to question the old structures we have held onto – not the value they bring, but what they may block – and whether their value is worth what they lead to us losing out on.”
Meanwhile here in Australia, the extraordinary damage done to Australia’s reputation through Canberra’s treatment of international students has continued to be a key point of focus.
We have included an important recent report by the Migrant Worker Justice Initiative on international students and temporary visa holders in Australia in which temporary migrants described their anguish of exclusion and racism during COVID-19 and of feeling as if they were merely ‘cash cows’ and ‘garbage’.
This is so disappointing, and it is hoped that our reputation as being a safe and inclusive education environment for all can be repaired.
We have also included a new report from the Centre for Future Work on how rebuilding Australia’s inclusive TAFE system is going to be vital for increasing productivity post-COVID.
And finally, an interesting read below from the Harvard Business Review on leading through times of trauma and using this as a personal and professional growth opportunity for you and your team.