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Civica: Only 18 years - The near future for schools

Civica in partnership with Hamish Curry, General Manager, Cool Australia, has published ‘Education 2040: The near future of schools’. The series is a spectrum of voices across the education system that share their envisioning of the sector in 18 years.

2040 has been identified as a pivotal milestone for our earth. A milestone that will signpost how we’ve addressed the significant challenges of climate change and how we’ve adapted our resources, technology, and communities. Education is core to all this. The design, scale, and shift we bring to education will help us meet this near future - one that is only 18 years away. The same time it takes for a child to move through school. 18 years ago, it was 2004.

Each author that accepted to respond to this provocation was struck by the same conundrum - What will change? What will stay the same? How can I possibly capture that balance and scope in such a short piece?

This series of articles on the 2040 milestone comes from six education perspectives -

• two system leaders,

• a school principal,

• a school teacher,

• an early childhood educator, and

• a student.

They all wrestle with what’s happened and what’s to come with different levels of experience and perspectives on education. With one simple truth - education must evolve faster than we’re currently seeing.

Even if we take an 18-year retrospective back to 2004 and assume that education and our world will change at the same pace with similar impacts since that time, we must surely realise that much more needs to change. Since 2004 we’ve seen the rapid and frequent evolution of technology hardware and services, of curriculum, of economies and employment, of climate disasters, of pandemics, of job disruption, of war and human injustice, and of the extinction of flora and fauna. Having those same areas evolve again in the next 18 years would make any head spin. This is the probable future.

Our authors don’t see it all this way - they have preferred futures. They come with lived experience and insight on how we can do better and how we are shaping more promising systems and services around education. This includes envisioning and enacting better education around First Nations people and culture, around the role of play, on a shorter school week, by connecting our ecosystems, by elevating social-emotional learning, and by

listening to youth.

There’s a famous saying attributed to the ancient Greek philosopher Epictetus ‘We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.’ I hope you can hear the voices of our authors coming through loud and clear. Education 2040 is only 18 short years away, a near future we all aspire to make better for our learners everywhere.

02 8324 3000

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