Welcome to the March issue of CHILD magazines, introduced by our editor-in-chief, Kim Richards.
This week, as I arrived to drop my kids at school, the notice board got their attention with a quote by a world-famous educational reformer: “If we teach today’s students as we taught yesterday’s, we rob them of tomorrow.” They asked for my interpretation of the words, and I smiled and thought about the many university hours I spent reading the work of John Dewey, a man who believed in the power and place of education. Dewey argued that the importance of education was not only in gaining knowledge about life, but in learning how to live.
What followed was an animated discussion about how there was little value in spending years at school learning the techniques of fishing if, at the same time, the pollution in our oceans was killing all the fish. I asked them, “So what do you think is the most important thing to learn about fishing for the future?” My six-year-old decided it was how to build a tank big enough to keep all the fish safe. (The engineer.) My daughter wanted to take an ocean liner around the world, collecting all the garbage. (The environmental missionary.)
My eldest explained that we needed to find ways to stop humans creating pollution, and clean up what was there. “We could invent a really strong material that decomposes when it touches water,” he said. Scientist? Perhaps. The truth is, I don’t know because the jobs they will have in 20 years haven’t been defined yet.
CHILD is renowned for its ‘focus on schools’ March edition and we know this is because our readers value education as much as we do. This issue we talk with Marc Prensky, the man who coined the term ‘digital native’ and who has written widely on the subject of real-world education.
We also investigate ways parents can prepare their children for a future job market that doesn’t exist. We start an important conversation between a teacher, an education advocate and an academic about why so many Australian teachers are leaving the profession, and what needs to happen to change this. And, we ask four educationalists what they wish for the most for the future of our schools.
Their responses might surprise you…
I hope you enjoy this issue,