Experts will challenge legacy thinking, structures and practice in school education at an upcoming State Forum in Queensland.
The biennial Independent Schools Queensland (ISQ) ‘Think Next’ State Forum, which takes place 29 May, will feature thought-provoking presentations from experts in drone technology, demographic trends, education futures and politics.
The participating experts include Dr Catherine Ball (who will address the use of artificial intelligence, drones and robotics in schools and how these are negotiated in the community); Bernard Salt AM (who will address the rise of the millennial parent and their education expectations; University of Queensland Vice-Chancellor Professor Peter Hoj AC on student futures and Professor Peter van Onselen, who will address the post-election political landscape for school education.
ISQ executive director, David Robertson, said schooling is being impacted by advances in cognitive science about how students learn, new technologies and changing parent and community expectations, as well as socio-economic and employment trends.
“The future is now, and schools need to be as creative, flexible and entrepreneurial as they are educating their students to be,” Robertson said.
“Many Queensland independent schools have been recognised internationally and nationally for their trailblazing initiatives to transform teaching and learning approaches and to create ecosystems of new thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship.”
Robertson said independent schools are “keenly aware that they are not simply preparing students for the jobs of the future, they are equipping them with the skills, creativity and vision to create them”.
“There have been some incredible stories from within the sector about students becoming CEOs of their own start-up companies before they’ve even left school,” he said, adding that the forum will hear from one such past student during a panel discussion on generational expectations of education.
Robertson said parents were also very aware of the labour market and global challenges awaiting their children post-school.
“According to ISQ’s long-running What Parents Want survey, the number one reason why Queensland parents choose independent schools is because they prepare students to fulfil their potential in later life,” he said.
“The future vision for Australian schooling and the education goals the community holds for its young people are firmly on the national agenda.”
Australia’s State and Commonwealth Education Ministers are currently reviewing the 10-year-old Melbourne Declaration on Education Goals for Young Australians, which underpins the design and delivery of education and school curriculum.
Robertson said ISQ’s Think Next forum theme was therefore timely.
“We will feed the new ideas and thinking that emerges from the forum into the consultations on this important review,” he said.