What schools for
Futures thinking and leading for uncertainty
The world is always in a state of flux.
Very little remains constant except for the
dislike we humans have of uncertainty,
death and taxes. However, the reality is
that we have always adapted, reimagined
and renegotiated our position in the world,
and our current lived experience is no
The nexus of technological development,
connectivity, open, collaborative platforms
and burgeoning learning ecosystems
could not have come at a better time.
The COVID-19 pandemic showed up our
traditional school systems, assessment
practices and metrics of success as
woefully inadequate for today’s dynamic
and challenging world. This presented the
much-needed ‘case for change’ for so many
schools, systems and leaders, and provided
an opportunity to test new ways of ‘doing’
formal education for all.
So many questions have been raised,
accelerated or revisited by the pandemic,
including deeply challenging provocations
around equity, access to learning, remote
schooling, exams, health, wellbeing, privacy
and data, to name but a few. In many ways
these provocations are not new. We have
been thinking about the future of education
in one shape or another for many years.
The excellent work done by organisations
such as the OECD on future scenarios of
schooling1 asked us to consider not only what
a possible future might look like, but also
challenged us to consider how we might coconstruct
a preferable future for education.
Many organisations, education systems,
leaders and learners took hold of the
opportunity for change that the last two
years of disruption provided. In this paper
we aim to reflect on and provide principles,
provocations and practical examples
around how we might renegotiate learning
in a hybrid world.
Overview & Preview
The authors reflect on principles, provocations and practical examples around how we might renegotiate learning in a hybrid world. They argue that a broad definition of hybrid reflects the complex realities we are faced with in education and allows us to focus more closely on the variables we need to consider when designing learning that is rich in technology, complex in nature, occurring in a range of settings and requiring nuanced learning design. They explore the purpose of education; the significance of agency and complexity; key variables; and the implications of adopting a Hybrid Learning model. They conclude that systems need to create the enabling factors that allow the renegotiation of learning in a hybrid world.
About the author.
Chris has a passion for learning and an unwavering belief in the potential of young people to save the world. His work allows him to help people get unstuck and design formidable solutions to the challenges they face. He is currently working at Google for Education, supporting Governments to explore the role of technology in underpinning healthy learning ecosystems.
Summer has been working in education for over 19 years as a teacher, education leader, policy maker, advocate and facilitator of learning for students and professionals across every system and sector in Australia. With expert knowledge in learning experience design, design thinking, middle years schooling and environmental education, Summer has taught in schools across Australia and the USA and is focused on work around Student Agency and Workforce Capability
to ensure every learner is successful.
This paper argues that futures thinking is an essential component to leading education systems in increasingly uncertain times.
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Leadership as a Learning Activity
School Improvement: Precedents and prospects
Education for human flourishing
Renegotiating Learning in a Hybrid World
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