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ISQ Forum Challenges Educators to Re-Imagine Schooling for 2030

5 July 2017

Senior management and curriculum leaders from Queensland independent schools are today being challenged by national and international speakers to re-imagine how and what students should learn and what capabilities they will need to thrive in a 2030 world.

Independent Schools Queensland Executive Director David Robertson said the Brisbane forum, hosted by ISQ,  was one of a series of events to stimulate a national policy conversation about what the “next generation” Australian Curriculum could feature and the purpose of schooling in a globally connected and rapidly changing world.

Mr Robertson said at the international level Australia was already contributing to the creation of a 2030 global learning framework by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

“This is a timely and important global conversation that challenges schools and educators to fast forward their thinking; to imagine the world their students will be entering when they finish school and the knowledge, skills, capabilities and dispositions they will need to succeed and make a contribution to the global community in which they will be living,” he said.

Guest speaker Emeritus Professor Ronald Barnett from the University College London will tell the forum that educators need to switch up their thinking.

“The lesson for the day is quite simple; not to teach, but to let students learn. But to do so in a responsible way. To devise curricula and learning situations and to orchestrate matters so students are stretched and pulled out of themselves into new and challenging spaces,” he said.

Professor Barnett, an internationally acclaimed higher education analyst and author who has spent decades challenging tertiary institutions to re-imagine themselves, said it was the responsibility of educators “to help students understand their possibilities in the world”.

“In a classroom we will see profound differences in the way students come to us. Some actually come with very closed horizons and it’s our responsibility to widen those horizons … to give students a larger sense of their own possibilities.”

The level of connectedness many students already have to the world is often not well understood or well used in discussions about global citizenship, according to forum presenter, University of Melbourne Emeritus Professor Fazal Rizvi.

Professor Rizvi, a global studies expert, said understanding how students who live in Australia remain connected to their country of origin through skype, email and other communications, should be the basis upon which global citizenship is conceptualised in education.

“The relationships many students have to a wide range of places and people around the world are really quite extensive and give them a sense of belonging to the globe. We have to utilise that and build upon it rather than give students some very generalised view of global citizenship.”

St Paul’s School in Brisbane’s northern suburbs and Glasshouse Christian College, located in the Sunshine Coast hinterland, will share how they are preparing students for the future. Case studies on each school are featured in an ISQ Our Schools – Our Future discussion paper, Leading Curriculum Innovation. The discussion paper is available here.

Media Contact: Justine Nolan 0428 612 315 or

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