On the precipice of disrupting Education

On researching this blog, it dawned on me, my friend Jannine Webb has been an educator for over 35 years!

Initially teaching biology and human biology, today Jannine is the Head of Secondary School at Frederick Irwin Anglican School in Mandurah, Western Australia. Frederick Irwin has 1,600 students from kindergarten to year 12 and offers a full complement of ATAR subjects and pathways.

Jannine Webb and her son

The occurrence of Covid in 2020 highlighted the pitfalls of the current ATAR pathway in Western Australia. Jannine believes the current education system is more than ready to be disrupted as it is industrial – an archaic system caught in a time warp.

The homogenized product of education has the problem of not meeting the needs of the majority of learners. Final year courses are content based but real life isn’t. Technology does it for us and enables us to look up anything. Courses aren’t geared to the real world and don’t respond to changes in the workplace and social developments.

Photograph by Max Fischer

Positive change is evident as young kids are self-selecting You Tube as a form of learning and loving it. Jannine is most adamant this form of learning needs to be reflected in the classroom. Online learning helps solve the dilemma of timetable issues. Clashing classes and the need for face to face learning will be diminished.  

The implication of more specified courses for university entry would make a large inroad into changing the current educational system. Choosing units to suit what tertiary courses require enables real world scenarios in the classroom relevant to the workplace.

Photograph by Jes Hoots

There also needs to be a reduction on reliance in exams as project based learning reflects university and real life.

Jannine is all too aware of what future employers are looking for in university graduates. The importance of a good IQ, an understanding of how the world works, ability to work with others, the ability to empathize and how you manage and adapt to change makes a graduate employable now.

As we sit on the precipice of educational disruption, we can cross our fingers that a new education system reflects the requirements of the real world.  

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