One outcome from the July Australasian foresight conversations on education is to focus on introducing catalysts for change which are founded on enabling deep and meaningful learner agency. It is evident that top-down initiatives can be set to fail because of systemic resistance, interference by actors driven by commercial gain or political kudos, alongside the overall slow-changing conservatism of typical educational sectors.
If we want to enable zeitenwende, the dawn of a new era, then we need evidence-based processes and tools that can be operationalized and seen to have positive impact. One conclusion from the July sessions is that many of these can be made by educators and learners in-house without needing to wait for top-down national, regional, or other directives.
These processes and tools could involve new types of learning environments, innovative interdisciplinary programmes, and alternative teaching and learning methodologies. All the possible cross-generational and cross-sector possibilities need to focus on involving learners as active participants in both life-centric learning design. These are young people who learn to carry and realize responsibilities towards themselves and each other in successfully realizing outcomes and reaching goals.
In September the intention is to identify, catalyze and articulate how these can be applied in specific sectors.