Three TEDx talks changing the game in Australian education

Educating for change article written on the 02 Jun 2015

Photo:TEDxRosalindParkED

What will education look like in the 21st century? Globalisation, the rise of standardised testing, and the technological revolution has put us at a crossroads. In March, Oxfam were part of 100 people at the TEDxRosalindParkED event held in Bendigo and heard from innovative experts here and overseas.

The TEDx event brought together leaders in education to share their cutting-edge outlooks on the shape of education to come.

Here’s a look at three of our favourite game changers:

1. Georgina Pazzi — Brave new teacher

Georgina’s concept of the ‘brave new teacher’ is a teacher who looks past preparing students for tests and preparing young people who have passion, compassion and are social change makers.

Her approach resonated strongly with us at Oxfam, as we felt a lot of her call to shift the paradigm aligns with our view that education is a powerful tool for enriching young people’s lives — and empowering them as individuals and global citizens. We see education as key to creating people who grow up to care about social justice and community, and are willing to act to make a difference.

2. Jackie Haines — Creating projects to enhance engagement

We loved this story of a literal stairway to success. Jackie wowed us with her story of how transforming a dark, dingy and quite frankly, scary stairwell, transformed her entire school.

Her talk takes a look at the preconditions for student success — strong leadership, high expectations, orderly learning environments, and focus — and how these tools mean students from any background can succeed in their goals and ambitions.

An important message was Jackie’s adamant stance that disadvantage doesn’t equal defeat. This message is at the core of what we do at Oxfam by helping ensure everyone has the right to be heard and that everyone has the ability and confidence to create change in their own community.

3. Leanne Lamb and Anmol Sandhu — The ‘we’ to succeed

We loved seeing a student and teacher pair up for this talk to demonstrate their school’s radical student-centered approach to learning. Students who choose to spend Friday night on a Facebook group about homework, anyone? Based in New Zealand, we also loved how their school incorporates Indigenous language and modes of understanding, demonstrated by Leanne’s pepeha (or introduction) and the school’s eight ‘norms for learning and behavior’, which are based in Maori language.

As part of the Close the Gap coalition, we know that respect for Indigenous cultures benefits the health and wellbeing of many Indigenous peoples, and would love to see more Aussie schools inspired by their example!

You can watch all the presentations from TEDxRosalindParkED presentations online.