Charles Fadel

Recently I attended the forum held at Sancta Maria College in East Auckland. This was a two day event hosted by Infinity Learning. The main speaker was Charles Fadel - a renowned researcher and theoriser on the educational attributes that our young people require to be successful learners in the future.

Fadel's work has been summarised in full later in this website - CLICK HERE.

In essence Fadel outlines a framework that our young people require to be successful. This framework includes Knowledge, Skills, Character, and the Meta-Cognitive ability to be able to apply and link all these aspects.

In my view this is an accomplished piece of work but somewhat obsolete. In my mind these are concepts that have been banded around the education sector for decades, concepts that are most certainly relevant, but definitely not new. And this is the disappointing part. When you attend a conference such as this the hope is that you will learn something new, instead this was a regurgitated presentation that is readily available on YouTube.

That said the chance to collaborate with ones colleagues in a setting such as this is a unique opportunity and one well worth taking.

I also came away troubled by this presentation. I believe it is time that we collaborated together to work on implementing these frameworks in the education sector, the practical application. It is commonly held knowledge that the current structures and procedures do not permit much flexibility, but who is in charge of these? Who dictates the rules? Yes the Ministry to some extent but a number are self imposed strategies that we are clinging too.

The recent report by the Tomorrow's Schools Independent Taskforce is something we can be proud of. Our sector now has a formal document that outlines the issues, concerns and inefficiencies of our current system and sets recommendations that will support us to refocus our collective talents - an exciting time.

It was also heartening to visit Ormiston Junior College (East Auckland) while I was in Auckland. Here we have a brand new Year 7-10 'middle' school that is turning education on its head. A bold initiative and one well worth keeping an eye on.

Ben Ward-Smith


Lytton Street School, Feilding

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