In my first year as CEO of the CEA, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing our vision and mission with so many educators across Canada. I’ve realized that the courage it takes to provoke a shift among deeply entrenched mindsets of traditional teaching and learning is long overdue. We can all agree that we want all our young people to be ‘21st Century’ problem solvers, critical and creative thinkers, collaborators, and great communicators, but our vision for how we get there ranges from a little tinkering to a massive makeover, and most innovators face roadblocks when they push the envelope for the latter. This is why it’s time to move beyond 21st Century rhetoric and build strategies that will nurture innovation and not deter it. CEA is working hard to convince you that this transformation needs to happen.
At the 2011 CEA Council Meeting, 21st Century Learning: From Rhetoric to Reality, participants will have the opportunity to hear from three speakers who have a first-hand knowledge and experience with innovative pedagogy internationally, in a Canadian school, and in a Canadian classroom. Following presentations, speakers will explore the barriers they face in moving their innovative thinking towards more systemic transformation.
This Council meeting is not about simply assembling experts in the field of education and from the private sector together to look at what innovative practices can be. It’s about developing a deeper sense of commitment amongst the participants to finally move the discussions and debates to more pragmatic realities. Pilot projects in education have been the easiest means to demonstrate that innovation and transformation of education can occur, but rarely have these projects become systemic.
For decades, education has placed a considerable amount of resources and energy into establishing equity, especially at the student entry points. However, education stops the application of this fundamental principle and an increasing number of children leave education, either disillusioned or seriously questioning the pertinence of what they have learned. Equity of Output, ensuring that all children achieve their potential, must become the next ‘21st Century’ objective. Ensuring Equity of Output obliges all education stakeholders to focus on the establishment of new learning/teaching environments that meet the needs of all children and not only a minority of them.
This Council meeting will bring this principle to the forefront and provide a critical platform for exchange and debate on how to truly meet the needs of ALL children.