World Leadership Summit Report

Physics teacher Fenella Colyer attended the week-long World Educational Leadership Summit in Singapore in April, along with 2000 other education professionals from all over the world.

She says the key messages included:

1. We are too content focused, at the expense of creativity, curiosity, innovation and deep thinking. The global experts on producing innovative and creative learners for the future believe our curricula are too wide and too shallow. The feeling is that students will forget content very fast, but will always retain skills and feelings. It is the skills we teach them, such as deep thinking, and the feelings we engender in them which will remain.

2. Curricula and assessment need overhauling, to enable teachers to cover less material but in far more depth. Most of what we teach students is freely available on the internet and they are quite capable, given the right skills, of finding out what they need for themselves.

3. Our real job should not be the imparting of knowledge for an assessment, but the development and encouragement of skills. To this end, certain scaffolds have been developed, called 'thinking routines'. As the name suggests, these routines are tools to be used daily, much as a pen is a tool too.

"Thanks go to the school for allowing me to attend this event. I will make sure that it does not go to waste."

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