In May 2018, around 1,400 people got together in Christchurch and Auckland to lay the foundation for the future of learning in New Zealand.
The two events brought together participants from all walks of life: students, parents, teachers, academics and employers, etc. Special emphasis was placed on inviting people and communities whose voices are not always heard – Māori, Pacific people, children and young people, and people with disabilities and learning support needs, and groups like junior teachers in small rural schools, young people on probation and small employers. The end result was two of the most inclusive and diverse education events ever held in New Zealand.
Education Minister Chris Hipkins set the scene with his opening address, calling on participants to help the Government and New Zealand develop a common vision of education and learning for the future.
The conversations focused on the future. Participants spent most of the first day learning from speakers and from each other. This was designed to uncover new insights about what the future might look like and what opportunities it could provide. They also identified some of the values they believed should be woven through future learning.
On the second day, participants explored the connection between the possibilities they uncovered on Day 1 and some of the values they related to most. This produced hundreds of principles and ideas that could become the foundation for the future of education and learning in New Zealand.
Participants found looking 30 years ahead a challenging and rewarding experience. They were a very diverse group, coming to the conversation from many different places. Yet, together they ensured the dialogue was authentic, inclusive and valuable. Together, they created a place to explore frustrations, as well as hopes and dreams.
More than 1,000 principles, values and ideas for the future of learning were captured at these two events. This material was represented during the events in word form and as whiteboard images. These principles, values and ideas will be used to develop a shared vision for the future of learning in Aotearoa. They will also be used to inform the various aspects of the Government’s Education Work Programme.