Australian education has moved into a new phase of adaptation and transformation to meet the needs of our learning communities – young people, employers, and educators as well as Australia’s broader social and economic needs.
Australian educators work within schools and across different learning environments – On-Country, at home and in the workforce. And young people learn in a range of environments and settings – on the farm, On-Country, at home, while living overseas or during work experience, through their life experience, personal interests or creative pursuits. On top of this during COVID-19, delivering education online has been mandated. And with the shift in emphasis on virtual learning we have further exposed many of the problems of isolation and inequity in the process.
Learning Creates is seeing that the learning community is open and ready to embrace widespread change if it is based on solid evidence, is well supported by the learning ecosystem and trusted by young people and our broader community.
ASSESSMENT AS THE LEVER FOR CHANGE
Why we are starting here
The Learner’s Journey is the first project driven by Learning Creates Australia and the learning community following on from several years of feasibility testing and research to identify a strong lever and launchpad for widespread change in Australian education.
The Learner’s Journey will establish ways of recognising learning that enable all 15- 19 year olds to demonstrate their levels of confidence and creativity, knowledge and know-how.
We can confidently say that if assessment and recognition changes, so too does the curriculum and organisation of learning. For these reasons, this is our starting point. The opportunity for impact is powerful.
‘If education is to develop young people as capable agents it can no longer rely on learning by routine. It needs to take young people wider, deeper and further, to give them experiences of what it is like to take action, to make things, to serve the community, to work with others and to take on challenges that might once have daunted them.’
THE URGENT NEED FOR CHANGE
The role of education has never been so important
For Australia to adapt and thrive into the near future, we urgently need all members of our society to be embracing learning through their life.
As it stands, our education systems and structures are no longer able to meet this challenge. The jobs we learn about today are very different to the types of work we will be doing in the coming years and decades.
The vast majority of new jobs will require higher technical and interpersonal skills. But they will also require creative thinking, problem solving abilities and a commitment to learning through a range of settings and experiences.
Our current education system has not been able to address the many barriers that exist around learning. Too many children and young people are not thriving at school. There are too many obstacles in their way. With some new thinking and new solutions we could be providing opportunities for everyone to learn.
Right now our education system is resulting in high rates of youth unemployment and underemployment. Our employers are also telling us that they struggle to find the skills and attributes they need.
How we define and measure success in learning is too narrow. It is limiting young people’s ability to prepare for their future. This flows through to Australia’s workforce participation and productivity. And it flows through to the health and wellbeing of our whole society.
NEW AND BETTER PATHWAYS
The key outcomes for this work
- New forms of recognition and credentials that have social and economic currency
- A system that embraces agency in young people and creates more effective and equitable pathways for them.
While core disciplines like literacy and numeracy, maths and science provide the essential foundations in learning from our early years and through school, our current systems don’t place enough value on other in- school and out-of-school experiences to create a more rounded view of learning that is formally accepted and recognised at a national scale.
The idea of success needs some interrogation – without dismantling the things that are indicating positive change.
Collectively, we have gathered and curated a body of evidence on how success is currently defined within the education system, with insights into who benefits from that definition of success and who is left behind.
The process will deliver:
We have partnered with the University of Melbourne to inform and evidence new approaches, PwC Australia to guide the Social Lab process and YLab will ensure young people are front and centre throughout our work with a diversity of voices reflected.
We appreciate that metrics used in assessment and recognition of learning and in national monitoring are complex, and technically sophisticated and that it is easy to do damage, particular to the interests of disadvantaged communities. Accordingly the methodology will integrate the thinking of technical experts, so that solutions are prototyped, modeled, and stress tested, ensuring that they are robust, feasible, and fair, and that they meet the demanding quality standards required of various stakeholders (such as universities).