The Future of Education

The media regularly states that education has not changed since we were at school. I disagree! It has changed significantly, but we also have many opportunities to consider further changes in the future.

The key differences our girls experience today, compared to our schools days, are:

  • a greater focus on the application of knowledge and a focus on thinking,
  • integration of technology and information available in seconds via Google,
  • the variety of courses on offer such as Fearless 5s, Active Adventures,  Design, Brainstem, Make and Create, Stengineers,
  • the varied learning spaces, and
  • many opportunities beyond the classroom, for example, Service, Music, Dance, Social Justice, Sustainability and Sport. To mention a few.

Miriam Borthwick, a former ABC journalist, did an excellent job facilitating an evening of discussion for parents and staff on the Future of Education.

Panel members included:

If you wish to watch the session please click HERE

Key discussion points

  • Government organisations, schools and universities need to work together to create change in education.
  • Student choice and personalised pathways in education can promote greater engagement among students.
  • Removal of Year group levels at Templestowe College as an example of innovative thinking about ways school could offer subjects.
  • Young minds have great potential and entrepreneurial ideas if they are given an opportunity to express their creativity and even develop their own businesses.
  • The stress of Years 11 and 12 studies is not just due to the requirements of ATAR or General courses. There are many external factors, such as:
    • the busyness of life,
    • sporting,
    • work, and
    • social and family commitments.

These all in addition to the student’s study, together create pressure.

  • Collaboration is a key attribute in the workplace, yet students in schools find this very challenging when assessed and at the university level, cultural differences have proved challenging. In the workplace, people with different skillsets must be able to come together as a team and solve problems.
  • ATAR is one pathway. Many other pathways lead to success in life and may even prepare students more effectively.
  • Schools need to provide opportunities for students to develop resilience to help them adapt to changing environments post-school.
  • Attributes such as those developed at the College through our Connecting Learning to Life focus will enable our girls to be better prepared for the future. These attributes will be more important than knowledge.
  • Importance of giving our young women ‘hope’ in a changing world of work


“It was great to see that all stakeholders, who are at the forefront of our children’s future, can have an open dialogue about the possibilities of how education could look in the future.” Karen Lamond (Parent)

“Thank you for the opportunity to attend a panel discussion on the Future of Education. It was thought provoking to hear a range of perspectives on where education may need to head to actively support students.  It was certainly confirmed that Santa Maria’s approach to adapting teaching is helping to prepare students for some of the challenges they may face in higher education and work environments. It was REALLY good!” Yvonne Urqhuart (Past Parent, College Advisory Council)

“I found the panel to be most interesting. The speakers were excellent. What I was really pleased with, is that many of the skills and attributes which the panel said were required for employment are being nurtured at SMC through our co-curricular programs, service activities and faith formation. I often forget that not all schools have such a scope of opportunities.” Clare O’Conner (Teacher)

“The future of education in Australia is a ‘high risk’ priority as our economy transitions to services. Fundamentally, our education system needs to place greater focus on skills and capabilities, and correspondingly reduce the ‘knowledge content’ of the typical syllabus. Young people need new and different skill sets to thrive in technology-rich, globalised, competitive job markets. These capabilities cannot be learned in the abstract. They must be learned in the context of organised, relevant knowledge stating in our schools. There is no escaping from this and purposeful leadership at the right levels in our bureaucracy as well as in our decision-making authorities is required. Our tertiary institutions literally have their hands tied. Santa Maria’s vision to connect learning at school for our daughters with life gained much focus at the Future to Education Panel discussion held this week. It threw a lot of emphasis on opportunities the school offers at all levels for girls to develop the right attributes always placing our cherished values as the key to drive it all. Excellent team of professionals on the panel gave us parents a rare insight of the crisis our education is in now, and the significant role we could all play in bringing about this change quickly. Congratulations Jennifer for putting this together. We definitely need more of these!” Rui Fernandes (Parent)

Girl reading in the school library

The Digital Evolution of School Libraries – Jennifer Oaten

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