Many factors come together to make inspired learning – factors both inside and outside the school gate. Once students are in our schools, however, their performance is most closely influenced by teacher quality.
The time for a renewed focus on great teaching for inspired learning is now. The challenges of today’s increasingly complex and global society require our students to have different competencies and our teachers to have different capabilities. Today’s students need to be able to access information globally available, work collaboratively and apply innovative solutions to problems.
Teachers need to know how to develop these capacities in their students in ways that inspire them to be lifelong learners.
The knowledge, understandings, skills and values young people need
In today’s schools, 21st century knowledge, understandings, skills and values must be at the heart of great teaching and inspired learning. Young people must also develop a core of academic content knowledge, see the relevance of their learning and develop a love of learning in their classrooms to be inspired to remain lifelong learners.
Learning to collaborate with others, solve problems, think creatively and connect through technology are essential competencies for success in work and in life.
Employers are looking to recruit young people with these competencies, but they are not always adequately developed in schools. There is an urgent need to transform learning and teaching in our schools before we get too much further into the 21st century.
Education experts and the broader community agree we need to develop in our young people so they have:
- confidence to know they can learn as part of a group and on their own
- ability to solve problems both as individuals and collaboratively as part of a team
- capacity to analyse what they see and hear, and know the difference between fact and myth
- confidence to use technology in all parts of their lives and to understand that technology should be a tool to enhance communication, learning and the quality of life
- ability to communicate and express ideas in a clear and rational way
- interpersonal skills to enable them to relate effectively and appropriately to others
- creativity to help them look at the world and be innovative in dealing with challenges and making the most of opportunities
- ethical values, social responsibility, wellbeing and engaged citizenship.
Young people must also have a depth of core content knowledge. Deep learning and genuine understanding of subject matter and the ability to use, critique and apply it appropriately provide the foundation for inspired learning.