Sir Bob Geldolf replaced De Bono at late notice as the keynote and talked about how ‘crap’ teaching must be, and how important it was. Education matters to him, and he’s helped build over ten thousand schools in Africa.
He argued that to be left out of the knowledge economy is to be left behind. Education is liberating. He talked passionately about his personal journey. ‘We are living through a moment that will be discussed in three hundred years’.
He also gave us some much needed perspective on Pisa, and just how well Australia was doing in these international rankings, a completely different country to the one he began visiting thirty years ago, a country that was willing to try new things.
He was scathing about the economy of greed that led to the GFC, the very opposite of pluralism. ‘What’s the point of economic progress without social progress?’ He said that we thought we were teaching subjects, but we were teaching ethics and values.
“What it means to be human in the modern world” is the real curriculum.
He told us his own story, of his own lack of a positive education experiences. Of growing up without authority figures. He was saved by the whispering music coming out of Radio Luxembourg. It was riveting.
And, he had his blue rock stars shoes on!