‘Every minute counts’, began Hargreaves, opening the final day opening keynote, a presentation I was looking forward to a lot. He began with a personal story of his own life and his mother.
Hargreaves argued that the need was well beyond the basics, beyond 21C skills; it was about finding identity, engagement with history and the world.
He reminded us of old things, Delors in 1925 (learning to know, do, be, live together). He talked big picture, of being bold, of a national priority for ‘joy’ in the curriculum (Finland), of knowing where you want to go.
He made a case for PISA, arguing that evidence matters, especially in revealing matters of equity.
He admitted that boldness was harder to measure, and therefore perhaps riskier to go for; how will you know you’ve got there? But you need to try: to be bold and specific.
He argued for professional capital, for collective efficacy, ‘what do we believe we can do together’, not the star system of programs like Teach for America.
It was all bit scattered in the end, and if I hadn’t read his work, I would have thought even a bit shallow, but the key messages were very strong.