The New Rules

Officially on holidays from today and heading off travelling in Vietnam for a couple of weeks, which will be nice. A final sweep of the Google Reader this morning revealed Will Richardson’s latest piece on The New Rules. 

Like a lot of Will’s stuff it resonated with me and I thought I’d post his rules for your consideration. In an increasingly toxic and non-productive political culture in Australia too (though we haven’t seen the school budget cuts much yet) it seems we can’t rely on politicians or billionaires who don’t listen (see Bill Gates’s Twitter stats). It seems that if anyone is going to lead the future of education it’s got to be teachers and teacher leadership. Again!

Anyway, I’m hoping that it will all look a bit more hopeful from a distance. In the meantime, here’s the new rules:

Here are the new rules:

Create your own education.
Find problems and solve them.
Be unique.
Make beautiful, useful stuff.
Build a network of really smart people who you will never meet.
Be indispensable.
Do real work that changes the world.
Have a brand.
Share widely and safely.
Collaborate.
Add value.
Be a voracious learner.
Tread softly but boldly.
Edit the world.

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Lawyers, Guns and Money

Well there wasn’t a lot of actual guns thankfully, but a lot of implied threats, angst, legal wrangling and big money at stake this week in the Federal Parliament as school funding and national curriculum and political ambitions all got tangled up. There were threats, counter-threats, bluffs, bullying and bravado, and while education was front page, it wasn’t pretty.

It’s what happens when the politicians bring ideology to education. I can’t imagine it happening in medicine or even law, where the independence of the judiciary and recognition of their expertise, is sacrosanct. Education is open slather.

The end result is that the national curriculum is coming and tied to funding. I’ve blogged often about my reservations here: that national: big, bloated and beauracratic is not necessarily better. That local solutions to local needs, especially student needs aren’t likely to be served by a ‘one size fits all’ policy, and that it’s bound to be heavily influenced by the politics of the day.

This view isn’t shared by the government, or even by many teachers I must admit. And, for all intents and purposes, the argument became academic this week.