Well, we've started back at school this week and I have to admit, everything feels like a continuation from last year and across the state, the basic way school gets done will be pretty much the same way it's been done for quite a while now. The changes at our school are subtle and not all that obvious to the casual observer but there are tell tale signs on the new teachers' faces as they suffer information overload about inquiry learning, interactive whiteboards, co-planning and You Can Do It. I must admit that I enjoy the fact that we are a school pushing forward to improve what we offer our students but it can be a bit of a culture shock for the newcomers from less frantic settings.
And if, as some prominent edubloggers propose, we need a learning revolution it will come as a complete surprise for many of those schools and educators. When most Aussie teachers hear the word "revolution" associated with education, they think of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's Digital Education Revolution. With the unfortunate acronym of DER and plenty of scepticism about the actual vision and subsequent implementation, the whole idea of "revolution" has lost most of its punch down under. Then when our Federal Education Minister starts looking back over her shoulder for ways to improve the Australian education system by inviting controversial New Yorker Joel Klein to provide advice on how to move our schools forward, then the "revolution" terminology starts to look somewhat farcical.
The internet hasn't transformed Australian education - yet. In general, it hasn't transformed Australian educators either but that's not to say it isn't possible. But change is slowly happening with the few of us pushing the web as a participatory learning platform tending to be steady small scale influencers rather than being Che Guervera-like figures. After all, no-one wants to get fired. It's much more evolutionary than anything else.
So, I find phrases like "I'm Here For The Learning Evolution" to be mildly irritating. Much of the conversation surrounding this tends to focus on the deficiencies of one country's education system (which ironically us Aussies consider for improvements to our system!) and when I look at how few K-12 educators are even using the web for their own learning, how can they even get their unknowing colleagues on board for a people's revolution they don't even know exists?
In 2009, I'll just keep evolving my practice and do my best to help my disconnected colleagues to plug into the potential. Sorry, Wes. Count me out.