Daily Archives: May 30, 2009


My principal, Ann, and I will often throw challenging statements into the conversation mix in the staffroom every now and then and wait for a bite.

"I can see a future where handwriting is an irrelevant skill." (This is guaranteed a rapid response with junior primary teachers who see that sentence as an attack on the skills of literacy and the development of fine motor skills.)

Ann also threw this gem out to our Assistant Principal and teacher-librarian: "Won't things be great when we change over to our paper-less, digital library?" They both knew that she is only half-joking.

I've also contemplated out loud about the demise of tree-based newspapers or the day our school our school has 1:1 laptops. It's not as if they don't know that these things already exist but I certainly detect an unwillingness to acknowledge that their school and their established way of work could be affected and move in these directions.

I've been told as much by my colleagues that paper will always prevail in classrooms, that our system will always need face-to-face teaching and libraries stacked full of books. A few have learned to try and bait me back with references to Susan Greenfield or similar. I just wonder what many of them thought when they heard Mark Treadwell talk about us being in the initial stages of the Internet Based Paradigm.

Schools have been the way they are for quite a while. There are plenty of teachers who believe that the slow change we've been used to in the education sector is just the way things are, that we are somehow immune to the rapid changes in society and all kids need to make their way into the future are the same tried and true basics.

So I'd like to keep my colleagues on their toes, keep niggling away at their certainties and get them to consider the bigger picture beyond their own classroom and help shape the changes that will inevitably crop up a lot sooner than anticipated. But I'm running short of provocations - do you have any to help me out? Or am I the one who needs to be challenged?

Image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/will-lion/2782069277/