What might we expect from the BC education forum on January 29?

This Thursday, January 29, the Ministry of Education will be hosting a forum entitled: BC Focus on Learning: Rising to the Global Challenge. 5 men from around the world (one works in Canada) have been invited to discuss learning transformation in BC.

As the Ministry describes:

“These experts will engage influential education, economic and business stakeholders – including teachers and school administrators − to highlight B.C.’s international leadership in education transformation. The forum will focus on learning transformation efforts to date, as well as the science and data supporting B.C.’s efforts to remain among the very best in the world”

Who are the invited experts? 

Tony McKay

A member of the Australian “Innovation Unit”, which is a social enterprise and “leading innovation partner for public services”. Among their principles are “Radical Efficiency” and “21st Century Learning”. Radical Efficiency:  “A route to helping improve the quality of people’s lives, even as cuts in spending are unavoidable.”

Yong Zhao 

Dossiers include creativity, entrepreneurship and 21st Century Learning. An independent scholar who publishes books and articles on globalization, the Chinese education system and technology and entrepreneurship in education.

Stuart Shanker

Professor and Distinguished Research Professor in Philosophy at York University. Shanker is a proponent of self-regulation,  a concept that emphasizes individuals’ capacity to regulate their own learning and behaviour through self awareness. Self regulation is a popular theme in schools today through practices such as ‘mindfulness’.

David Albury

Another member of the Australian “Innovation Unit’ along with Tony McKay. Mr. Albury is a Board Member and his portfolio is the “Global Educational Leadership Program (GELP) which is supporting system change in education globally to help empower learners to thrive in the 21st Century.”

Andreas Schleicher

Andreas Schleicher is Director for Education and Skills, and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris. His unit offers policy analyses and policy advice to promote economic and social development in OECD countries. His unit is responsible for developing PISA and the adult PIAAC as large scale global league tables comparing skill levels across OECD member nations.

So, lots of innovation, globalization and 21st Century learning to be discussed, just not by people who actually seem to work and learn in the BC education system. It seems important to define, too, what we mean by innovation?


2 thoughts on “What might we expect from the BC education forum on January 29?

  1. Having read what the London School of Economics has to say about radical efficiency, I am concerned about what it means for our learners and our education system.

    Click to access blogs_lse_ac_uk-How_Radical_is_Radical_Efficiency_Can_it_still_be_useful_in_a_time_of_cuts.pdf

    The radical efficiency model seems to promote downloading responsibility for services onto vulnerable populations. This is just a rehashing of what we have already seen, where literacy services were “put back into the community” but in reality, meant that responsibility for literacy provision fell to people who were un- or under-compensated and unsupported because the necessary infrastructure had been eroded or cut.


    • Thanks for this link. The very term ‘radical efficiency’ has ominous tones. What could be more efficient from the perspective of government than volunteers and non-state actors taking responsibility for the delivery of core education services?

      Liked by 1 person

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