This Vancouver Sun article rounds up the key outcomes of the BC’s Focus on Learning all-male panelist Forum held on January 29. Minister of Education Peter Fassbender announced a pilot of ‘innovative’ schools around the province that will implement 21st Century Learning, with outcomes evaluated by local Post Secondary Institutions. Buzzwords of ‘innovation’, ‘transformation’, ‘flexibility’, ‘personalization’ (but also collaboration), and ‘efficiency’ abound. The OECD representative claimed that good education systems don’t necessarily require significant financial investment, they make ‘difficult’ choices about funding. But another panelist,Tony Zhao, countered that it was “stupid” to suggest that funding doesn’t matter.
Others called for ‘transformation” in BC schools, without acknowledging transformative practices already in schools. Check it out for yourself at this livestream of the event and read the Tyee’s top five ‘takeaways’ from the Forum. For those of us involved in adult education, the complete silence about the role of adult learning in a global, digital world is a gaping oversight. How can people be ‘flexible’, innovative and keep up with changing skills if they don’t have equitable access to education across the life course?