Great Ideas in Education

Great Ideas in Education

How well is the Canadian education system preparing students for the opportunities and challenges of the future?
The Learning Partnership's Great Ideas in Education is an ongoing series of idea exchanges with thinkers, influencers, leaders, stakeholders and the public on key issues affecting publicly funded education in Canada.  We want to hear unique perspectives and to continually look within and beyond our borders to source the next best thing in advancing public education for all children and youth in Canada.

Consider the following questions and see what leaders in business and education have to say.

Implications for education: What do global changes mean for educators and policy makers?
Did you know?

Hon. Kevin Lynch
How can we ensure that education is the right one for the times?  Different skill sets will be required for the future.  The next generation will need to be entrepreneurial, willing to take risks and be multicultural.   All Canadians have a stake.  My aspirations are for an education system that pushes the ability to succeed but also instills the values of a society – that is the importance of public education in Canada.

Don Tapscott
We need changes in three areas. 
First - Change the model of pedagogy from the industrial model to student-focused model of collaborative learning.  Second - Develop education content collaboratively with teachers.  Our future will have more software content. Third – We must understand what is the purpose of education? We should shift toward capability and create citizens not just good workers.

Rick Waugh, O.C., Chief Executive Officer, Scotiabank
“Around the world, Canada is highly regarded for having an excellent public education system – it’s a major contributor to our high standard of living, and an important part of our Canadian culture and values. Our education system has a significant and direct impact on the quality of our workforce – our economic productivity – and ultimately, on our ability to prosper – as businesses, as people, and as a nation. Successful Canadian businesses rely on our public schools to provide highly skilled and educated talent. The Learning Partnership creates so many opportunities for business to get involved in our public school system while preparing youth to be our future leaders.” 

Digital learners: How does the new generation of digital learners influence teaching and learning?

Anne Sado
What do you say to policy makers about the importance of investing in education? Education is the fundamental building block of a healthy economy. The jobs of the future are going to require 70% of Ontarians to require a post-secondary education.  Right now we are at 62%  - that’s a big gap.  Healthcare won’t be supported unless we have people with the skills and the education to meet those needs.

Don Tapscott
If someone was frozen a hundred years ago and they miraculously woke up today and looked at the professions – a doctor in the operating theatre, a pilot in a jumbo jet and an engineer designing a building, he would think WOW has the world ever changed and technology has been at the heart of it all.  But if he walked into a classroom or a university lecture hall he’d breathe a sigh of relief and say, “I recognize this!”  Our pedagogy is an industrial model – teacher focused, one way, one-size fits all. This model is completely inappropriate for the digital age A teacher is not a transmitter of data – she is curating customized collaborative learning.
 We have to fundamentally change our institutions for the 21st century.

Innovation:  What is innovation and what is the role of innovation in education?

Roger Martin
Invention is a good thing, but invention is a narrow thing. Innovation is driven by user needs and goes to solve that need. That’s innovation – working back from the user need back to an interesting idea.  My desire would be to see every child who goes from K-12 in this country to have at least one course on how to be innovative – what is innovative, what is the process of innovation and practice in doing innovation.  Innovation is a teachable skill.  Singapore government believes in innovation and is teaching innovation to their high school students.

Michael Fullen
We need to encourage much more innovation in teaching skills and more investment in that. 

The logic of this here is that when your capacity is stagnant as it was in 2003, then you build it up with lots of teaming (of teachers) and building social capital – then peers become the innovators.

For more information on Great Ideas on Education contact:

Gerry Connelly
Director, Policy & Knowledge Mobilization
Phone: 416 440 5125 
Gareth Blair
Manager, Policy & Knowledge Mobilization
Phone: 416 440 5103