Change is a constant part of life and if former US Vice President Al Gore is to be believed, as a society we are entering a period of change like no other humans in history have seen before. For some of us the thought of such prolific change elicits feelings of excitement and eager anticipation but for others, uncertainty about the future can lead to a level of fear and apprehension.
Recently I read an article in a teaching journal that focused on the future of education. A group of principals from independent schools similar to ours were asked the question; “What do you think schools will look like in 20 years’ time?” Their responses were strikingly similar in many areas. Several of these principals articulated the need for changes to learning spaces where traditional classrooms are replaced by purpose built open areas that facilitate both independent and collaborative learning.
Other principals projected that schools would become a focal point located at their centre of their local community. Future schools under this model would be open 24 hours a day with shared community resources such as libraries, gymnasiums, sporting facilities and halls.
There were many principals who spoke of changes to teaching and learning programs where lessons begin with didactic teaching and then children are grouped into teams using higher order thinking skills to work collaboratively on projects of social value.
It is no surprise that technology also featured heavily in their responses with two of the interviewed principals citing the possibility that Artificial Intelligence could largely replace the role of teachers in schools. If indeed this were to eventuate, instead of a human presence in the classroom facilitating student learning our young people could be instructed by robots. Now for me that’s a scary thought!
Change is inevitable in every sphere of life and education is no exception.
At Cedars our teachers will always be challenged to keep refining their practice, pedagogy and methodologies to keep pace with the needs of the dynamic world we live in. Likewise, the College Board is comprised of forward thinking men and women who are committed to ensuring that Cedars is a school that is well prepared for the future financially, ethically and practically.
The College Executive and Leadership team are equally driven toward embracing innovation and creative thinking in teaching and learning by seeking to build a culture of continuous learning.
As educators it is also important that we prepare our young people to cope with a changing world. At Cedars we have a commitment to preparing the students in our care for life after school, equipping them with resilience, ethics and Christian values as well as fostering skills such as creativity, entrepreneurialism and innovation. Programs such as Project Based Learning, STEM Days and Social Justice projects are just a few of the ways in which Cedars is striving to prepare the students to be able to add value to their community both now and in the future.
While it is true that change is all about us, there is one thing that we are steadfast in ensuring does not change at Cedars. The commitment that we have for loving and caring for our students whilst holding fast to the Christian values that we share will always remain the central focus of all that we do at Cedars. The Bible reminds us in Hebrews 13:8 that “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and forever.” Just as the writer of Hebrews exhorts the Christians of the day to ensure that Jesus’ message of love, hope and grace remains central to their doctrine, we too at Cedars are challenged to do the same. Even though our physical environment, our teaching methods and modes may change over time, one thing will always remain, that is our collective faith in Jesus Christ.