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Professor Geoff Masters (left) in conversation with Professor Neil Selwyn at Research Conference 2019. Photo © ACER 2019

Schooling one decade on

27 August 2019

A new podcast from Teacher shares highlights from the closing session of ACER’s Research Conference 2019 on the probable future of schooling in the 21st century.

ACER Chief Executive Professor Geoff Masters AO and Monash University Professor Neil Selwyn discussed issues around the theme ‘Preparing students for life in the 21st century: Identifying, developing and assessing what matters’ at the conclusion of ACER’s Research Conference in August 2019.

Highlights from the session are now available as a podcast and transcript published by Teacher.

In the podcast, Professor Masters asked how the work of a teacher in 2029 might be different from the work of a teacher today. In response, Professor Selwyn singled out the importance of teachers being empowered users of data.

‘The ‘datafication’ of schools is clearly happening already and it’s really important,’ Professor Selwyn said. ‘There are small clusters of teachers that are using data in interesting ways, and those that are doing data. But for most teachers, data is done to them.’

Related to data, Professor Masters raised the issue of the role of technology companies in schooling.

‘We see assessment solutions, reporting solutions, data management … and general management systems that have been developed, and we sometimes wonder about how much educational input there actually was into it, and whether … some of the systems we’re seeing, reflect best practice,’ Professor Masters said.

Professor Selwyn acknowledged that large and small commercial actors are increasingly playing a role in public education.

‘I’m not saying it’s a bad thing at all, it’s just a thing. And we need to work with it, but work with it from a point of actual empowerment, rather than just having things done to it,’ Professor Selwyn said. ‘Schools are massive consumers of these products. So at least there’s some consumer power to say, ‘well hang on a minute, we don’t want it done like this, we want you to do this’.’ ■

Find out more:
Read the full transcript or listen to the podcast ‘In Conversation with Geoff Masters and Neil Selwyn’ on Teacher.

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