This webpage sets out the New Zealand Post Primary Teachers' Association / Te Wehengarua (PPTA) preferred future scenario for secondary education based on fundamental principles about learning and about how education systems should function (extracted from Secondary teaching into the future (2007)).
Main features of PPTA’s preferred future scenario
Though it is impossible to reliably predict the future, especially over the medium to long term, e.g. 20 years (the timeframe within which the Secondary Futures Project operated), it is nevertheless valuable to illustrate a preferred future and to use our influence to shape the future in that direction. This section describes PPTA’s preferred future scenario for secondary education. It adopts the best aspects of the OECD’s two ‘re-schooling’ scenarios (schools as core social centres, and schools as focused learning organisations).
The main features of PPTA’s preferred scenario are:
There will be broad political and public agreement on the value to society of high quality public education
Schools and teachers will be seen as valued community resources
Schools will be ‘connected institutions’
Schools will be staffed with sufficient highly trained and qualified teachers and other professionals
Schools and the system will facilitate personalised learning for all teachers
Schools will function as the home institution for students to meet their core learning and social needs
There will be broad political and public agreement on the value to society of high quality public education: Feature 1
Education will be viewed as a ‘public good’, and this will be demonstrated in staffing and funding levels to match this commitment to quality. There will be high levels of trust in teachers as skilled professionals who work with students, families/whanau and communities to deliver quality public education. Education spending will be viewed as an investment in the future of the nation, not as an economic cost to it.
Schools and teachers will be seen as valued community resources: Feature 2
Schools will be well-resourced by central government. This resourcing will enable them to operate in high quality buildings with flexible learning spaces and up-to-date equipment. There will be recognition that communities are not equal in their ability to function as self-managing institutions, and that unequal provision is required to deliver equitable outcomes for students.
Schools will be ‘connected institutions’: Feature 3
They will be strongly connected to, and used by, their own communities. They will be in co-operative relationships with regional and national networks of schools, and will be able to collaborate closely with tertiary institutions/workplaces, enabling students to increasingly move between learning contexts as they move up the school. The capacity of teachers to work effectively across a number of institutions, either virtually or actually, will be strengthened.
Schools will be staffed with sufficient highly trained and qualified teachers and other professionals: Feature 4
Schools will be sufficiently staffed to provide personalised learning programmes for all students, including adult learners. This staffing will enable teachers to offer high quality specialist teaching and learning across a wide range of areas, and to build successful learning relationships with diverse students. Teachers will be assisted in their professional work (teaching, pastoral care and administration) by skilled support staff. Secondary teaching will be a highly attractive career option.
Schools and the system will facilitate personalised learning for all teachers: Feature 5
In a profession subject to constant change, teachers need to be continuing to learn throughout their careers. Teachers will have ample and equitable opportunities to advance their professional knowledge and skills, both while working as teachers and through opportunities for study awards, sabbaticals, placements in industry, and other learning experiences. As they move through their careers into more specialised roles, professionallearning opportunities will be made available to support the new demands on them.
Schools will function as the home institution for students to meet their core learning and social needs: Feature 6
Students will be actively supported to learn and provided with appropriate guidance and mentoring to ensure that their learning experiences are worthwhile. Students will be able to exercise choice within their local school, rather than by attendance at a school outside their community. Schools will be democratic organisations, demonstrating to students the benefits of distributed leadership and participatory decision-making, and providing students with opportunities to learn the skills, attitudes, values and sense of identity that create social cohesion and confident and capable citizens.