We find ourselves at a critical moment in time, when we need meaningful, informed voices debating educational options and striving for better solutions. This is not a uniquely Australian problem – around the world thought-leaders in education are calling for a profound paradigm shift in our approach to school.

 

 

The Schoolhouse Centre for Educational Innovation is an initiative to drive awareness, discussion and adoption of more innovative and progressive approaches to school education in Australia. We believe that  more than ever, we need to prepare and inspire our children to change the world. And we fear that this is a challenge our schools all too often fail at.

The next generation will inherit many global challenges – from environmental to social; from political to ethical. We need to nurture in young people the skills and strengths to embrace these challenges and create positive, sustainable solutions. Skills like critical thinking, creativity, communication and collaboration. Strengths like initiative, resilience, empathy and awareness.

Sadly, many of our schools are distracted, their efforts misdirected. They focus on the accumulation of facts; standardised testing; deference to authority. Or they simply give in to the pressures of economic efficiency and social convention.

We have to change the way our schools work. We need them to reflect the dynamic nature of the world we live in. Schools need to give the next generation the education they deserve and need, based on a progressive, student-directed approach. An education that focuses on problem solving, cooperative projects and social skills; that encourages curiosity and play; that values experiential learning; that emphasises entrepreneurship and civic participation.

 

 

While innovation can and will come from many quarters, we believe that the independent sector can play a key role as the engine of radical innovation for the education sector – a role it is largely failing at in Australia. Our aim at Schoolhouse is to champion a more entrepreneurial approach to education, and to foster a community of diverse and exciting innovative schools.

The first step in our journey is opening a small, independent high school in Sydney. You can read more in our post about the ideas behind this school.