Getting Trendy: Blog 3 – Trends influencing education in New Zealand or internationally

Oh. My. God. Thanks Mindlab. Reading these latest articles gave me a mini-crisis of pessimism. I’ve always been a glass half-full kinda guy, but to read about the global growth of the poor, the economies of debt, exclusionism, and populist politics…..then to turn on a TV or open a news app and observe with dread fascination as the orange one does his latest alternative facts shtick….it’s enough to make me gulp and quiver just a wee bit. I had to have a choccy biscuit, a cuppa tea, and a lie down. Note to self: Must hang onto the notion that trends aren’t definite, and that education can help!


First thing to have a bit of a rant about…… let’s get the idea out there that patriotism as spouted by many is just the conviction that your country is the best because you were born in it. True patriotism shouldn’t be flag-waving and thanking soldiers for their service overseas. True patriotism should be when we are fortunate enough to be able to pay a bit extra in our taxes to support our fellow citizens who are struggling with health care, mental issues, or poverty. True patriotism is the embrace of refugees and the commitment to a shared humanity rather than isolationism and xenophobia.

This opens the way for a shared understanding of what globalisation is. Globalisation seems to be looked at in terms of what the concept can do for us, how it can be beneficial for OUR country. But true globalisation is taking on both global benefits and problems. For example, to see the American President walk (or golfcart) away from the latest Paris accord on global warming without signing anything is yugely disappointing. More than that though, it’s a reflection of the educational state of a nation that appointed him as leader in the first place.  An AP/GFK poll in 2011 showed that 77% of the American population believed in angels, but only 40% of Americans, in the same poll, who even concede that climate change is happening will admit that it’s primarily due to man-made activity. (this is in stark contrast to the 98% of scientists who agree the climate change is real, it’s happening now, and we, humans, are the cause)

SIDENOTE: It cracked me up that in the US commissioned paper for the readings they stated, nationalist appeals will be prominent in China, Russia, Turkey, and other countries where leaders seek to consolidate political control by eliminating domestic political alternatives while painting international relations in existential terms.” Cough, cough, Pot kettle black, anyone?

On a student level I feel that the ideas, concepts, technology and social interactions our young ones are required to navigate are evolving too fast. Way too fast. We must give our students the ability to stay abreast of them, to determine what’s important now, and what’s going to be important in the future. More and more, it feels like that is a shared effort. Students and teachers together in one boat, offering each other assistance as we paddle furiously to stay afloat in the whitewater rapids of the future.







  1. thanks Greg – I am hopeful like you that we can stay afloat and enjoy the ride, because there is no doubt that we are in for a ride – I am just not sure what sort of ride it will be. Thinking about the future and what we are setting our students and our children up for is quite sobering, we have certainly not been patriotic have we. It reminds me of the grasshopper and the ant – are we the first true generation of grasshoppers?? If we can help our students of today become true critical thinkers – by moving our teaching and learning programmes from S (substitution of information) on the SAMR model to Redfinition then we might help create a new generation of Ants, before it is too late to bring things back from the brink – ohh that is a grim thought.

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  2. I enjoyed reading your rant (your words). I particularly liked the statement about paddling furiously together in order to stay afloat. The fast evolution of the world/teaching/technology/everything is definitely scary. It’ll be interesting to see which of these trends actually happen – like you say, they’re not definite!

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  3. I really enjoyed reading your views in the third blog especially the patriotism bit “True patriotism should be when we are fortunate enough to be able to pay a bit extra in our taxes to support our fellow citizens who are struggling with health care, mental issues, or poverty. True patriotism is the embrace of refugees and the commitment to a shared humanity rather than isolationism and xenophobia”.and the image with reference to paddling together in the white water. Wish every citizen in the world follow your desire to be a true patriot like this.


    • Wishing like you Jasmin that we had many more true patriots in the nations around the world – this is where education is more than just important.


  4. Some of those trends really leave you wondering if we can live in a society in a secure knowledge out future is safe.
    But you know what, I believe that we must take responsibility, we are in control, it is our future.
    Global issues are manmade and will be solved by us all as survival is inherently important to all of us.
    Technology can’t take over if we are in charges of it. Can it?


  5. no , not unless we stupidly create artificial intelligence more intelligent than us – now there is a cheery thought !!


  6. How are you saving the world, one student at a time? Is sustainability, politics or personal voice important in your bubble? Always interested in the ‘now what’ to do part. (enjoyed re-reading again)


  7. Love the rant, and agree with the sentiments about the Paris Climate Change accords…such a shame. Sadly, we can look to our own back doorstep first when it comes to degrading the environment in the name of patriotic cash-building. Seeing our country struggle with how to help restore rivers to a swimmable water quality level is a bit depressing…clean, green NZ? Yeah right!. Locally we have a man made lake in town that was once used by students to learn on, and recreational pursuits (such as taking the dog for a swim). Do that in the height of summer and you’ll be crook, and your dog on deaths door from poisoning. Such a shame. Look inward NZ before casting stones outwards.


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