Stephen Downes

Knowledge, Learning, Community

This article is about the response to the 2016 earthquake at  Kaikōura High School in New Zealand. "We had a series of whānau hui and all this mamae (pain and hurt) came out because it needed to," reports principal John Tait. But what's significant to me are the changes in perspective about what's needed in schools as input and how we measure effectiveness as outputs. Regarding the former: "what the earthquake did for us as a school was to make it absolutely clear that the important goal was people’s wellbeing. I think it’s changed an aspect of our thinking about young people and education. It’s made us very clear that wellbeing is essential to successful learning." And success is measured not by grades but real outcomes: "Māori achievement isn’t just about NCEA levels. A huge achievement for Māori is the fact that we never had our young people go to Year 13. Now we’ve got huge numbers who go to Year 13."

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Stephen Downes Stephen Downes, Casselman, Canada

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Last Updated: Jul 26, 2021 11:40 a.m.