This week Stuart Walls, Head of Senior School, and I attended a two-day online webinar led by the University of Melbourne, along with peer schools from around Australia. This is part of an ongoing project to bring like-minded educators together to create a new way to measure student success in schools. The project is called New Metrics for Success.
Current educational attainment systems around the world place enormous pressure on young people. Countries realise that we have created an educational measure that is lacking in the importance of recognising human skills and endeavour. Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the Secretary-General at the Organisation for Economic Development, states, “if we keep going, we’ll develop second-class robots, whereas we need to develop first-class humans”.
In Australia, there is a genuine groundswell amongst educators for an overhaul of the current Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank (ATAR) that distils students’ years of learning into a single number, as if education is a race to be won or lost. Instead, the concept of a Learner Profile aims to recognise a holistic appraisal of students’ abilities in a whole range of areas including, but not limited to, academics. This fits with Scotch Oakburn’s commitment to educating the whole person.
The collaboration amongst the 37 schools involved in the project is open and enthusing. All are part of the project to create a better representation of student success where measurement of progress in learning and development of capabilities, skills and values are at least as important as final subject grades. As one presenter put it, “we need to create measures for Head, Heart and Hand”.