During interviews with community stakeholders we have come across some common themes, expressed in these words of wisdom.
We want a real world education – an education that is relevant, focuses on high performance in all arenas, and enables us to better connect with our community. We want it delivered by a passionate teachers who embrace change, share resources and cater for different styles of learning.
Encourage us to go beyond what is right in front of us. Make things more challenging for us. Give us opportunities to do really difficult things and see how we react. Surprise and push us to our best and beyond.
This is something I think about a lot, developing leadership. What do we do to take students to the next level? How do we bring together more challenging opportunities for students across schools. We need to challenge their thinking and broaden their ability to think. We need to come up with some way of developing strong leadership and saying it is OK to be a leader.
It seems that the gap between what industry and business needs and what educators do is getting wider and wider. There needs to be a strong push for industry and business to develop job descriptions and core competencies... so that schools understand the kinds of skills, knowledge and attitudes we require from our workforce.
I would like to see graduates who have set their sights on what they want to do. That is what they go to school for. They have created good habits… They know their culture and know who they are. When you look at Maoridom as a whole, the people who are making progress know their turangawaewae, culture, they have the holistic package. They become a bird with two wings.
We need to understand the labour market and the tertiary qualifications and pathways in order to be able to prepare students for employment in the 21st century. At the same time, employers need to understand how NCEA works, what Vocational Pathways are and how they ‘fit’ with their jobs.
We need to create a whole of school approach to career development. All staff need to understand the part that they play in enabling students to fulfil their potential as positive contributors to our community, region and country.