The Purpose of Schooling

Anthony Mackay 

Anthony Mackay is CEO of the Centre for Strategic Education in Melbourne, Australia and Co Chair of the Global Education Leaders Partnership (GELP).  He specialises in school and system leadership, improvement and innovation to promote education reform around the world. 

Anthony Mackay: Learning Is A Shared Responsibility ( 

The new Sustainable Development Goals constitute a worldwide commitment to ensure that young people don’t simply have access to education but that they experience a quality education – that is, powerful and enabling learning for their lives. 

Learning is about ‘learning a living’ 

This is a life that is not just for oneself but for those with whom we share this planet. We are interdependent (with all living things) and we need a prosperous and sustainable world. ‘Prosperity’ will require a redefinition of how to recognise and realise the imperative of diversity and inclusiveness. 

Valeria Hannon and Amelia Peters

Valerie Hannon is a global thought leader, inspiring systems to re-think what ‘success’ will mean in the C 21st, and the implications for education. The co-founder of both Innovation Unit and of the Global Education Leaders Partnership, Valerie is a radical voice for change, whilst grounded in a deep understanding of how education systems currently work.

Formerly a secondary teacher, researcher and Director of Education for Derbyshire County Council; then an adviser in the UK Department for Education (DfE) during the Blair years, she now works independently to support change programs across the world.

Thrive (available from our College Library)

Now, education has to be about learning to thrive in a transforming world | LSE COVID-19

In short: we have been so preoccupied with asking the ‘how?’ of education, we have forgotten to ask the question of ‘what for?’

education has to be about learning to thrive in a transforming world.

When we examine what it means to thrive, we see that thriving must happen at four interdependent levels, none of which can be ignored:

  • global–our place in the planet
  • societal–place, communities, economies
  • interpersonal–our relationships
  • intrapersonal–the self.

Education Reimagined: The Future of Learning 

Michael Fullan New Pedagogies for Deep Learning 

Microsoft-EducationReimagined-Paper.pdf ( 

Even before the pandemic there was readiness building for a new system of learning. The current system had stalled, and the pandemic vividly exposed our systemic inability to optimize the use of technology, and truly ensure equity, well-being and quality of learning. Education reform has been high on the agenda for many systems, but has focused narrowly on literacy, numeracy, and high school graduation without addressing the holistic needs of students in an increasingly unpredictable global society.  

Quality learning must be built on the interests of students along the following dimensions:  

  • Connecting to purpose and meaning  
  • Challenging students to have high expectations  
  • Positioning learning goals that focus beyond the basics  
  • Using engaging pedagogies  
  • Building relationships and belongingness  
  • Providing opportunities to contribute to the world 

We see glimpses of this potentially powerful reform across the globe and indeed some strong examples in our global network: New Pedagogies for Deep Learning (NPDL). This combination of readiness for change and urgency arising from the current crisis has the potential to shift the education system from one of outdated “schooling” to future focused ‘learning” and take learning out of the classroom and into the world. P. 14 

The changes we need: Education Post COVID-19 

Yong Zhao and Jim Watterson 

The changes we need: Education post COVID-19 | SpringerLink 

The COVID-19 pandemic has caused both unprecedented disruptions and massive changes to education. However, as schools return, these changes may disappear. Moreover, not all of the changes are necessarily the changes we want in education. In this paper, we argue that the pandemic has created a unique opportunity for educational changes that have been proposed before COVID-19 but were never fully realized. We identify three big changes that education should make post COVID: curriculum that is developmental, personalized, and evolving; pedagogy that is student-centered, inquiry-based, authentic, and purposeful; and delivery of instruction that capitalizes on the strengths of both synchronous and asynchronous learning.