I just returned from the IBAP conference in Singapore. The theme was ‘Unlocking the Treasure Within, focusing on the challenges and successes of educators around the world, who strive to promote broader knowledge, deeper understanding and meaningful action.’
There was a great deal about the conference that was interesting and thought provoking. Amongst the keynote speakers, stand-outs were Wade Davis, explorer-in-residence at the National Geographic with his stunning photographs of different cultures and Professor James Tooley, who talked about his research into low cost private schooling in developing countries. There were some breakout sessions that got me thinking, such as James McDonald on the challenges of educational change and Seetha Murty who described the transition from a conventional to an IB school in India, against the flow of the prevailing educational system and beliefs.
I was exposed to new ideas and I made connections. But I have to wonder about the fact that in 2010 you can attend a conference with 800 educators and every single session involved sitting in lines facing a lecturer. The only form of engagement with the subject matter was Q & A at the end of sessions. There wasn’t even free wireless internet. I couldn’t help but wonder… if this is how educators themselves present new learning, how will education ever change?