Monday, March 21, 2011

International Perspectives Conference.

Over the weekend I attended the conference: “International Perspectives on Education”.  Here were the following speakers and some quotes from each keynote.  Before you read below, make sure you are ready to hear some ground breaking material.
Andy Hargreaves: (born 13 February 1951) is the Thomas More Brennan Chair in Education at the Lynch School of Education at Boston College.
·         Classrooms aren’t just about learning.  They are also about caring and control.
·         It might be in our nature to endorse the deficiency model when we shouldn’t.
·         Your own contribution to things is what you can most control.
·         A time comes when silence is betrayal –Martin Luther King
·         Leadership is a collective responsibility
·         The true test of a school is how it treats the lowest people involved at the school.
·         Innovation is messy. Innovators are vulnerable to being labeled outcasts
·         Giving away the best of your practices and ideas forces you to continue to innovate and improve.
·         Is your superintendent the only one who travels around to see how others are doing education?
·         Great leaders employ people who are hard to manage not compliant robots.
·         Ontario is currently improving education under current measures of success but they're not innovating
·         To support true innovation takes very courageous leaders

Yong Zhao - Yong Zhao is currently Presidential Chair and Associate Dean for Global Education, College of Education at the University of Oregon, where he also serves as the director of the Center for Advanced Technology in Education (CATE). He is a fellow of the International Academy for Education.

·         Creativity can't be taught but it can be killed
·         Students should invent a job, not find a job
·         Children are like popcorn. Some pop early, some pop late
·         Differentiation creates value.
·         All this energy has been spent on raising test scores & not nurturing creativity or any other aspect of human nature.
·         Not everyone is the same. Schools cannot teach everything.
·         The Stone Age did not end because they ran out of stones and the oil age will not end by running out of oil.
·         If you are offended by what I say... then get out
Pasi Sahlberg - is Director General of CIMO (Centre for International Mobility and Cooperation) in Helsinki, Finland. He has global expertise in educational reforms, training teachers, coaching schools and advising policy-makers in more than 40 countries. He has worked as teacher, teacher-educator, senior advisor and director and served the World Bank (in Washington) and with the European Commission (in Torino, Italy) as education specialist. His forthcoming book is titled “Finnish Lessons: What can the world learn about educational change in Finland”. He has PhD from the University of Jyväskylä and is Adjunct Professor at the Universities of Helsinki and Oulu.
·         We should put more focus on teachers working with teachers.
·         We should be spending more time asking: How our pupil’s learn?

My own ideas from this conference:
·         Those who hate technology don’t truly know the power of it.
·         If you promote common assessment you are destroying the personalization of a student body
·         Standardization justifies those who don't know how to differentiate students
·         Not every student is the same so why are we testing them as such?
·         We should be personalizing education and stop standardizing students
·         Too many students are learning how stupid they are from our schools
·         Schools should capitalize on strengths and not punish students for having weaknesses
·         Do we want our students to have high scores or have high confidence?
·         When test scores go up we should worry because of how poor a measure they are of what matters –Alife Kohn
·         A great teacher is aware that measurements and scores are not always very accurate
·         Schools should be less about procedures and more about design, story, symphony, empathy, play and meaning.
·         If you are preparing students for the present you are already outdating them.
·         We need to stop preparing students for the final exam and start preparing them for globalization
·         If you’re not on the edge of innovation, you're taking up too much space.
·         Innovation and improvement are not necessarily opposites, in the highest efficient districts these ideas are the same
·         Don't label innovators as outsiders but instead the person trying to create a new more effective path no one dares to try
·         I want to see more failure, if you never fail, you don't take enough risks – Education minister Dave Hancock.
·         Grading justifies those who do not know how to truly engage students.
·         The person who decides what students learn in class should be the teacher not the bureaucrat who sits in an office.
·         Innovators should be welcomed with open arms not with closed doors
·         Those who say "it can't be done" need to get out of the way of those already doing it
·         A true leader can leave the team and no one will notice
·         Take marks out of schools and I fear some teachers wouldn't know how to assess their students.
·         Good schools - practice open mindfulness, give attention, enact ethic of care, and polish professionalism.
·         Standardization is more about compliance and killing creativity

·         Standardization meets the system’s needs at the cost of the child’s needs.
·         Standardization squanders talent.
·         Raising test scores and raising children have nothing to do with each other.
·         Grading is a system's need not a student's need.
·         Change is an opportunity to do today what others won't, so tomorrow you can accomplish what others can't.
·         Wishing tomorrow to be just like yesterday won't ever make today a better place
·         Student engagement has nothing to do with test scores
·         You can Google information but you can't Google wisdom
·         Courageous leadership has nothing to do with just following policy.
·         How can we embrace educational transformation in Alberta when we continue to assess with multiple choice?
·         If there is no good leadership there is no chance for a good teacher to grow and flourish


  1. God is our Power, Knowledge is our Strength, Wisdom is our Guide.

  2. Thank you for your nice summary.

    Guida. Menorca. Balearic Islands. Spain

  3. That's a very complete and accurate summary of the Symposium, Joe! I have many of these same quotes in my notes but to see them all neatly listed here is awesome. Great work! It was great to meet you face-to-face!

  4. Very intersting content. I appreciate the quotation format to capture main ideas. I wanted to attend the event but was unable to so appreciate the summary notes you have given. They may add some new perspectives to some of the global education initiatives being considered in the district.
    Lynne Paradis. Red Deer, Canada