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The Broader Professional Context

According to US National Intelligence Council’s (2017) "a more interconnected world will continue to increase -rather than reduce- differences over ideas and identities", eroding traditions of tolerance, integration and diversity commonly associated with Western values. This assertion becomes particularly relevant when considered in conjunction with the figures provide by OECD's Trends Shaping Education (2016), according to which between 1960 and 2010 the percentage of immigrants as a share of the national population within the OECD nations has more than doubled, form less that 4% in 1960 to 9% in 2010.

Globalisation (characterised -amongst other things- by a more fluid mobility of people across borders) has had a significant impact on education, both positive and negative. Although most of the population growth of New Zealand (according to Statistic New Zealand) is due to natural increase (births outnumbering death); during the 1990s and the 2000s there were increases of  28 and 35% respectively due to net migration.

People mobility have undoubtedly changed the socioeconomic aspects of the population, not only by increasing the size of the economy, but also by enriching the the system of values, believes and diversity of Aotearoa,  as well as increasing inter-connectivity between New Zealand and less traditional markets (such as India and China).

Globalisation raises issues such as intercultural education and understanding, inequality and the environment, but also puts global education at the forefront of instruction. We no longer can prepare students to live in a localised society were traditional roles and employment await for them. A globalised, interconnected society which changes exponentially requires our students to be ready for jobs which have not yet been created, and to possess a different set of skills than that offered by traditional education. They will face a rapidly changing environment, full of opportunities for those well-equipped (problem-solving, creativity, collaboration) but also mined with challenges such as job inequality, social conflict and an increased pressure on education and health funding.

As a result, secondary schools are increasingly under pressure to offer qualifications that enhance students relevance in an increasingly competitive market, where international further-education is an ever more available option. This demand for international education open new demands in the secondary education sector, since the need for international qualifications (such as CIE or IB), pushes schools towards traditional approaches to instruction and assessment.

This need to provide world-class education come to a cost to institutions and whanau. More and more schools are opting for a mix model, attracting fee-paying international students (which in time help closing the funding gaps for local students). This highly lucrative international market tends to select institutions based on their academic performance in international examination boards, which in terms can shift the schools' focus from education to attainment.

The New Zealand Education in 2025 document foresees "A highly connected, interdependent education system that equips students with skills for the future, fosters students’ identity, language and culture, and prepares students to participate as successful citizens in the 21st century".

Although my school still represents a more traditional approach to education, some local colleges (like Howick College) allow students in the Innovation Stream to take four subjects: Future Studies (a mix of English / Science), Problem Solving (Science / Maths), Community Action (Statistics / Social Studies) and Creative Design (Social Studies / English). The focus resides on developing learners' future focused capabilities: Character, Citizenship, Collaboration, Communication, Creativity and Critical Thinking.

So maybe, maybe, the secondary sector has slowly started to walk the walk by making learning, as presented by Pearson (2013), more accessible, affordable, effective, personal and scalable. 


Ministry of Education, (2015). Review of New Zealand Education in 2025. Retrieved September 26,              2017, from

National Intelligence Council. (2017). Global trends: The Paradox of Progress. National Intelligence         Council: US. Retrieved from

OECD (2016), "Globalisation", in Trends Shaping Education 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Pearson. (2013, April 26). Global trends: The world is changing faster than at any time in human                history.[video file].Retrieved from 


  1. Good to read your blog. It seems apparent to me from writing my own blog and reading yours and others that our education system and future is on a future oriented pathway that is in some ways reactive to global trends. Even though you comment that the secondary sector has slowly begun the walk I guess we can take heart that the walk has begun.

  2. There are currently such huge opportunities for some and massive challenges for others as economies have stopped being as reliant on localised trade and are more globalised. Will this change last or will there be a massive reversal? Will Brexit and the North Korea and Trump regimes interactions affect globalisation ? Will there be a greater focus on localisation? As the Greek philosopher, Heraclitus, said "Change is the only constant"


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