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How do we develop an education system that creates well-rounded individuals that can adapt to our rapidly changing society?
How do we develop an education system that creates well-rounded individuals that can adapt to our rapidly changing society? How do we best prepare students for their future as citizens? What are the skill sets that build good citizens as distinct from the skills that build good workers? How do we create lifelong learners?

Dr Cheryl Doig
has an extensive background in education, including 14 years as a school principal. She has served on a number of boards including two schools – Discovery 1 and Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti – and was involved in the establishment of these schools. Cheryl has a doctorate in education with a particular focus on leadership, change management, futures thinking, information technology and innovation. Cheryl is a trained facilitator in the use of Hermann’s Brain Dominance Instrument. She is the founding director of Think Beyond Limited.

Many thanks to our contributors for this edition:
Dr Cheryl Doig >> click for bio Dr Vicki Compton >> click for bio Bruce McIntyre >> click for bio Vincent Heeringa >> click for bio Andrew Hamilton >> click for bio

Click here to tell us what you think

Dr Vicki Compton

Dr Cheryl Doig
I think the new curriculum has potential to do this if schools focus on using the new key competencies. These encourage students to manage self, work together, think, participate and contribute and become multi-literate. The heart of this is to get these ideas into secondary schools – they are lagging behind. The education system also needs to be flexible so it can change to meet individual needs and community circumstances. There shouldn’t be a one size fits all education system. If you want well-rounded individuals you need to involve parents and community. In terms of the future we also need to be up with the play in terms of ICTs. They have a powerful role in changing what life long education is all about. Gaming is just one example of this growth. See the websites/blogs below for examples and look at Ted Robinson’s video

is a research director with UniServices at the University of Auckland. She has been involved with technology education in New Zealand from its early development, being involved in the development of the draft 1993 technology curriculum, the final 1995 document and more currently the revised 2007 technology curriculum.

Bruce McIntyre
pulled out of University and founded Macpac at age 19. Macpac has been a business model much studied for its product innovation, international success and cultural innovation. In recent years, Bruce’s search for solutions to our social and environmental woes has led to the realisation that education is key. A plethora of recent discoveries in various sciences (e.g. biology, chemistry, psychology, quantum physics) support the awareness and understanding that humans are living to a small fraction of their potential. He is currently leading the development of a new school, which is intended to

Vicki Compton
I believe the goal of education is to support the development of citizens able to participate in a democratic fashion. In order to achieve this, there must be equal priority given to realising the individual potential of students and to providing them with the knowledge and skills required for their enculturation into society. The resultant ‘citizen’ can be envisaged as an informed critical and creative individual who can participate both independently and collectively in a confident, competent and innovative manner to both support and change the world in which they live. Preparation for such a role rests upon a broad multiple literacy that rests upon philosophical understandings of disciplines such as technology, science and the


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arts, and understandings of the foundational knowledge and practices associated with these disciplines. Preparing students of today for what is an unknown future must inherently include the development of the capability to work with incomplete and fast changing knowledge where uncertainty is viewed as an opportunity for making informed decisions that acknowledge complexity without being overwhelmed by it.

serve as a model of education for the future. Its three major principles are: whole person development, full engagement learning and re-connection with nature. “The world is in a race between

The skill sets required for good citizenship are no different to those required to be fully participatory members of any workforce. Both rest upon being able to critically reflect on ‘what is’ and work towards ‘making things better’ – whether this be in terms of a better life, a better service, or a better product. The development of both practical and functional reasoning is key to decision making about the feasibility of courses of actions, based both on what is ‘desirable’ and what is ‘possible’. Lifelong learners are therefore not so much created by education, but should be enabled by it. Learning is a natural state of the human condition. Education must ensure that it does not shut this down through contrived contexts, constricted opportunities or the lack of access to foundational knowledge and practices as outlined above.

education and catastrophe” Buckminster-Fuller

Vincent Heeringa
taught maths and sciences at secondary school before becoming a journalist and publisher. He was founding Editor of Unlimited and a founder of Idealog. He hopes to return to teaching one day when he has something worth sharing.

Andrew Hamilton
was the founding CEO of The ICEHOUSE in 2001.

Bruce McIntyre
Currently, education is openly focussed on training students to play a role in the economy. It does not hold a vision for the growth of human potential beyond earning a livelihood. To quote our Prime Minister, “We need a skilled and educated workforce to drive an innovative economy”. The open agenda of the education system is success, but only in economic terms. Personal growth is left to the parents. This is extremely problematic, because for many generations now, parents have gone through the same system, thus creating today’s situation where parents know no more about human development than the system that shaped their minds. Education has to take on the role of facilitating whole person growth if we have any chance at all of preparing people for life. ‘Good citizens’ are happy people. Happiness is not a skill, it’s a state of being. We NEED to develop capabilities that allow people to grow self esteem and personal satisfaction. Instead of being shut down, boxed into packages of skill sets, we NEED to be taught how to open up into our innate, individual potentials. By doing this at school, we will be creating a joyfilled model of lifelong growth and discovery, replacing the current model of survival, emptiness and addiction to escapism.

The ICEHOUSE is a business growth centre that creates learning environments for owners & managers to enable them to significantly grow their companies. It is a charitable trust founded by the University of Auckland Business School and some well known New Zealand and International Companies. Since 2001, The ICEHOUSE has worked with 50 startups and just under 1,000 owner manager firms. It has raised close to $30m for these start-ups and the owner managers are growing their EBIT on average 38% per annum. Andrew was the founding Chair of Incubators NZ, is a Board member of ICE Angels and also a Board member of ANZATEC based in Silicon Valley, a group who is tasked with creating a better gateway for NZ and Australian technology companies to enter the US. Prior to joining the ICEHOUSE, Andrew was CEO and Director of Inventure, Fletcher Building’s venture capital arm which he established in 1998.

Vincent Heeringa
I’ve always thought that the apprenticeship system was a great way to learn – work, generate questions, then head to the classroom. It’s like learning how to use a new piece of software: just start using it and then you have a mind to ask questions. So my ideal education system starts with everything basic in the liberal arts and sciences for kids and then gets involved in business, crafts, society and real life as soon as practical. Real life is the best education, so why not expose kids to it early?

Andrew Hamilton
We need to give the participants in the education system a broad spread of learning opportunities. Both functional elements like Maths, Languages, Science, Internet etc and life skills – like being a member of the community and contributing to it. The key to me is not being too stringent – learning environments should be tailored to the children, not tailored for society as a whole – which means we need flexibility. Get children into the community and contributing from an early age. Get them studying what it means to live and ‘be’ in this global world. Projects on internationalisation need to be a part of the curriculum. In terms of school sets that build good citizens worldliness would be a good start – and the community engagement. But you know we don’t want all chiefs and no

“Marketing, sales and engineering all look at opportunities and obstacles very differently, so it's critical that each of these disciplines understand our customers' needs and perspectives. Personas help all of the teams across the company gain intimate knowledge about


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how our products fit into the lives of our Indians – that would be chaos! I love the question about creating lifelong learners and this is an area where we have serious issues in New Zealand if we do not address it. It has to start at home and at our schools – the key is how you imbed in people the desire to continually learn and ask questions in life. While it is hard to create that, we can provide the opportunities for people to be lifelong learners, and in time the pressure from society to not fall behind will force more people to do this. With the help of designindustry, Tait has been building the personas of our key target customers for use by the whole company, and it's beginning to pay dividends. I love it when an engineer talks about a new idea or an innovation that customers, and to collaborate more effectively with each other. That knowledge can make the difference between a product that meets a specification and an industry-leading solution that truly benefits the user.

A Merry Christmas to all our clients, contributors and readers
Christmas image by Adrienne Rewi, Photographer and Journalist

was inspired by these personas”. Linda Smith, Group Marketing Manager, Tait Electronics Limited Click here to enquire about our persona service >>

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