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Education systems worldwide need to be adaptable, skills focused and learner centric to be fit for the future according to experts at the Cambridge Schools Conference. Over 200 teachers from 50 countries joined at the event, held from 13 to 15 September 2015 at Robinson College, Cambridge, to discuss how to help prepare young people for the challenges of the 21st century.
During the conference, world-renowned international education experts took to the stage to outline their ideas and drive debate on the education we need to develop lifelong learners who are confident, responsible, reflective, innovative and engaged.
Speakers included Tony Little, fresh from his 13 year tenure as the Headmaster of Eton College, who noted the importance of adopting a holistic approach to education, developing visionary teachers and nurturing the relationship between teacher and student. Professor Stephen Heppell discussed how to make better physical and virtual spaces for teaching and learning. Professor Gordon Stobart outlined the challenge of balancing 21st century skills with setting ‘standards’ for accountability and selection, and Veronica Boix Mansilla, the Chair of Harvard Graduate School’s Future of Learning Institute stressed the need to prepare young people for participation in an interconnected world.
Michael O’Sullivan, Chief Executive, Cambridge International Examinations, said: “As educators, it is crucial that we understand the particular changes which are prominent in our times that impact teaching and learning. That is why this year’s conference theme is so important. Whilst the challenges that arise from the falling away of jobs for life, 21st century globalisation and the rise of digital technology defy simplistic solutions, we have a responsibility to prepare ourselves and our learners as best we can with an education that is fit for the future.
Huiqin Wang, Principal of Shanghai Guanghua College in China said: “This conference has really made me reflect on the experience of our students in the classroom. The keynotes and workshops I have attended have given me many ideas of how to better engage and inspire our students, whilst helping them to develop the skills they will need to be successful not only in school and university but also life beyond.”