Policy making heaven: a look back at Pasi Sahlberg’s OEB keynote

Pasi Sahlberg at OEB17

I have been working on some articles about effective education policy this week and that prompted me to look back at Pasi Sahlberg’s contribution (slides available here) to the Opening Plenary at last December’s OEB conference.  It was an inspiring 20 min or so that combined hard hitting policy insight with a global perspective from the Finnish expert and culminated in a sing-a-long that makes the YouTube video worth watching!

In his talk there was a clear juxtaposition between making “successful education policies for the future we don’t know” (with examples from the UK, US and Australia amongst others) and “shaping the future we want by making successful policies that create equitable public education for all”. Some of the hallmarks of these kinds of policies are that they award trust-based responsibility, encourage professionalisation, reward risk taking and creativity and that they create cooperation. Not a lot to get right, but a stark contrast to the familiar examples of market driven competition we are seeing every day.

Sahlberg explained how we can get to education policy heaven by achieving the right balance between excellence and equity. Thinking about that made me go back to the call for action for openness in education ALT published late last year. It shows how we could take forward the kind of ‘heavenly’ policy making Sahlberg advocates in all education sectors in the UK in a very practical way.

With the OER18: Open to All conference only a few months away, there is a lot of work ahead to try and build on the successes of last year, the Year of Open, and make this kind of change happen on a national scale.

Coming up #oeb17: Re-articulating what we value – a new vision for Learning Technology professionals

I am looking forward to a panel discussion at Online Educa Berlin 2017 this week, as part of the Business EDUCA: Learning L&D Needs session. The session is about:

Creating learning solutions which enable workforce development is no easy feat. And becoming an effective instructional designer will often require a degree, courses and field experience. This session will discuss the skills practitioners need for the L&D department of the future, as well as how we can learn the profession and remain relevant to our organisations.

You can view the full programme of the conference and more information about the session here.

My contribution is focused on professionalisation of Learning Technology in the UK informed by results from ALT’s Annual Survey and the development of the CMALT accreditation framework (slides).