About us

Edge Work is a network of people interested in exploring the question of how and why our education system needs to change if it is to prepare people for the world of the future.

It aims is to provide a forum for developing, debating and connecting new work on education futures.

Edge Work is based at AUT University in the School of Education — part of the Faculty of Culture and Society.

Edge Work Director: Professor Jane Gilbert

Who are we (so far)?

Currently the work to develop Edge Work is being done by a small group of education reseachers, teachers and school leaders.

However, the aim is to widen this network considerably — to include education professionals working in a range of different contexts, within and beyond New Zealand, and importantly, people who can bring in new energy from outside the education sector.

The current group is committed to working together to think, act, and engage differently to help create and prepare people for a range of different possible educational futures.

We think this has to be done "in the network" — by connecting to, building on, and connecting up a wide range of education-based and non-education-based networks.

Our education system needs to change

Many people around the world are working on the question of education's future/s. There are many different perspectives and many reasons for doing this work.

Many (not all) of these people agree that our education system is no longer "fit for purpose", that it hasn't kept up with the "paradigm shift" that has taken place in the world beyond education.

Our current "mass" education system was set up, roughly a century and a half ago, to give people the knowledge and skills needed to live, work, and participate as citizens in a stable, ordered, predictable world. This world has now gone (if it ever existed).

"Preparing people to survive and thrive in an increasingly uncertain, fast-changing, highly complex world requires new and different kinds of education."

People have very different views on what "future-oriented" education should look like, how it could be achieved, and who should be responsible for developing it.We think developing a more future-oriented education system is not a simple, "technical" problem, but a highly complex "adaptive challenge" that needs to be tackled on a number of fronts at once.

We think this work needs to be informed by a deep understanding of education itself — its history, its philosophies, and its past aims and objectives. We think the future of education is best seen, not as a "problem" to be solved, but an opportunity to think, act, and engage with others differently.

The work we're interested in doing builds on and develops the idea outlined above with others, in a context framed by our reading of the adult cognitive development literature, the futures studies literature, and the literature on complexity.

We think something really interesting is going on here, that we are at or near a "tipping point", one that we want to be part of.

What we do

Edge Work's key activities are as follows:

Last updated: 12-Mar-2015 11.17am

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