New professor brings expertise in futures education to AUT

14 Aug, 2013
New professor brings expertise in futures education to AUT
Professor Jane Gilbert, School of Education

Futures education expert Jane Gilbert took up her new role as a professor at AUT University’s School of Education this week.

Before joining AUT Professor Gilbert was a chief researcher at the NZ Council for Educational Research.  She has also worked as a secondary school teacher and an education lecturer.

Catching the knowledge wave
In her 2005 book Catching the Knowledge Wave?  The knowledge society and the future of education in New Zealand, Professor Gilbert challenged the way New Zealanders think about knowledge and education.  In particular she looked at how schools need to change in order to prepare their students for the knowledge-based societies of the future.

Putting ideas into practice
Gilbert says she was interested in joining AUT because of its reputation for being innovative and future-focused.  “Working at AUT will provide a space to work with others and put into practice some of the ideas I have been thinking and writing about for many years,” she says.

Problem solving and critical thinking
“Jane has an international reputation for futures education.  Everyone is talking about educating children for a world we can’t predict.  But she has the knowledge to bring the idea to life, to show us what it looks like when you co-construct new knowledge with university students,” says Acting Head of the School of Education, Lyn Lewis.

“The future is about students problem solving and thinking critically in a new way.  We therefore need our trainee teachers to experience this transformational learning at university so that they can work with students in the classrooms of the future.”

Valuable expertise for the university
“Professor Gilbert’s expertise in futures education will also be extremely valuable at the faculty and university level, where we are reviewing curricula and exploring new approaches to teaching and learning.  This is a real opportunity for AUT to be at the forefront of university education,” says Professor Nigel Hemmington, Dean of the Faculty of Culture and Society.

An emphasis on research
At AUT Professor Gilbert will be a leading academic in the School of Education with a focus on educational research, establishing specialised postgraduate qualifications in the futures education area and supervising masters and doctoral students.