Professor of Education
School of Education
"Education helps to create the society and economy of the future", says Professor Jane Gilbert, a futures education expert who joined AUT's School of Education in August 2013.
“The way we characterise knowledge and the way we teach it directly affects the New Zealand of the future. Theories of knowledge have the power to include or exclude us, so public debate about education is vital.”
In education circles Professor Gilbert is sought after for her expertise on the future of knowledge in the school curriculum. The ideas in her 2005 book ‘Catching the Knowledge Wave? The knowledge society and the future of education in New Zealand’ captured the imaginations of many in the sector. The book, which examines how schools can prepare students for the knowledge-based societies of the future, still fuels discussion and debate on the best way forward for the education system.
Professor Gilbert developed a strong interest in theories of knowledge when she began her career as a secondary school teacher. That interest has strengthened in her subsequent roles as a university academic and researcher. Prior to joining AUT, she spent ten years as a chief researcher at the New Zealand Council for Educational Research, where she led a number of significant pieces of research commissioned by the Ministry of Education.
Professor Gilbert’s research interests include science and technology curriculum development, gender equity issues, educational philosophy and sociology and what the knowledge society means for education. At AUT she will focus on research and postgraduate teaching in futures education.
“The education system is set up for a past age and it needs to change. To help the change happen, it is important to build a critical mass of people who want to be part of creating education’s future.”