“We’re redesigning education from the bottom up. It can truly be innovative and has the potential to attract the best leaders and entrepreneurs.” – UK
After completing a year of medical school, Simon Breakspear’s passion for teaching and education prompted him to change his career path, and he hasn’t looked back. Today, Breakspear is a leading thinker on the future of learning, educational innovation and system redesign, and I’m excited to share our recent conversation with you here at Daily Edventures.
As a consultant, researcher and keynote speaker, Simon Breakspear works with policymakers and school leaders to challenge the status quo and generate fresh educational solutions for a disruptive age. His goal? To re-imagine and redesign organized learning as we know it, and to inspire fresh thinking and new solutions in order to radically improve learning. Breakspear is also leading a network of emerging educational leaders across Australia and New Zealand who are seeking to develop innovative solutions to local learning challenges.
Here, Breakspear contemplates the nature of change in education, which he likens to evolution – an iterative process that often causes education leaders to be uncomfortable. “Innovation is true transformation,” Breakspear says. He talks about how you scale innovation, balance content and assessment and even where to start. “We haven’t seen the gains from technology we’ve seen in other sectors. We haven’t yet truly harnessed education to redesign the ecology of learning and teaching.”
On the challenges of personalization, especially with large classes, Breakspear notes that we’re on the brink of true innovation: “Technology that can curate young learners’ choices, use algorithms to work out what a student is up to and give them exactly the next thing they need to learn.” He acknowledges, as many education innovators do, that “As educators, we’ll have to be willing to give up some of the power and put it in the hands of the students.”
Breakspear’s thoughts on where we stand with all this change? “We’re redesigning education from the bottom up. It can truly be innovative and has the potential to attract the best leaders and entrepreneurs.” I couldn’t agree more. Take a look, and see if you concur.
About Simon Breakspear
Simon Breakspear is recognized as an expert on educational futures, innovation and change leadership. He holds a first class honors degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Teaching from UNSW, and a MSc. in Comparative and International Education from the University of Oxford (with Distinction) as a Commonwealth Scholar.
He is currently completing his PhD in education system reform at the University of Cambridge as a Gates Scholar, where his research focuses on the role international comparisons of school system performance can play for policy makers who are seeking to improve their country’s performance.
Breakspear was a keynote speaker at Ulearn 2011 where he spoke about how technology has been the driving force of change rather than the pedagogy.
He has also worked with the PISA team at the OECD in Paris investigating international comparisons of school system performance globally.
He is also the founder of the Global Educational Emerging Leaders Summit, a program that seeks to incubate the next generation of educational change agents. Breakspear has worked extensively to help school and system leaders understand the need to create innovative, collaborative, inspiring and challenging school cultures in order to retain talented teachers, train future leaders and deliver improved educational outcomes in the 21st century.
He has delivered presentations to over 30,000 people globally and has worked
with clients across all sectors of education – early childhood, school, vocational and tertiary.