Transforming the Future of Learning: People, Positivity, and Pluralism (and Even the Planet)

Transforming the Future of Learning: People, Positivity, and Pluralism (and Even the Planet)

Rosalyn H. Shute (Flinders University, Australia & Federation University, Australia)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-0159-6.ch078
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Abstract

In this chapter, the author reflects on a number of themes that she identifies as threads running through multiple chapters in this book. After explaining the background that informs her perspectives, she discusses six areas: what education is for, the relational nature of education, strengths and empowerment, making the implicit explicit, diversity and pluralism, and the importance of context.
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What Is Education For?

John Guenther raises this fundamental question in considering literacy and numeracy assessment in very remote Australian schools, while Shane Pill discusses it in the very different context of the sport/physical education curriculum. Much literature has been dedicated to this philosophical issue, but in the everyday business of education we easily fall back on our taken-for-granted assumptions. The impetus for re-examination of the question by both Guenther and Pill is marginalisation: of sport education, marginalised in the curriculum, and of entire communities, marginalised by cultural difference.

Pill argues that Australian sport education has focused on education in movement (techniques and skills, for example), with teachers assuming that other aspects will follow: these are education about sport (e.g., sports structures) and education through sport in social, cognitive, emotional and moral ways. Arguably, these do not follow automatically when the focus is on education in movement. To bring sport in from the cold outer reaches of the curriculum to more fully achieve its educative potential, Pill suggests that what sport education is (or could be) ‘for’ is the development of human capital: physical, emotional, social, intellectual and financial. This holistic reframing may also avoid the marginalisation of students who do not excel in physical skill-drill activities, as their learning will be explicitly about much more than that.

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