WISE Qatar – Doha Diaries 3 – A Call to Action?

WISE 2009 has drawn to a close and I have hardly had a moment to sit and reflect on the some of the amazing sessions and ideas that have been discussed. I intend to spend some time writing up my notes beyond the live Tweeting I did.

The event closed with a final gathering of the 1000 participants and Dr Abdullah the Chairman of the Qatar Foundation offered not only some final sentiments but a set of declarations.

Throughout the series of plenary and breakout sessions, we have been listening very closely to the contributions and the key concerns of the participants with a firm commitment to move from debate to concrete outcomes. The identification of 10 strategic priorities is a milestone as it represents a convergence among global educational leaders on the key issues that will affect and shape education in the 21st century.

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The 10 strategic priorities declared at the Summit were:

  1. Access to ‘quality’ education
  2. A fully integrated approach
  3. Global citizenship
  4. Education embedded in the local community
  5. Protecting education and educators
  6. Reconciliation
  7. ‘WISE pioneers’ to monitor progress
  8. Innovating new ways to learn
  9. Pursuing sustainable development
  10. A future built on multi-stakeholder partnership

WISE also refined how it will contribute to drive educational changes in the future.

  • WISE will be an agenda-setting forum which will define areas requiring actions across all sectors of education and will seek involvement of appropriate partners.
  • WISE will promote innovative practices, methodologies and partnerships, making best use of modern technology.
  • WISE will seek to build on the momentum of the inaugural summit to inform public opinion and put education as a priority on the political, social and economic agenda.

The identification of these 10 priorities is a first step. They are fairly predictable and I will be expanding on some of them in the coming weeks in some further blog posts about my experiences. The challenge of changing the face of education worldwide is sometimes too big an issue for me to grapple with. But I think grass roots efforts need to be listened to, amplified and supported. I hope that WISE can help amplify the story of my classroom of the innovation in your classroom or school. It is action we want not just more declarations and talk.

This information is not currently in a form to discuss and comment online, so here is our chance – have your say!

What are your reactions to the 10 declarations? Which is the most important to your setting? And what do you make of the role WISE has outlined to drive future educational changes? What measure of impact would you like to see from the WISE group that is relevant and real to you and your institution?

Tom Barrett

Tom is a writer, speaker and consultant. He has been sharing his thoughts on teaching, learning, curiosity and creativity on this blog for over 10 years. Drinking coffee and writing would be his idea of a perfect day.

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Tom is a writer, speaker and consultant. He has been sharing his thoughts on teaching, learning, curiosity and creativity on this blog for over 10 years. Drinking coffee and writing would be his idea of a perfect day.

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19 Comments on "WISE Qatar – Doha Diaries 3 – A Call to Action?"

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[…] website, and some fellow participants (Times Ed correspondent Michael Shaw and educator/blogger Tom Barrett) have done a good job of covering various aspects of the event. Despite the […]

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4 years 7 months ago

easy math for kids…

[…]WISE Qatar – Doha Diaries 3 – A Call to Action? | edte.ch[…]…

nickknight123
Guest
nickknight123
6 years 2 months ago
Julie Lindsay
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
Tom, excellent discussion happening here, thanks for starting this. I have been searching the WISE website for a discussion forum but there is nothing happening yet. A Word doc press release is available from here http://www.digitalnewsroom.co.uk/wise09/closing… but it contains no extended details apart from what you have already told us. My concern is that this is a top-down approach to educational change and also that K-12 education was not well represented at WISE. As you know we saw, heard and met people more from the research, independent organisation and tertiary levels rather than from the K-12 areas. As you also… Read more »
Julie Lindsay
Guest
6 years 6 months ago
Tom, excellent discussion happening here, thanks for starting this. I have been searching the WISE website for a discussion forum but there is nothing happening yet. A Word doc press release is available from here http://www.digitalnewsroom.co.uk/wise09/closing… but it contains no extended details apart from what you have already told us. My concern is that this is a top-down approach to educational change and also that K-12 education was not well represented at WISE. As you know we saw, heard and met people more from the research, independent organisation and tertiary levels rather than from the K-12 areas. As you also… Read more »
cogdog
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cogdog
6 years 7 months ago

I would have thought a logical followup to establish an online community to connect a WISE community; otherwise, events like this are single blips in the sea. And I found it ironic, from a comment on my site, that a month earlier, there was a rather similar event in Bahrain
http://www.educationprojectbahrain.org/

Gotta connect, connect, connect.

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[…] website, and some fellow participants (Times Ed correspondent Michael Shaw and educator/blogger Tom Barrett) have done a good job of covering various aspects of the event. Despite the […]

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6 years 7 months ago

[…] (I dont recall any process where people were asked for these, but they did emerge I guess)- see the summary by Tom Barrett. I really don;t know what to make of them; they are high level, and not really arguable, but I […]

Richard Hein
Guest
6 years 7 months ago

Perhaps these might be outcomes of 2,5 and 8 -Access to technology. A curriculum that uses technology as a tool in every subject. Communication. Collaboration.

As has been pointed out by others, these aims as listed above are to be worked at well above the chalkface. As you pointed out in your wordle notes, student needs to be largest, closely followed by teacher and empowered.

Thanks for your notes.

Doug Belshaw
Guest
6 years 7 months ago
Tom, I wasn't there (wish I was!) but they sound like the output from every conference ever. The problem is that – and I'm not sure those who tread the conference circuit realise this – phrases such as 'A future built on multi-stakeholder partnership' mean *absolutely nothing* to those in the classroom, at the 'chalkface'. This disconnect is a reason why we've still got very traditional teaching and learning going on in the majority of classrooms in the western world. It would seem that the WISE conference was as much about raising the status of Qatar than about actually effecting… Read more »
Yitzchak Freeman
Guest
6 years 7 months ago
For me, no 4 (education embedded in the local community) is key – it may be a failure of imagination on my part, but several of the other strategic priorities sound like either uncontentious slogans or are so vague as to elude any clarity as to what they mean. However, I strongly believe in the value of education embedded in the local community. It echoes (for someone of my advanced years) the '70s slogan of global activism and change – which is after all one of the goals of 21st century education that has been brought to new levels of… Read more »
tomgbarrett
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tomgbarrett
6 years 7 months ago

You haven't misunderstood Peter, you are absolutely on the money! Unless governments sign up to change it is questionable what can really happen. Partnerships and projects will spring up but will we be effected by top-down change? Unlikely. Maybe WISE can help to tell our stories and shout them out even louder.

tomgbarrett
Guest
tomgbarrett
6 years 7 months ago
Thanks Julia – yes it is a positive step for all. There were many government officials from other countries, as Joga5 has mentioned the real opportunity for change is in their hands. So what does WISE become other than a pressure group? I want WISE to listen to the stories of innovative change taking place and to help amplify those projects. They have begun with the WISE Laureates (which were incredibly inspiring) but it is crucial that the bigger lessons are highlighted, so it goes from just being an inspiring story to something that can help innovate and address issues… Read more »
tomgbarrett
Guest
tomgbarrett
6 years 7 months ago

I think the opportunity of setting out what can be done in the next 12 months was missed. I agree action points should have been set and then addressed in 2010. Without action it will be another conference echoing the same issues – do you think WISE could grow in momentum and reputation to effect real education change? Which countries do you think will benefit most from WISE?

tomgbarrett
Guest
tomgbarrett
6 years 7 months ago

One of the declarations is WISE Pioneers. They stated that these people will
keep track of progress over the next year or so. I am as keen as you are to
see feasible developments that matter. You are probably right about the G8
control, there were government representatives from some countries at WISE.
I want to see more made of the stories of change and innovation from around
the world. WISE may not change whole education systems or shift government
policy (I think we all hope it could) but perhaps the forum will provide an
amplified back-channel about educational innovation. One that as it matures
should build pressure.

Peter Richardson
Guest
6 years 7 months ago
Think the 10 priorities are impressive ideological statements but I fear that 'a fully integrated approach' will prove unrealistic in practice (depending on exactly what is meant by it!) Would love to be wrong. In the Uk with LEA's being as inherently insular as they are with schools generally following that pattern I think the entire ethos and structural support would need to be rethought. Focusing on collaboration and innovation and the sharing of good practice whilst being learner centred. We need to move away from a competition driven environment (whilst still maintaining accountability) and unfortunately I can't see any… Read more »
Julia Gillen
Guest
Julia Gillen
6 years 7 months ago

Sounds positive and exciting in commitment to sustainability, commitment to innovation and perhaps especially balance between global citizenship and recognition of the need to embed in local context. I don't know anything about WISE09 beyond the site and your comments; however: where is the public sector and government? Is it a way of pushing private sector interests and ultimately profit before other agendas? I hope not and don't want to sound cynical, just, at this stage, wondering and keeping an open mind.

joga5
Guest
joga5
6 years 7 months ago

The ten steps are all fairly uncontroversial and what one would hope would be stated as the priorities of such an event. My fear is that rather like Kyoto and Copenhagen they can only become reality through the intervention and probably control of G8 governments. The fear is that this moves from the event you described to a sterile PR grabbing exercise. For me the importance is how you keep the middle ground ensuring that the three aims for WISE are met but that it is financially feasible. I worry that they are potentially mutually exclusive.

MikeBakerjournalist
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MikeBakerjournalist
6 years 7 months ago

It was important that the WISE summit came up with a final declaration. I'd like to have seen it more specific with some action points But it was a good start. Thanks for blogging – I've been doing some too on my website…and also just put up a link (and recommendation) to yours.

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