Issue 8
Monday, 05 June 2017
Charles Darwin University
Dr Jon Mason: 15 years ahead of his time
Dr Jon Mason: 15 years ahead of his time

Planning scenarios for future schools

By Andrew Hall

Teacher education researchers Dr Jon Mason and Associate Professor Greg Shaw are helping to conceptualise the future of education as members of an international research team based at Beijing Normal University (BNU) in China.

Dr Mason returned to Casuarina campus last week from a seminar hosted by the Advanced Innovation Center for Future Education (AICFE) at BNU, one of a series of seminars staged to discuss plausible scenarios for the development of teaching methodologies out to the year 2030.

“This group has adopted the time line to 2030 because it is the target date used by a number of other groups under the auspices of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization,” Dr Mason said.

“But the AICFE is looking at various scenarios through a technology lens.

“They’re interested in artificial intelligence, smart learning environments and what the next generation of schools will look like.”

Late last year Dr Mason and Dr Shaw proposed a research project that focused on conceiving and preparing for digital education futures; framed as a comparative study involving teachers from the Northern Territory and Urumqi in Xinjiang, Western China.

Two key characteristics are that Charles Darwin University and Urumqi Normal University routinely use digital technology in their teaching and they are both urban universities that service remote populations.

AICFE accepted, and agreed to fund, the research proposal, which will have its first published iteration in the form of a journal article titled, “Shifting Pedagogies in Digital Education”.