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Parents are vital to The New Success

Parents have a vital role to play in making sure their children have the schooling they need to succeed in work and life, according to Charles Fadel.

Charles Fadel is delivering the second Australian Learning Lecture: “The New Success, what qualities and skills do our kids need to succeed in the 21st Century at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday 11 May.

He argues that parents, alongside policy makers and educators are critical to helping education transition from an old system which focused on subjects and grades to the New Success where problem solving, creativity, collaboration matter are essential.

“All the great problems of our times – solving global warming, curing diseases, ending poverty, and the rest – don’t stand a chance without education preparing each citizen to play a part in helping to solve our collective problems,” Mr Fadel said.

Mr Fadel is a pioneer of the idea of 21st Century skills and an advocate for transforming education to help children apply 21st century skills to the challenges of our times.

He suggests that parents draw on their experience at work and life and talk to their children about why it is not only what they know that matters but also how they use it, how they behave, and how they adapt.

Critically, parents have an essential role to play in holding politicians accountable and have the courage to plan long-term.

“Parents have a responsibility to their children to call for change. The world is never going to be like the one from their childhood, and it is safer for their children to move forward than clinging to a bygone world. As voters, they can play a part in encouraging politicians to make the necessary change happen,” said Mr Fadel.

Since 2000, Australian education has been declining in performance, the only developed country in the OECD to do so.  Australia has a wide gap in achievement levels between schools and many disaffected, unhappy students at school and numerous school graduates who reach universities and drop out.  Diverse efforts at reform have not proved successful since this decline started 15 years ago.