Relevance Unfound

This post: Relevance Unfound is based on Chapter 1 of Deep Learning: Engage the World, Change the World by Fullan, Quinn and McEachen

Scrolling through Twitter postings of how applied science is changing our world helps me to remember that outside of the structure that is school, our world is changing exponentially.

For example, this new car will be on the market next year in Europe.

If a top speed of 43 mph is not your style, you can print something a bit more stylish and powerful.


In fact, we can print almost anything now.

Freeform isomalt (sugar) printing has so many implications for biotechnology.



When we are so busy in our schools, particularly this time of year, it’s sometimes easy to let the world slip by.  Our awareness of change, and our ability to respond within the structures of school, can escape our list of priorities.

In Deep Learning: Engage the World, Change the World, Chapter 1 begins with what we already know.  Traditional schooling is not engaging.

Change is the result of push and pull factors.  Two push factors for changing traditional schooling are the understanding of the lack of engagement, and the irrelevance of what is happening in schools in a world of exponential change and uncertainty (Fullan, Quinn and McEachen, 2018, p. 3)

There are plenty of examples of children, fully engaged in learning, will simply teach themselves what they need to know.

Nicholas Negroponte: Tablets for children who can’t go to school.

Sugata Mitra: Kids Can Teach Themselves



We can’t hide from the disconnect between what happens in traditional classrooms and the exponential change that is our world today.  Our adaptive challenges need our attention, our ideas, our thinking.

How does our profession need to adapt to remain relevant in 2018?

Our #nledDPAG (Director’s Principal Advisory Group) are working on solutions to student disengagement in grades 7-12. As part of this work we are reading Deep Learning Engage the World Change the World by Fullan, Quinn and McEachen (2018).  This is an ongoing reflection on that work.

Featured image on Unsplash

Deep Learning Series:

One thought on “Relevance Unfound

  1. Donna, fantastic synthesis of chapter 1 of Deep Learning – Engage the World. Change the World. I’m currently reading same text. Tapping into your thinking helps solidify mine. I look forward to other blogs.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *