Recently New Zealand was represented at the International Summit of the Teaching Profession (ISTP), April 25th to the 27th. This was New Zealand’s first time at the ISTP since 2018.
The ISTP invites the country’s Minister of Education and Union Leaders to discuss international trends and issues. This year NZEI Te Riu Roa was represented by our President, Mark Potter and Vice-President Ripeka Lessels.
Having principals in both these positions meant that the experience of principals was firmly represented in the delegation team. The delegation also included leaders from the PPTA.
The ISTP focused on three themes:
- Elevating and enhancing the teaching profession.
- Educating for global and cultural competence and civic engagement.
- Leveraging digital technologies to ensure equitable access and enhance learning for all.
Teacher shortages are now a global problem due to various factors, including the pandemic, lack of respect for the profession, and inhospitable work environments. We face inevitable international poaching of principals and teacher resources as different education systems attempt to maintain their education work forces.
The common challenges around the globe were summarised as the ABC. A is the loss of autonomy for teachers in professional decision making. B is the need for better working conditions. C is the need for remuneration that is competitive with other professions and employment options.
New Zealand highlighted the need for the importance of indigenous people and their cultural knowledge in developing leadership and design of culturally informed learning for all children. This was very well recieved by the conference.
The impact of Artificial Intelligence on education created a lot of discussion. Fears that AI can interfere with assessment and may be viewed as a replacment for quality teaching were explored.
Each country set commitments for the next twelve months that were shared with each other. Our goals are;
Theme 1: Raising the profile and status of the teaching profession through a commitment to positive messaging on the value and impact of teaching in society.
- Settle current collective bargaining negotiations for a stable workforce
- Review of current teaching scholarships available
- Investigating the wellbeing of teachers and identify actions from findings.
- Collecting and sharing of positive teaching stories
Theme 2: Cementing the importance of Mātauranga Māori (indigenous knowledge) in education, curriculum, and teaching practice.
- Make visible the progress we have made and where we are going.
- Review teaching scholarships for Māori teaching places to ensure they are targeted at the most effective level.
- Connecting with other jurisdictions on the benefits of various programmes and explore opportunities.
Theme 3: School communities are empowered to find solutions that work for their connectivity and digital needs at a local and regional level.
- Identify connectivity issues in rural/isolated communities and work on solutions with providers.
- Develop a shared professional vision on emerging technology and prioritise commitments and challenges.