VSB Superintendent Outlines his Vision for the Future of Public Education

Last week, VSB Superintendent Steve Cardwell appeared on "Your Education Matters" with Paul Shaker. During the interview, Cardwell touched on a number of themes while outlining his vision for the future of public education.

One of the key areas of interest for the superintendent was how school districts need to be able to integrate education with innovation. He said you see the success of such programs with the wide-range of multi-disciplinary programs, mini-schools and alternative education programs available to the diverse student base at the VSB.

At the district level, Cardwell elaborated on the importance of innovative processes at the management level so that school districts could maximize the amount of money they could repurpose into the classrooms. Part of this might mean streamlining and centralizing school district systems.

In the classroom, he says innovative technology is set to "redesign" how students will learn. With so many devices like tablets and iPads connecting students around the world, Cardwell says there's no reason why students doing a project on the Fraser River couldn't share their research and thoughts with a similar class in Paris conducting a research project on the Seine. Teleconferencing in a marine biologist to talk to the class on the school's SmartBoard will be the norm, not the exception.

Ultimately, all this new technology will help break down the silos of subject-based disciplines allowing students to grapple with real world problems that incorporate a range of studies.

While the future is bright, Cardwell also cautioned that everyone needs to arrive at this bright new educational future together. With drop-out rates across the province at around 20 per cent, jumping to more than 50 per cent for Aboriginal students, the need to consult and work together for the common good is essential.

"Such drop-out rates show we still have a long way to go," says Cardwell. "Ultimately, while this is a very exciting time for many students and educators, we need to make sure that no one is left behind." 

Watch the full interview here:

2011 Oct YEM - Steve Cardwell, superintendent of Vancouver Schools from SFU Education on Vimeo.

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