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Pasi Sahlberg Conversation Series 2023

4 April and 6 June 2023

In the Utzon Room

Schools

A series of talks about the Australian education sector

Influential writer, practitioner and researcher of global education trends, Pasi Sahlberg presents a series of conversations with passionate national and international education thought leaders discussing the Australian education sector.

If we all think the same way, none of us probably thinks very much.

Pasi Sahlberg

A series of conversations about the Australian education sector

Influential writer, practitioner and researcher of global education trends, Pasi Sahlberg presents a series of conversations with national and international thought leaders sketching the rationale and urgency for reform of the Australian education sector.

Sahlberg believes that while we may boast some of the best schools in the world by international standards, we equally tolerate a system that enables some students to experience significant disadvantage. Professor Sahlberg wants to initiate a conversation with the Australian community about how this can be addressed.

In these conversations, Sahlberg will lead dialogues on the role of wellbeing, equity, policy and the importance of play for children. These conversations will be directed by audience participation and will actively engage guests in thinking deeper and broader about the current problems of education.

Presented by Sydney Opera House

Fixing the Teacher Crisis

4 April 2023

Teaching used to be perceived as a respected and valued profession, but not anymore. Around the world, fewer young people consider the teaching profession a lifelong career, this has become evident in Australia over the last decade. In this conversation, Pasi Sahlberg will explore some of the root causes of what is now called the 'teacher crisis' and seek solutions to ensure all children in Australia have qualified and passionate teachers in their schools. Pasi asks us to consider what happens if the teacher crisis remains unfixed.

Celebrating the Power of Play

6 June 2023

Play is one of the most natural things we all do in life. It is also an effective way of learning and making sense of the world around us. Yet children today play less than their parents did when they were young. Playtime has gradually been declining in and out of schools. In this conversation Pasi Sahlberg and invited experts celebrate the power of play by discussing what we know about its impacts on children, their development, well-being, and learning. The conversation will focus on ways to bring more play back in schools and at homes, for the benefit of both children and adults. This session will also involve playful participation!

Pasi Sahlberg

Pasi Sahlberg is an author, scholar and educator who has worked as a mathematics and science teacher, teacher-educator, researcher and policy-maker in Finland. He has studied education systems and advised on education system reforms around the world, publishing over 170 academic and professional articles and 22 books on the topic. His most recent book is Let the Children Play! How more play will save our schools and help children thrive (with William Doyle, 2019). He has held numerous advisory roles in international organisations like the World Bank, the European Training Foundation, and has been an education policy expert to the OECD, European Commission and Finnish Governments Foreign Ministry and numerous others. 

His research concludes that Australia has schools that are up there with the best in the world, but we tolerate a system where some students experience significant disadvantages. Professor Sahlberg wants to initiate a conversation with the Australian community about how this disparity can be addressed, leading dialogues on international standards, policy and the importance of play for children. He is currently the Professor of educational leadership at the University of Melbourne.

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