I was supposed to speak at the 2020 Festival of Dangerous Ideas about Manufacturing Inequality in education. Now that this and many other great events is cancelled, I obviously won’t. I hope this great event will be organised as soon as the situation allows.
This is what it was supposed to be about.
The latest PISA measures of international education results are shocking for Australia – our worst ever – and it’s clear that something is going wrong. The first Gonski Review of Funding for Schooling tried to ensure that differences in educational outcomes should not be because of ‘differences in wealth, income, power, or possessions’. We like to think of ourselves as an egalitarian country and home of the ‘fair go’, yet one in six Australian children live in poverty and UNICEF rates us one of the most unfair nations when it comes to childhood education. International studies show that countries with better performing school systems tend to also have fairer school systems. So, are attempts at quick fixes in schools not only failing to solve the problems, but actually manufacturing inequality in our education system?
The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) is the original disruptive festival that brings to light important conversations that push the boundaries of conventional thought. It presents a line-up of international and local thinkers and culture creators, inviting the public to immerse themselves in ideas and conversations that encourage debate and critical thinking.
Taking place over two days this year will be the 10thFestival of Dangerous Ideas with a theme of Dangerous Realities. It features sessions and performances that explore climate change, meritocracy, giving, tech politics, capitalism and more. The Festival of Dangerous Ideas (FODI) was co-founded by The Ethics Centre (TEC) and the Sydney Opera House (SOH) in 2009. It was presented at Sydney Opera House for eight years and in its ninth year explored Cockatoo Island presented by TEC with UNSW Centre for Ideas.