Thursday, April 19, 2012

Double Espresso!

Sitting in a trendy coffee shop after dinner in the setting sun by the canal in Copenhagen - I know - things could be worse!

Thinking over the past couple of days here in Denmark.

It's a beautiful place. Architecture, climate and countryside. Easy to see why Denmark consistently ranks as the happiest country on earth.

The thing that gets to you very quickly, and powerfully, is how laid back everyone is, from the hippy types I walked past in bohemian Christiania to the teachers I spoke to in the rural countryside near Aarhus, there is a relaxed, almost laid back approach to life which is infectious.

What is more impressive, however, is that this chilled approach is coupled with a powerful decisiveness that mean that decisions are swiftly and confidently made, and (it seems to me) big visions are evaluated and backed wholeheartedly once their value is assured.

It's a powerful combination - and one if not used to seeing at a local authority level.

So often the horizon is obscured by the pedantic problems (often really the particular bugbear of specific individuals) that lie in the foreground.

With reference to the iPad in education, the case for its benefit to schools is increasingly made. The questions are moving away from 'why?' to 'how?'

What is most desperately needed is the ability to keep that horizon in focus and make the wheels turn until we are there.

Unfortunately, where the Danes, with all their relaxed cheerfulness, are getting it done (I was preceded yesterday by a Mayor who had been very resistant to the idea of iPad in her schools but, once convinced became an enthusiastic advocate and pushed the whole project forward) we are not. Local authorities refuse to see the big picture because of 'the way things are' and that is precisely the problem.

We'll never get to the way things should be for our children and our schools unless we change the way they are now.

So I'm sitting in a Danish coffee house, enthused and inspired... and slightly depressed.

Double espresso please.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone


1 comment:

  1. Sitting in a beach house in Turks on vacation from school making my own cup of coffee. Have to agree we need to make the shift quicker. Big issue we have in Vermont is lack of broadband. Nice post making for a nice read over a cup of coffee. Cheers!