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ISJ April 2017: The Misfortune of Impetuous Decisions: Reasons why research, critical thinking, and a bit of scepticism are needed to tame our initiatives


Deron Marvin


In March of last year, a colleague shared an article with me from The Australian titled, ‘Computers in Class a Scandalous Waste’: Sydney Grammar head. What was striking about this piece of writing was the Headmaster at one of Australia’s premier schools, made this potent claim against a model that appears standard for most educational institutions. For me, it is a common question that prospective parents and teachers, and other school administrators, often ask: do you have a one-to-one laptop program in your school? What if I said, “No, I think it is an outrageous waste of money and resources!”? Surely, I would be viewed as a heretic and an anti-technologist. So how does a well-respected Headmaster (who is not anti-tech) in Sydney get away with such an assertion? Evidently, he did his research, thought critically about the consequences of such an initiative, and then probably asked hard line questions of himself and others. If only all school initiatives on the docket went through this manner of scrutiny, we might better endow our students with the necessary skills to truly analyse the world into which they are about to embark.