Pasi Sahlberg is Professor of Education at the Southern Cross University in Lismore, NSW. He is a Finnish educator, author, and teacher who has advised education policies and reforms around the world. Pasi’s professional interests include international whole-system school reforms, teaching and learning in school, digital wellness, and equity in education. He is recipient of 2013 Grawemeyer Award (U.S.), 2016 Lego Prize (Denmark), 2021 Dr Paul Brock memorial Medal and 2021 Hedley Beare Award in Australia. He writes regularly in the Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian, CNN, Washington Post, and other media platforms about current issues in education. His recent books are Let the Children Play: Why more play will save our schools and help children thrive (with William Doyle, 2019), In Teachers We Trust: The Finnish way to world-class schools (with Tim Walker, 2021) and Finnish Lessons 3.0: What can the world learn from educational change in Finland (2021). Pasi lives in Lennox Head, NSW, with his wife and two sons.
Equity in Education
People sometimes assume incorrectly that equity in education means all students are the same or will achieve the same outcomes. In fact, equity in education indicates all students have access to a high-quality education, regardless of where they live, who their parents are, or what school they attend. According to Professor Sahlberg, “Schools cannot fix inequities in education alone. No society can be called a democracy while some social groups are discriminated against in the provision of education or, indeed, in the provision of other public services such as health and social protection.” “The curriculum must serve all students to provide an adequate education for all. To be equitable, the curriculum must address cultural differences in increasingly multicultural and socially complex societies. The cultures of the least advantaged must be recognised and incorporated into the actual curriculum and pedagogical practices.” In this keynote address Professor Sahlberg shall address the principles required to improve equity in education and the part independent schools in New Zealand can play in meeting the “foundational premise of equitable education being one where all children have talents that can and should be realised and advanced through schooling.”