A Learners’s Paradise

How New Zealand is Reimagining Education: A Guidebook for Parents and Educators Everywhere

By Richard Wells
More Now

Do you think education works? Does it meet the needs of future society, business and most importantly, the average school leaver?

In this book, Richard Wells explains his amazement at how all the components of New Zealand education collaborate in creating an ever forward-moving system better prepared for the 21st century than any other. After teaching in the United Kingdom, Wells moved to New Zealand in 2006 to find there was no prescribed curriculum and teachers were trusted to run the whole system, including writing high school graduation assessments themselves. The Government is appreciated by teachers as a supportive aide to them as they hold each other to account in a positive and collaborative nationally networked system. In New Zealand, teachers are proud of the education system they operate and develop with their students, some being unaware of how lucky they are.

Wells explains each of the elements and organisations that jointly form the world’s leading 21st Century education system. He describes the developments and decisions that were made in achieving this and how it is moving into a phase of using student-negotiated national assessments that few other countries’ educators could even contemplate. The book is filled with useful diagrams and posters to illustrate key themes and pedagogies.

Wells paints a picture of what happens when young people are measured by their depth of thinking and understanding and can personalise their approach to doing so. The book introduces you to a country where the leading people and schools shape the future of world public education.

About the Author

Mark Wagner

Richard Wells

Richard is a world-recognised educator, author and blogger on future education trends. He has presented around the world and has been rated in the top fifty world influencers for educational technology use. He currently works in school leadership and is passionate about moving schools forward to better represent the needs of the twenty-first century. Richard proudly started his career with a honours degree in Fine Art from Manchester in England. He worked in IT before getting contracted to work in schools, digitalising their workflows in the late 1990s. He became an educator in 2003 and after teaching and managing school departments for 3 years, moved to New Zealand in 2006. Blogging and connecting with educators around the world since 2011.
Global Top 40 EdTech influencer (Onalytica)
Global Top 12 Edu Blogger (Huffington Post)
Website: eduwells.com

What People are Saying

This book offers a fresh and engaging overview of the New Zealand education system with provocations and practical suggestions for the classroom teacher, whether international or local. There is a clear emphasis on New Zealand’s learner-centric approach which positions both teachers and students as lifelong learners who inquire, explore, and grow in a high-trust model. New Zealanders will be reminded of just how lucky they are, and international educators will be inspired to adapt best-practice examples for their own context. Written with Richard’s typical gentle sense of humour, this is a highly enjoyable and thought-provoking read.” -Philippa Nicoll Antipas, Connected Learning Advisor, CORE Education, @AKeenReader “Richard Wells paints a powerful portrait of what learning looks like in New Zealand and encourages educators to reflect and act on how they can move forward within their own schools. These narratives from around the world help create a story of what is possible in schools today no matter where you are in the world.” -George Couros, division principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning, Parkland School Division, @gcouros “In a desperate search for innovation in twenty-first-century education, Richard Wells decided to take a look at the New Zealand public school system. His book, A Learner’s Paradise, explores the initiatives that his country has put into place which challenge the status quo and foster a forward-thinking approach to putting students on a successful path to lifelong learning. I hope everyone interested in the futures of all young people will take the opportunity to read this book. —C. M. Rubin, author, The Global Search for Education

Other Interesting Reads

The Martians in Your Classroom

Rachael Mann and Stephen Sandford

The Martians in Your Classroom

The careers of the future are out of this world—literally! The first person to step foot on the red planet has already been born and could be a student in a classroom, a kid in your neighborhood, or a child in your own home. We are preparing the next generation for jobs that do not exist and for career paths that may not be in our communities, our countries, or even on our planet.

More Now

Mark Wagner

More Now

In More Now, EdTechTeam Founder, Mark Wagner, PhD, explores the six essential elements of effective school change: courageous leaders, empowered teachers, student agency, inspiring spaces, robust infrastructure, and engaged communities. You’ll learn from educational leaders, teachers, and technologists how you can make each of these essential elements part of your school or district culture—starting now.