Firstly a major challenge is the undermining of teaching as a profession and the poor status / lack of respect society affords us for doing this crucial job.
Next one of the main challenges facing Scottish education is the huge gap between the great forward thinking initiatives (CfE) and the cack handed manner they are implemented. It constantly amazes me that the core principles of CfE are undermined at every turn by paranoid management and a deep set desire to cling to grades and formative assessment just to fill in boxes or make pretty graphs. I am foerced to grade CfE using 5-14 by another name as that is what the authority demands. Really we should be reporting fully to parents about their children’s progress, experiences, next steps in a holistic manner – you don’t need a grade!
Another huge problem is IT provision which can be embarrassingly bad and Glow is descending into farce.
As for ambition I think it is present in bucketfulls but it is quashed too often (again just look at CfE) by many who are stuck in their ways and not forced to re-evaluate their practice. Often these are people in promoted positions within schools and authorities who are not brave enough to stand up to parents etc for fear of damaging their career – as one said to me today “you’ve got to play the game”.
I think in terms of future challenges etc I would refer back to my previous points – if we are not trusted as professionals and allowed / enabled to develop and change we will be left behind.
Young people need to be leave education as functioning, capable members of society. they need to be literate and numerate but they also need to be able to adapt to new situations and crucially to think and work independently. I think enabling independence at all levels is essential. Health and Well being ideals of respect for others, community and society are also very important.
There is loads more but I’m going to stop or I’ll make myself miserable! But I do know there are loads of great teachers and practitioners out there!