The world needs 69 million more teachers by 2030 to achieve universal basic education, according to UNESCO.
Trends across the world see teachers leaving the profession in droves and shrinking numbers of young people enrolling to become teachers. In Australia, the number of enrolments in education degrees has dropped by 19.24% in 2024. There is an expected shortfall of more than 4000 high school teachers alone by 2025 and an expected attrition rate of up to 30% in some parts of the country.
This is a system in crisis and one on which the health of our future society depends.
What Do Teachers Do?
Teachers are enormously influential in the lives of young people. Teachers invent the future for students.
Teachers are charged with educating the coming generations, they are flexible, multi-skilled, collaborative, empathic, communicative, and patient, but teachers have been asked to excessively accommodate to enormous complexity in their classrooms.
Teacher’s report feeling frustrated, overwhelmed, burnt out, highly anxious, exhausted, pushed around, and disillusioned. They feel like they have been stripped of their authority to make professional decisions for the betterment of their students.
A Bigger Way of Thinking for a Big Dilemma
Is there a different way to think about this? Systems thinking proposes that all human problems and symptoms are located or embedded in a socio-relational world, no matter how individual and how personal that problem or symptom is.
To create change it is important to engage the whole socio-relational group or village; the immediate family and extended family system, school/education system, and other service delivery systems around a child, adolescent, or adult problem or symptom. bower(schools) looks at the location of a problem or symptom in a human system and the accommodation that living system makes to that problem or symptom.
Removing Impediments to Change
The objective is to remove impediments to collaboration and change created by problem and symptom complexity, comorbidity, and multiple stakeholders including behaviour specialists, school leadership, teachers, NDIS, education systems, lawyers, counsellors, psychologists, neurologists, courts, DCP, psychiatrists, social workers, tribunals, and assorted health and helping professionals.
bower(schools) provides protocols to help teachers and schools share responsibility fairly and reciprocally with all stakeholders. This effectively removes the burden on teachers and makes complexity a collective responsibility. Problems are no longer solely between a child and teacher, teacher and parent, teacher and other professional but rather a problem that all stakeholders share appropriate responsibility for.