Ten Trends

Each year CORE Education’s experienced staff of educators, digital technology experts and researchers combine their expertise, understanding and evidence of the emerging patterns influencing all aspects of education.

The result is CORE's list of the ten trends that are expected to make a growing impact upon education in New Zealand in the coming year with the intention of promoting informed discussion within the education community.

See previous Ten Trends

Ten trends wheel

Trend themes explained

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The culture of an educational organisation is the combination of the beliefs, perceptions, relationships, attitudes, and written and unwritten rules that shape and influence every aspect of how a school/kura or centre functions.

Culture also encompasses more concrete issues such as the physical and emotional safety of students, the orderliness of classrooms and public spaces, or the degree to which a school embraces and celebrates racial, ethnic, linguistic, or cultural diversity.

Influences that change or alter any aspect of this mix will likely have an impact on the overall culture of a school/kura or organisation.

ten trends technology icon


The pace of change driven by new technologies and technological advances looks set to continue and even accelerate, meaning that existing skills in the teaching workforce will need to be frequently upgraded.

In every part of our lives technology is reshaping expectations and enabling new possibilities. The emerging technologies are very different to what we have experienced in the past, requiring us to find new ways to adapt to digital change in more sustainable ways.

The important thing here is the pervasive nature of change that occurs when a new technology is introduced, because technological change is not additive, it is ecological. When you add a new technology you don’t simply change something, you change everything.

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We are facing a time of incredible challenge to the traditional structural mindset of schools. Educational institutions are by nature, very reliant on the structures that give them their identity and serve to support what they do and the way they do it.

Never before has this been questioned so much as education systems around the world struggle to identify what sort of response(s) to make to an increasingly diverse and exponentially changing social paradigm.

Structural change includes the deep-reaching change that alters the way authority, capital, information, and responsibility flows in an organisation. For educational institutions, this may mean changes to physical structures (e.g. modern learning environments) or organisational structures (e.g. leadership models, faculties, departments, syndicates etc.) It may also include the emergence of completely new structures (e.g. virtual schools).

ten trends process icon


In business terms, process is a collection of related, structured activities or tasks that produce a specific outcome. Simply put, process may be understood as ‘the way we do things’. It is important to understand that the way we do things will inevitably reflect our language, culture and identity.

Educational institutions are historically very process-driven. Everything from enrolment to curriculum, to the approaches to teaching and learning, to how we capture data through assessment and how students pass through school to graduation, is process-driven.

Each of these is characterised by the process that determines how things are done. Such processes provide order, create efficiency and ensure everything is done in a timely and consistent manner.

ten trends economic icon


The way we generate wealth and the skill sets required to contribute to this are key elements in any economy. In the past, economic activity was determined by the combination of natural resources, labour, and capital. This view is now challenged by consideration of the value of things such as technology and creativity, giving rise to alternative views such as the concept of a knowledge economy.

The predominant focus of ‘financial maximisation’ that is characteristic of our Western mindset is also a significant influence within our education system. This can be seen in the trends in the economic theme that focus on how we are preparing young people for the world of work, and their contribution to the economy of the future. More recently the emphasis on sustainable practices and different ways of understanding ‘success’ highlight some significant changes ahead in this area.




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Further information

CORE staff are available to speak to staff groups about any of these themes, or to present to cluster groups or at conferences, either in person or using an online synchronous communications system. Further inquires should be addressed to:

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