Derek is acknowledged as one of NZ education’s foremost future focused thinkers, and is regularly asked to consult with policy makers and government agencies regarding the future directions of educational policy and practice in New Zealand and internationally.
Throughout his career in education Derek has been driven by a deep personal belief in the public good of education, regarding education as the pathway to self-improvement, and a fundamental right of every human being.
With a background as a teacher, principal, teacher educator and education policy advisor, Derek has been involved with a wide range of initiatives from exploring the innovative use of digital technologies and researching e-learning practices, to helping establish policy and strategies to enable the implementation of future focused learning systems.
In 2003 he helped establish CORE Education/Tātai Aho Rau, a not-for-profit organisation providing professional development services and support across all parts of the NZ education sector, including a significant team of facilitators providing support for Māori learners in both Māori medium and English medium settings. He stepped back from leading that organisation in 2017 to allow a new generation of leaders to step up. Derek’s current role in FutureMakers allows him to continue his work in future focused education across a wide range of contexts.
In recognition of his work in education, Derek was designated one of 2008’s “Global Six” by the George Lucas Educational Foundation which recognizes individuals making a difference in education.
Derek is a regular speaker at conferences both nationally and internationally, and maintains a blog on matters relating to e-learning and other aspects of interest to educators that can be found on the www.futuremakers.nz website.