Hot on the World
For young people in particular, the situation has gotten much worse. The Millennial Bloggers are based all over the world. They are innovators in entrepreneurship, journalism, education, entertainment, and academic scholarship. This month we ask them to share their perspectives on the rich, the poor and the growing gap.
Every day the demand for an American higher education increases worldwide. But one of the crucial blocks to achieving a degree is the costly price. The Minerva Project was started in 2012 to provide an elite Ivy League education for a fraction of the price. I talked to Ben Nelson, the Founder, Chairman, and CEO of Minerva about his innovative company.
Siva Kumari, the first female Director General of the International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO), has a lot on her mind. As global education systems scramble to find better ways to teach international perspectives and intercultural competence to the first generation of world citizens, Kumari appears to be in the right place at an historic time. “Many schools ask themselves these days how they can develop not just sound disciplinary competency, but also character qualities such as courage, integrity, curiosity, leadership, resilience and empathy. The IB schools have a long track record with this,” comments Andreas Schleicher, Director for Education and Skills and Special Advisor on Education Policy to the OECD Secretary General.
When terror and fear is left in a child, Sacha Abercorn OBE, the Duchess of Abercorn, explains it will “carry further destruction with it through a lifetime.” In 1987, the Duchess founded The Pushkin Trust, which began as The Pushkin Prize in Ireland, a creative writing competition for primary schools in the North and South of Ireland to help children express their thoughts and feelings. Today, creative writing still remains at the central core of Pushkin activities that often use the environment as a source for inspiration. The overarching goal of their work is to develop the “wholeness” of every person, nurturing them through imaginative workshops or summer camps to find their ‘voice,’ i.e. to connect with the “energising, creative core that lies at the center of every individual.” This year, the charity will celebrate its 30th anniversary.
Siva Kumari joined the IB in April 2009 as its Regional Director for Asia-Pacific. A year later she was named its first Chief Operating Officer, and last year, its seventh Director General. In The Global Search for Education interview that follows, she discusses the IB’s philosophical heritage, its work today with students, and her vision for its future role in the world.
We were delighted to win our second Upton Sinclair Award this year, given for our “continual work on world-wide educational issues.” In the more than ninety Global Search for Education articles we published throughout the world in 2016, our consistent themes included the need to fundamentally change the way we think about education so as to make it relevant in a rapidly changing globalized world, as well as an emphasis on its critical role in human wellbeing.
Would small data help accomplish what is called Good Data in education? Education systems around the world use big data such as standardized tests, school inspections and surveys to measure learning outcomes. Pasi Sahlberg believes that good education must be evaluated from a variety of evidence which includes both the quantitative and the qualitative. He argues that in order to understand how well schools are doing, we also need to collect “small data” using teachers’ and students’ “observations, assessments and reflections” of the teaching and learning processes in classrooms.
The U.K. citizens’ surprising approval of the Brexit referendum last June and the even more surprising U.S. election of Donald Trump as president on November 8 shook the world. Americans chose to elect a billionaire businessman, an outsider with no government experience, over Hillary Clinton, the candidate of the establishment. What economic and social forces might have prompted this upset? And what might we imagine are the implications of these outcomes?
In September 1994, Jerome Bruner, the famed psychologist, professor and education visionary, visited Reggio Emilia, a city in the Emilia-Romagna region of northern Italy. The President of Reggio Children at that time had written to Professor Bruner inviting him to visit the city’s schools. From that year onwards until 2012, Professor Bruner visited Reggio for one month of each year to study the city’s schools and enjoy its rich culture. According to Carla Rinaldi, current President of Reggio Children and Director of the Loris Malaguzzi International Center in Reggio Emilia, these schools and the local culture were “among his dearest research subjects.”
A noisy construction site on North 6th Street in Brooklyn, New York is a challenging place to interview Paola Prestini, Creative and Executive Director of the most talked about new arts venue in town to grow creators, educators, performers and entrepreneurs -- how Prestini describes the role of the artist in a 21st century world. But - Whoa - this is Brooklyn, and this is National Sawdust, the innovative new haven for emerging and established artists which defines a least one of its goals as producing
When you hear the voice of the Real Alice In Wonderland – Alice Pleasance Hargreaves – extending her thanks to President Nicholas Murray Butler of Columbia University at the spectacular centenary celebrations held in the old Columbia gymnasium on May 4, 1932, you will gasp. As for those of us who know the whole story…..well, we simply reach for our box of Kleenex.
Employers want to hire people with 21st-century skills and they can’t find enough qualified candidates. The problem, says Charles Fadel, Founder of the Center for Curriculum Redesign, is that our education system “is biased for college entrance requirements via tests such as the SAT which are partially obsolete, and never reflected particularly well the needs of employability.” So given the dramatic transformations we are seeing in the workplace, what are the most effective ways to close the increasingly widening education-to-employment gap?
In President Obama’s farewell address in Chicago, he notes that for democracy to work in a nation that is becoming more and more diverse, we need to “heed the advice of one of the great characters in American fiction, Atticus Finch, who said, “You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view…until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.”
The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is a triennial international survey that evaluates education systems. Once a country is approved for participation by PISA, individual schools are chosen based on stringent criteria to represent all 15 year-olds in that country. In 2015, over half a million 15-year-olds in 72 countries and economies took the two-hour test. Students were assessed in science, mathematics, reading, collaborative problem solving and financial literacy, although the major emphasis of the 2015 test was science literacy.
So you’re a teacher and you want to stay on top of your digital knowledge, plus expand your local community of fellow educators and collaborate with ed tech experts on how to improve student outcomes. Maybe you’re looking for a way to learn new things in an environment that’s slightly less structured than a formal training session? Consider hosting or joining a teacher meet-up. Or, as Edmodo likes to call it – a TeachUp!