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.
Charles Fadel believes there are flaws with the assessment system currently predominant in the United States. “Assessment boils down to evidence of learning,” but the important outcomes we should be evaluating in students are in fact the most “hard to measure” and subsequently these qualities are simply not being assessed.
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.
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.”
Julia Gillard was sworn in as the first female Prime Minister of Australia on June 24, 2010 and served in that office until June 27, 2013. As Prime Minister and in her previous role as Deputy Prime Minister, Gillard was central to the successful management of Australia’s economy, the 12th biggest economy in the world, during the Global Financial Crisis.