For the first time in forty years, the World Bank’s World Development Report (WDR), released on Tuesday, focuses exclusively on education. We are pleased to see its core messages resonating so well with our past reports, especially the 2013/4 EFA Global Monitoring Report on teaching and learning. The WDR is a welcome addition to the […]
Of course we need at least 365 days of Peace, but let us try and grab what we can.
Without talking about the disgrace of holding arms ‘fairs’ such as those in London recently, perhaps we can look at how to keep refugees educated.
We can get people on to the moon and develop a nuclear weapon, but cannot provide refugee children with some basic technology to keep participating in education , on the move. There are accelerated learning programmes which can be facilitated by local volunteers, but our practical thinking still leaves us without governmental interest in the future human resource of their countries.
By Joseph Nhan-O’Reilly, Head of Education Policy & Advocacy and Sébastien Hine, Education Research Adviser at Save the Children The world is now witnessing the highest levels of displacement on record. According to UNHCR, an unprecedented 65.6 million people around the world have been forced from their homes. Among them are nearly 22.5 million refugees, […]
As a passionate teacher and learner, I am fascinated to understand more about how children learn and how to improve the conditions under which children are expected to learn. We have had decades of failing students within education systems that are just about schooling not true education.
The plain answer is -we don’t know!
However, there is progress on trying to find answers to this question.
Advances have been made since 1990’s on getting more children into school but the real goal of getting more children into school and learning is a bigger challenge.
And once they are in school what is the quality of their learning -does it prepare them for an unknown future, for good health and how to look after themselves socially,psychologically and economically? The jury is still out!
According to new data from the UNESCO Institute for Statistics (UIS), 67 million children were out of school globally in 2009.This figure has been falling, especially since 2000, when the international community reinforced commitments to achieve universal primary education (UPE). Since then, the share of out-of-school children of primary school age has fallen from 16% to 10%. In addition, efforts to improve educational access for girls have yielded positive results. In 2009, girls accounted for 53% of children out of school compared to 57% in 2000.
Yet despite this progress, the pace of change appears to be slowing. The new data underscore a central message of the 2011 edition of the Education for All Global Monitoring Report: “the world is not on track to achieve UPE by 2015”. Moreover, it will be increasingly difficult to reach those children who remain excluded from education due to the complex nature of inequities associated with gender, ethnicity, wealth and location.
The Education for All (EFA) goals initiated in 1990 in Jomtien, Thailand demonstrated a commitment to meeting basic learning needs. This commitment was restated in 2000 in the Dakar Framework for Action, in which Goal 6 states; “Improving every aspect of the quality of education, and ensuring their excellence so that recognized and measurable learning outcomes are achieved by all, especially in literacy, numeracy and essential life skills”.
Yet today there is growing evidence suggesting that millions of children and youth do not have the basic skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in school and life. Since 2000, there have been extraordinary gains in access to education.
However, many of those who do complete the education cycle do not finish with the skills needed to fully participate in society and the economy. The true cost to society is impossible to measure within current assessment systems. While international assessments are used to compare learning across countries, they do not include the majority of the world’s children living in low- and low-middle-income countries, particularly the most vulnerable children and youth. Other multi-country assessments are conducted following approaches that prevent their results from being pooled into a unique set of equivalent evidence.
To attempt to get a better understanding about the progress in learning outcomes there is a new Learning Metrics Task Force.UNESCO’s Institute for Statistics and the Center for Universal Education form the secretariat of the task force, which brings together a diverse group of political stakeholders and technical experts from all regions to explore common goals for global education. The task force will make recommendations for the post-2015 global policy agenda in order to improve learning outcomes for children worldwide.
As the task force’s key findings will be shared along the way there is a consultative process,and the Brookings Institute (who are part of the secretariat for the task force) suggests ways to engage in this process, for example
- Circulate and provide comments on discussion documents.The first discussion document, “Multi-Country Assessments of Learning” is available for comment now. Two subsequent papers— “Issues in Global Learning Assessment” and “National Assessments of Learning”— will be available for comment in August.
One of the conclusions of the report:
Much progress has been made in increasing access to school and measuring learning globally. However, several gaps exist that make it impossible to obtain an accurate estimation of learning worldwide.
The majority of initiatives to measure learning at the primary level are conducted in schools, thereby leaving out children who are of school age but not enrolled in school.
In the latest INEE newsletter comes news of a new publication:
A Global Compact on Learning: Taking Action on Education in Developing Countries from the Brookings Institute.
The Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution has released a new report, “A Global Compact on Learning: Taking Action on Education in Developing Countries,” that identifies ways to improve learning and the quality of education for children and youth in developing countries, especially those most marginalized and hardest to reach. The study calls for the formation of a Global Compact on Learning, to increase collaboration between the public and private sectors and provide concrete actions to address a global learning crisis affecting more than 140 million children who remain out of school and those who are in school but not learning the skills they need. The study identifies three key policy priorities that can help to ensure that children are acquiring the basic skills and knowledge needed to lead healthy, safe and productive lives: supporting quality early childhood development, ensuring children learn basic literacy and numeracy skills, and increasing transition to, and relevancy of, post-primary education opportunities.”
The full report is available here.
Check out the newly redesigned TeachUNICEF website, www.teachunicef.org.
The new site provides free topical units, lesson plans, stories, podcasts, and videos. Each topic has a portfolio of resources which allow an educator to choose a resource which best meets the needs of their classroom. Some of the other unique site features are:
- Downloadable videos and podcasts;
- A Take Action section – activities to engage youth in addressing global issues;
- Links to a variety of UNICEF resources; and
- An advanced search.
It is getting more important for educators to continue learning as the ‘business’ of education becomes ever , more complex. We now know more or at least have more opportunities to explore a range of perspectives on what we know, which may challenge our traditional beliefs about education. Students also have more opportunities to learn in different environments, certainly not just in the more rigid confines of a school or college.
Through this new knowledge their confidence may increase in as much as they can now challenge, with evidence, their teachers. So teachers need to know more about theory (particularly new knowledge about the brain and learning, for example) and by a process of action research should attempt to integrate theory from outside with their own theories based on their own practice so as to continually learn and apply what they have learned.
Teachers can also learn in partnership with their students who can also participate in action research and metacognition:
Theory into practice (TIP) may help in this process ….
TIP is a tool intended to make learning and instructional theory more accessible to educators. The database contains brief summaries of 50 major theories of learning and instruction. These theories can also be accessed by learning domains and concepts.
For more information about many of the theories and theorists included here, see the “People & History” section of http://www.psychology.org