‘This is why you need to go to school’: ‘Dying for a higher education is the best thing you can do’
The next generation of students could be the most important in a generation to the world’s poorest countries.
That’s the takeaway from a study published by a leading international academic organisation, which said that a “real life experience” is essential for students to “understand and relate to the global environment”.
The report, entitled The Real World Experience: Learning to Learn and Understand Global Change, was published by the OECD’s think-tank and World Bank, and focuses on students from poor countries.
In the report, students are asked to “make sense of the world in the context of their environment” and “learn to understand the world and its problems through a realistic, realistic, real-life experience”.
It recommends that students in developing countries should learn to read, write and write with “commonly used words” such as “earth”, “earthquake”, “disease”, “climate change” and so on.
“This is the first time that a comprehensive international assessment has examined the impact of real world experiences on education and the future of the global economy,” said the OECD.
“The impact of the work is substantial, but the scale of the findings is also striking, and there is considerable room for improvement.”
“The report says that in the next two decades, the number of students who will be in the workforce will grow from just under a million to over a million, and that the number will be growing at a rate of about 15 per cent a year.”
The study said that while there were some countries with a large number of poor students, such as the United Arab Emirates, “most of the countries with the lowest literacy rates and high levels of illiteracy have some of the highest literacy rates”.
“The authors state that this is the most significant and potentially transformational development for education in a very long time,” said Matthew M. Dabney, a co-author of the study.
“It’s about changing the way people think about education and thinking about the future.”
“It is not just a matter of teaching them to read and write, it is about changing their perspective about the world, and changing their attitude towards learning,” he added.
The report recommends that schools should focus on “educational design that engages the students and the teachers”, and “educate students about their own education”.
“It should not be about the teacher or the student being the only one who has an impact on how their education is structured and how their learning is carried out,” the authors state.
“We should be teaching students to think about the impact that education has on the world around them, and to think critically about what the world is really doing to them.”
The report also recommends that school systems should invest in “social justice curricula”, which “encourage students to see themselves as part of the wider community” and should include social justice topics such as gender equality, climate change, poverty and inequality.
It also recommends “more opportunities to engage students and teachers through collaborative projects”.
The OECD said the report is a “step in the right direction” and is “a reflection of the increasing importance that education is now given in developing nations.”
It noted that while the study “provides important insights”, it also highlighted that many students from developing countries “may not be well-equipped to learn from experience”.
The findings are “particularly encouraging”, according to the OECD, “because the most promising future for learning for students is likely to be in developing societies”.
“There are also a lot of opportunities for schools and other providers to invest in better educational environments for disadvantaged students,” it added.
A report by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has highlighted the importance of building skills and learning to be ready for the 21st century.
The UNESCO report, titled A New Approach to Teaching, said that students “need to be able to communicate and understand how global change impacts their own lives and that this impact is changing the course of their own development”.
It said that education “needs to be based on the knowledge of the individual and their own life circumstances”.
The UN report called on countries to develop “a new education system that is based on a more human approach to learning”.
“We cannot expect education to become more humanistic if the education system is not humanistic in its nature,” the report said.
“Education must be based in an environment of shared values and respect for others.”
The UN agency also urged “states and other stakeholders to address inequalities in education, including inequality of outcomes in education and health”.