What are the issues and problems with education globally?
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Education

How should education be structured to meet the needs of students in this 21st century world? How do we now define “School”, “Teacher” “Learner” and "Curriculum"?

Schools in the 21st century will be laced with a project-based curriculum for life aimed at engaging students in addressing real-world problems, issues important to humanity, and questions that matter.

This is a dramatic departure from the factory-model education of the past. It is abandonment, finally, of textbook-driven, teacher-centered, paper and pencil schooling. It means a new way of understanding the concept of “knowledge”, a new definition of the “educated person”. A new way of designing and delivering the curriculum is required.

We offer the following new definitions for “School”, “Teacher” and “Learner” appropriate for the 21st century:

Schools will go from ‘buildings’ to 'nerve centers', with walls that are porous and transparent, connecting teachers, students and the community to the wealth of knowledge that exists in the world.”

Teacher - From primary role as a dispenser of information to orchestrator of learning and helping students turn information into knowledge, and knowledge into wisdom.

The 21st century will require knowledge generation, not just information delivery, and schools will need to create a “culture of inquiry”.

Learner - In the past a learner was a young person who went to school, spent a specified amount of time in certain courses, received passing grades and graduated. Today we must see learners in a new context:

First – we must maintain student interest by helping them see how what they are learning prepares them for life in the real world.

Second – we must instill curiosity, which is fundamental to lifelong learning.

Third – we must be flexible in how we teach.

Fourth – we must excite learners to become even more resourceful so that they will continue to learn outside the formal school day.”

So what will schools look like, exactly? What will the curriculum look like? How will this 21st century curriculum be organized, and how will it impact the way we design and build schools, how we assess students, how we purchase resources, how we acquire and utilize the new technologies, and what does all this mean for us in an era of standardized testing and accountability?

Imagine a school in which the students – all of them – are so excited about school that they can hardly wait to get there. Imagine having little or no “discipline problems” because the students are so engaged in their studies that those problems disappear. Imagine having parents calling, sending notes, or coming up to the school to tell you about the dramatic changes they are witnessing in their children: newly found enthusiasm and excitement for school, a desire to work on projects, research and write after school and on weekends. Imagine your students making nearly exponential growth in their basic skills of reading, writing, speaking, listening, researching, scientific explorations, math, multimedia skills and more!

It is possible. It has happened, and is happening, in schools across the country. I have seen this first-hand with my classes, and I have seen it at other schools with whom I have worked. And there is growing evidence of schools everywhere having the same results when they implement a 21st century curriculum.

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Issues In Global Education - Global Education: A Worldwide Movement

Responses to the question about problems and barriers were grouped into eight broad categories. The barrier identified by the largest number of respondents, eighteen, was “lack of teacher skills, training, interest.” Most responses simply said that there was a lack of adequate teacher training. A few said that teachers did not know how to use teaching strategies that were most appropriate to global education. One respondent said, “Too many teachers simply don’t care enough about global issues to be bothered.
Fifteen respondents said that the greatest barrier to global education in their countries was the fact that it was not an acknowledged curriculum area. A few indicated that any global perspectives which are included in the curriculum must fit into existing courses such as history, geography, social studies, literature, foreign language, the arts, and so forth. Some others felt that because their educational systems were examination driven, it was difficult for teachers to alter the day-to-day curriculum to include global perspectives because that took time away from teaching topics and skills that would be tested. A couple of the answers pointed out that schools were reluctant to add a new curriculum area because community members were used to what was currently there and might be uncomfortable with something new. In a slightly different vein, a few responses suggested that the curricula in their countries overwhelmingly had a western orientation that, at least partially, precluded a more global one.

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Education

Most of the time when we talk about Education, we think about school.We often view school in a traditional, formal sense. Many people believe that true learning can only take place in a formal classroom setting. Others feel education occurs in many different forms and environments. There may not be a definitive answer to the question of, ‘What is Education?’ However, we can start thinking about the purpose of education. Is it to educate youth to be responsible citizens? Is it to develop individuals, as well as society, in order to ensure a society’s economic success? Or is the purpose of education to simply focus on developing individual talents and intelligence? Perhaps it is the balance of all three that defines education? While our answers may differ, we can perhaps agree that education is a basic human right. When that right is granted growth and development, the society as a whole is more likely to improve in areas such as health, nutrition, general income and living standards and population fertility rates.

The information in this section will prompt you to think about some very important issues surrounding the topic of education. As global citizens of the world it is our responsibility to critically think about these issues and attempt to come up with solutions to the problems plaguing education. In 1990 UNESCO launched EFA, the movement to provide quality education for all children, youth, and adults by the year 2015. Seventeen years later much progress still needs to be made if we are to achieve the goal for 2015. The unfortunate reality is that for many countries, larger issues precede improving the quality of education. How can we achieve the goals of EFA when numerous countries around the world are faced with challenges that seem far too impossible to overcome?

The answer lies in attempting to bridge some of the gaps that prevent developing nations to compete with developed nations. One example is that of providing greater access to technology and narrowing the ever widening digital divide. In many ways the most basic access to technology can serve as a valuable educational tool. Individuals who are not afforded this access are at a disadvantage when trying to grasp opportunities to make life better for themselves, their families, and their community.

Another issue that poses a barrier to widespread development is that of literacy. There still remains a rather larger percentage of illiterate youth and adults in many nations around the world. Economic difficulty and lack of education get in the way of decreasing illiteracy rates. As you will learn in the following sections, literacy is no longer simply limited to reading and writing.

There are many different capacities in which an individual living in the twenty-first century can be literate. Helping to strengthen skills in other areas, can still help to make progress on sustaining the development of a nation, as well as achieve gender equality. The gender gap in education points to the fact that females are still not afforded the same opportunities as males. In many parts of the world cultures see no value in educating females. Two of the eight Millennium Development Goals, achieving universal primary education and promoting gender equality, seek to close the gaps that exist in the education around the world. If we can make some advancement on achieving these goals, we can further the progress on the remaining six. Education is the foundation for the success of any given society. Numerous studies have shown the correlation between education and lower birth rates, lower infant mortality rates and fewer maternal deaths. Furthermore, a more educated population will also result in higher personal incomes as we all expand access to financial opportunities.

In summary therefore, education does not only encourage personal development, it also offers the general growth of an entire community providing a place for people to interact, socialize, and unify their societies.

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