Global learning is about the economy after all

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Sadly, I missed Think Global’s Breakfast Debate last week: Skills for Global Work, Skills for Global Life.  It was about whether our young people are developing the skills they need to thrive in a globalised world.

Here’s what GL said about it:

Think Global is a national education charity and the hub of a community of educators working to create a more just and sustainable world. We know that the world today faces many problems, but we believe that they can be overcome.  To do this, we work to equip young people with the knowledge, skills and capabilities they need to play their part.  At the same time, there is growing interest in the skills young people need to flourish in the globalised workplace of the future.  Indeed, the OECD’s PISA education league tables will include a measure on global competences in 2018.  This breakfast debate, will consider whether our young people are developing the skills they need to thrive in a globalised world – both for the world of work and for life.

The speakers included:

  • Caroline Waters OBE, BT’s former Director of People and Policy and Deputy Chair of the Equality and Human Rights Commission
  • Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE, Co-Founder of Step Up To Serve Campaign
  • Dan Simpson, Head of Talent, Siemens UK
  • Tom Franklin, CEO, Think Global

How fascinating, I thought, that there is this coming together of global learning (with all its anti-capitalist / anti-neo-liberal baggage and baggage-handlers) with the economic imperatives of globalisation?  I sense Pearson's invisible hand in this.

Think Global’s view on the outcomes are here, and include these:

Experts were asked to vote from a menu of 10 challenges facing young people in the United Kingdom.  Of the 254 votes cast the chief threat identified was that

'Young people's horizons and aspirations are not broad enough to operate in a globalised and multicultural economy and society.'

Similarly, experts were asked to identify the top skills required by young people for the future.  The vote identified '

The ability to think critically, understand and analyse different perspectives and be open to other cultures globally' as a primary requirement for young people's futures.

The poll builds on ICM research with business leaders, who, it seems, are even more concerned.  93% say schools must help young people develop the ability to think globally and three-quarters say we risk being left behind by emerging economies.

So there we have it, like most of education, most of the time, in most places, global learning turns out to be about the economy.  Phew!




Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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