Pearson and the architects of tomorrow’s world

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

This is the front page of what Pearson has to say about its global learning programme:

The Global Learning Programme (GLP) is a funded programme of support that’s helping teachers in primary, secondary and special schools to deliver effective teaching and learning about development and global issues at Key Stages 2 and 3.  Over 5500 schools now using support provided by the Global Learning Programme.  Together with free curriculum support, resources, training and funding, the Global Learning Programme (GLP) is building a national network of like-minded schools committed to equipping their students to make a positive contribution to a globalised world.  Thousands of GLP schools across the country are already experiencing the positive impact that global learning can have on pupils’ engagement, knowledge, skills and values.  Global education makes the learning more relevant and interesting for pupils, and so it contributes to their enthusiasm for learning.

The GLP supports teachers to help pupils learn about the challenges our world faces and think critically about issues such as poverty, inequality and sustainability. It helps pupils make sense of the world in which they live and understand their role in a global society.  By using global learning to enrich the curriculum, GLP schools are finding that global learning is helping to develop critical thinking skills, promote SMSC (spiritual, moral, social and cultural development), and foster values such as respect and empathy.

A recent Ofsted School Inspection Update notes that, as the GLP ‘maps onto the four Ofsted core judgements and to SMSC’, schools on the programme should be able ‘to set out how the GLP is contributing to their provision and outcomes for pupils’. Highlighted positively in inspection reports, global learning is reported as contributing to the enjoyment and learning of pupils in GLP schools – reinforcing their curriculum knowledge and understanding.  "Students’ outstanding spiritual, moral social and cultural development has been enhanced by the strong international links that have been well established. They are very well prepared for their role as citizens of modern Britain." [Extract from the March 2015 Polesworth School Ofsted report]

Following the launch of the Global Goals and the World’s Largest Lesson, schools across England are building on the excitement of this vital initiative focused on commitment to world change by joining the Global Learning Programme (GLP).

Oddly, there's no mention of ESD.  However, if you delve deeper, you find this gets a mention in their 2020 sustainability plan "Read about how the Global Learning Programme is teaching children about sustainable development", although this seems to under-sell what they say they are doing.  For example, their sustainability report for 2016 says:

"Today’s learners will be the architects of tomorrow’s world.  It is imperative that we foster a generation of informed global citizens who understand global issues such as poverty, inequality, and climate change, and think about their role in making society more sustainable.  A better understanding of these issues can drive lifestyle and career choices that impact future generations to come.  There is rising demand from educators for the integration of sustainable development topics into content, courses, and curricula.  By integrating sustainability-related content into our products, we can explore new market opportunities while making a direct contribution to Sustainable Development Goal 4.7 (to promote sustainable development education) and inspiring the next generation to create the world they want."

But is this "integration of sustainable development topics into content, courses, and curricula", what UNESCO knows as ESD?   It sounds unlikely, although sensible.

And then there's: "Today’s learners will be the architects of tomorrow’s world".  Well, up to a point Lord Copper.  Surely it's global giants such as Pearson that really see themselves in the architecture business.


Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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