Future Education is een belangrijk onderwijsproject van de WAAS (World Academy of Art and Science – http://www.worldacademy.org/). Zij hebben onze School from the Future uitgekozen als te volgen onderwijsproject en met de mogelijkheid ons project als het succesvol is te benoemen als voorbeeldproject van toekomstig onderwijs in de kinderopvang.
17 november 2020
Transforming Global Education
The speed and complexity of global social evolution have generated unprecedented levels of uncertainty and insecurity regarding the future of humanity. They compel us to adapt far more quickly than in the past to the challenges resulting from globalization, technological advances both for war and for peace, and environmental degradation on earth and in the atmosphere. The quality of our decisions, policies and actions depends on the quality of our understanding about the factors and forces driving global social evolution. We simply do not have time to waste by repetition of past errors or slow trial and error learning processes. If education has been a principal driver of global progress over the past two centuries, it has now become a critical requirement to cope with mounting challenges of unprecedented speed, magnitude and complexity.18
The current global educational system is not fit for purpose. Even at its best, it reinforces adherence to outmoded ideas, theories, policies and practices through outdated ineffective forms of pedagogy and unaffordable, inaccessible and inefficient delivery systems.
In spite of enormous investments over the past half century, the global system is grossly inadequate to meet the aspirations of hundreds of millions of youth and the rapidly changing needs of global economy and society. At its worst, it becomes a major obstacle to human adaptation.
The 19th century mass production education in specialized siloed disciplines by rote memorization, mindless repetition, and unthinking adherence to dogma is perpetuated by an institutional mentality that is too firmly oriented to preserving past knowledge than to focusing on the future knowledge youth will require to respond to the challenges of the 21st century. Conservatism becomes destructive when it fails to heed the need for change.
Transforming global education is an urgent necessity and an enormous challenge beyond the scope of GL-21. But this project can identify catalytic strategies that can make an impact which is illustrative of the scope for far more profound changes which are both possible and essential.
This report addresses the issues of Pillar 5: Transforming Global Education under the following four headings.
5.1. Global Leadership Education
We cannot change the global system overnight but we can rapidly and dramatically improve the education of both existing and future world leaders in national governments and multilateral organizations, in politics, diplomacy, business, academia and civil society by imparting to them a knowledge of the complex factors propelling social evolution and the process by which it can be consciously shaped and directed to address challenges and tap opportunities.
The prevailing silo-based division of scientific disciplines and academic courses generates a piecemeal, fragmented view of the world we live in similar to the reflection cast by a broken mirror. There is urgent need to assemble the fragmented perspectives into a comprehensive, integrated perspective of the process of global social evolution and the process and strategies which can be harnessed to consciously lead and more effectively direct its course. WAAS has constituted an international working group in collaboration with UNITAR and other partner organizations to develop transdisciplinary educational courses designed to better equip leaders, diplomats, public administrators and policy-makers to understand and respond appropriately to the rapidly unfolding challenges of our time.
Issues under Examination
The purpose of this heading is to identify the essential content of GL-21 courses to be developed based on the research, conference proceedings and recommendations in the final report to UNOG. It will engage an international working group in collaboration with UNITAR and other partner organizations to develop transdisciplinary educational courses to explore ways to better equip leaders, diplomats, public administrators and policy-makers to understand and respond appropriately to the rapidly unfolding challenges of our time.
A critique of the reasons for the failure of contemporary social sciences to provide leaders and policymakers with the knowledge required to foresee, prevent and effectively address the complex challenges confronting humanity in the 21stcentury
Fundamental changes in perspective needed to overcome the limitations of prevailing approaches to the world
Characteristics of leadership courses better equipped to meet social needs
Exploration of rapid delivery systems for an integrated approach to leadership education
5.2. Global Learning Delivery Systems
In 2013 Unesco projected the need for opening hundreds of universities a year over the next 15 years to meet the growing demand for higher education. In response, the UNOG-WAAS conference on New Paradigm in June 2013 called for design and development of new models for education delivery able to address the urgent need to provide world-class, accessible and affordable higher education for students everywhere in the world. Recent projections are that tertiary enrollment will more than double by 2040. If it is to be met through the present model delivery system, it would require opening two new universities a day the size of Harvard every day for the next 20 years.19 Given the enormous cost involved and the already severe shortage of trained teachers, this is unrealistic. Rapid expansion of the educational system is feasible, affordable and absolutely essential to prepare youth for successful adulthood in the rapidly changing economic environment, but it requires a major change in content, pedagogy and delivery system.
The scarcity of new jobs in formal employment necessitates a reorientation of education to prepare youth for entrepreneurship and self-employment. The drastic decline in job security means that youth today must be equipped with the capacity for life-long learning to work in a widening range of different occupations throughout their careers. The rigid disciplinary siloes prevalent in higher education are no longer feasible.
The knowledge required for work has become increasingly multidisciplinary and transdisciplinary. The proliferation of disciplines and subdisciplines has broadened the range of options and opportunities to combine and mix subjects, develop unique personal capacities and to meet specific work applications.
With this objective, WAAS and nine partner institutions established the World University Consortium and conducted five international conferences examining alternative delivery systems and pedagogical models better suited to utilize the immense potential of online learning technologies. It was anticipated at the time that the rapid development of online learning systems could meet a significant portion of the need for expanding the global higher education system. But in spite of major advances in online education, the conservative nature of the existing system combined with resistance from faculty and administrators and technological limitations slowed adaptation.
COVID-19 combined with rapid advances in telecommunications, computers and AI has changed everything. It has compelled institutions of higher education to very quickly make up for a decade of slow adoption and for instructors to quickly learn to adapt to the new delivery system. The sudden onset of COVID-19 has resulted in the suspension of physical classroom education at all levels around the world, generating an urgent need for a rapid transition to online learning, for which the conventional classroom pedagogy is very poorly suited. Few teachers are equipped to make the transition without extensive training in new pedagogy. While much remains to be done, the momentum for rapid transformation now makes it possible to provide person-centered, interactive, peer-to-peer, transdisciplinary education adapted to the needs and technological capabilities of the information rich 21st century.
Issues under Examination
This heading engages an international working group of educators in collaboration with UNITAR and World University Consortium to examine the feasibility of rapid transition to more affordable, adaptable, innovative, equitable and effective delivery systems for higher education.
Critique of the limitation of existing models of higher education
Characteristics of a new paradigm delivery system
The role of certification as a critical determinant
Designs for alternative systems and learning networks
5.3. Multi-disciplinary and Transdisciplinary Initiatives
Most of the problems confronting global society today are reflections of the fragmentation of knowledge, theory, education, research, policy-making and implementation into disciplinary silos.
The division of knowledge into academic disciplines, university departments, discipline-specific research projects and funding categories poses serious obstacles to the development of theory, knowledge, policies and programs that accurately represent the complex sources of the problems and the multidimensional strategies needed to address them effectively.
Today most science and technical education is insulated or divorced from social impact.
For example, engineering education routinely omits the study of the impact of advances in technology on society and people. Medical education omits training in the psychological and social perceptions and consequences of illness and treatment. Science and technology administrators in all fields need to be equipped with an understanding of the social context and consequences of their work, the processes for policy and decision-making, methods for educating public opinion and building relationships with policymakers, stakeholders, and the general public.
A number of successful programs and models already exist, including the New Engineering Educational Transformation (NEET) initiated by MIT, the Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD), and the SHAPE-ID EU H2020 project to address the challenge of improving interdisciplinary cooperation between the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Natural Sciences, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, and other disciplines.
Issues under Examination
This heading engages a multidisciplinary team of experts from the natural, biological, engineering and social sciences, business and humanities to examine ways to enhance, extend and multiply successful strategies to overcome the disciplinary divides which impair effective research, policy-formation and implementation to address global challenges.
The urgent need for multidisciplinary education, research and policy-making to prepare leaders, decision-makers and thinkers.
Characteristics of successful interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary learning models and programs
Catalytic strategies for rapid expansion and replication of successful models and learning networks globally
5.4. Integrated Thinking
Einstein’s observation that we cannot solve problems with the same mode of thinking that created them in the first place is frequently quoted but usually honored in the breach. For nearly two centuries Economics ignored the impact on the natural environment based on metrics which measure velocity of economic activity rather than human welfare and count the depletion of non-renewable natural capital as an income rather than a drain on natural wealth. Reductionist mechanistic thinking in Economics, Business and Ecology is an obvious example of a far more widespread phenomenon prevalent in the health, psychological and cognitive sciences and other fields. Changing the way people think can only be done by fundamental changes in educational pedagogy at all levels.
Issues under Examination
This heading examines strategies to alter course design to develop the capacity for independent thinking and understanding of the world system as an integrated whole rather than independent, unconnected fragments.
Comparison of the integrated nature of social reality with the compartmentalization of academic knowledge and research, political and administrative decision-making, and the strategies and programs for implementation by UN agencies, national governments, business and civil society.
Strategies to reorganize knowledge formulation, delivery and application to overcome the disciplinary divides at the root of global problems today.
Implications for the leadership, staff, organization and activities of the UN system.