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Global education rankings to measure tolerance

BBC – Sean Coughlan

“The Pisa tests, which compare teenagers’ ability in reading, maths and science, for the first time are also going to test “global competence”. It’s a significant departure to move from maths puzzles and literacy tests to asking questions about fake news, global warming and racism. The inaugural tests for global competence will take place in about 80 countries next year – and the results are going to be pushed centre-stage in the following round of Pisa rankings.”(more)

Teachers are nation-builders. Developing countries must invest in them properly

The Guardian – Ziauddin Yousafzai

“When I first began my teaching career in Pakistan 20 years ago, a friend of my father said to me: “We were expecting great things from you, Ziauddin. You could have been a political leader or a police chief, but instead you just became a teacher.” I told the man that if I inspired just one of the children in my class that year to be a leader, one again the next year, and one every year for the rest of my career, I would be very proud of my contribution to our community.”(more)

Language Study as a National Imperative

Inside Higher Ed – Colleen Flaherty

“A major 2013 report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences warned that at “the very moment when China and some European nations are seeking to replicate our model of broad education,” including the humanities, the U.S. was instead “narrowing” its focus and abandoning its “sense of what education has been and should continue to be.” The paper caught the attention of policy makers, including members of Congress. Four Republicans and four Democrats asked the AAAS to dig deeper into the state of language education in the U.S. They wanted to know what the U.S. could do to ensure excellence in language education, especially how it might more efficiently use existing resources. They also asked how language learning influences economic growth, cultural diplomacy, productivity for future generations and a sense of personal fulfillment.”(more)

‘The world needs science and science needs women,’ UN says on International Day

The U.N. News Centre – Staff Writer

“United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres today urged greater investments in teaching science, technology, engineering and math to all women and girls as well as equal access to these opportunities. “For too long, discriminatory stereotypes have prevented women and girls from having equal access to education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM),” said Mr. Guterres in his message for International Day of Women and Girls in Science, marked annually on 11 February. “As a trained engineer and former teacher, I know that these stereotypes are flat wrong,” he said, explaining that they deny women and girls the chance to realize their potential – and deprive the world of the ingenuity and innovation of half the population.”(more)

Early childhood as the foundation for tomorrow’s workforce

The World Bank – P. Scott Ozanus

“Why is a company that employs over 189,000 people around the world, and hires about 40,000 people every year, concerned with early childhood? It’s because all over the globe, countries and companies face a common challenge: How best to strengthen their economy and workforce, while also taking societal concerns into consideration. Early childhood is key to a productive current workforce as well as nations’ future success. How does a child’s experience at two-years-old translate into being a fulfilled, productive adult? Research shows that the learning gap between advantaged and disadvantaged children can show up as early as nine months of age. A study showed that by age three, children of low-income families had half the vocabulary of more advantaged families.”(more)

It’s Time to Reclaim America’s Leadership in Education

Wired – Stanley S. Litow

“But in order for the US to remain at the forefront of innovation and not lag behind, we must address the disconnect between the skills required for 21st century jobs and young people’s ability to acquire those skills. Fixing this will require us to evolve our approach to public education and training. The latest results of the PISA exam, which assesses science, math, and reading performance among 15-year-olds around the globe, show American students noticeably behind in math scores (below the international average), with science and reading scores remaining flat. This is not a small problem.”(more)