Despite increased funding and many reforms, most education systems are still seeking ways to better prepare their students for a world in which technological change and the digital revolution are changing the way we work, live and relate to one another. Education systems that have succeeded in improving student outcomes show that the way forward is by making teachers the top priority. The adaptability of education systems and their ability to evolve ultimately depends on enabling teachers to transform what and how students learn. This requires strong support and training for teachers, both before and after they enter the profession, with new forms of professional development to help teachers engage in more direct instruction and adapt it to the needs of their diverse classrooms. Education systems need to perform well in two dimensions: excellence and equity. Many high performers do well on both, demonstrating that they are not mutually exclusive. To do so requires specific measures to overcome factors that can hinder student performance, such as socio-economic background, immigrant status and gender.
- 24 Mar 2017
Despite increased funding, expansion of different educational levels and many reforms, most education systems around the world have not yet found effective ways to improve outcomes to prepare students for our volatile and uncertain world and its increasing demands for higher non-routine skills. As the Red Queen says to Alice in Through the Looking-Glass (Lewis Carroll): “Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!” This might well be a metaphor for our rapidly changing environment, where education systems need to adapt continuously to keep up with the rapid pace at which technological change and the digital revolution are affecting the way we work, live and relate to one another. Keeping up requires improving the performance of all students, overcoming the factors that may hinder their outcomes, and equipping them with new sets of skills.