Around the World in 30 Days – November 2017

Around the World in 30 Days – November 2017
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C. M. Rubin’s Monthly Global Education Round-Up

Global problem solvers are in high demand. Just google Re-Imagine Education and check out the wealth of conferences and events focused on what learning matters to ensure individuals have the skills to think like entrepreneurs and collaborate with people from all backgrounds.

What lessons can we learn from the 15 year-old girls who outperformed boys in collaborative problem solving in every country around the world, according to the new study by the OECD? In our interview with Andreas Schleicher, Director for the Directorate of Education and Skills at the OECD, he notes, “Girls show more positive attitudes towards relationships, meaning that they tend to be more interested in others’ opinions and want others to succeed.”

Singularity. It’s discussed by futurists and by scientists. Then there are the rest of us grappling to get our heads around the “reality” that within a decade or so, Artificial Intelligence will change everything. AI can do good and harm, so do we need to regulate it now before it becomes a danger to humanity? We asked Millennials around the world to weigh in. “We are experiencing a time where five companies are holding most of the economical (and even political) power in the world: Facebook, Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft,” stresses Reetta Heiskanen. “We should think about fundamental questions: what are the elements that make human a human? And what are the ingredients that help us execute our own, individual potential?” Sajia Darwish comments, “It is crucial to control the power and availability of AI in order to prevent the dominance of powerful companies with large amounts of data and funding.” And Wilson Carter reflects, “it saddens me to think that a technology that could improve the lives of billions, like implementing autonomous farming to ensure all of the world’s peoples are sufficiently fed, is being warped into creating new age killing machines.”

“The combination of great teachers and sophisticated AI could be transformative,” according to global thought leader and educationist Sir Michael Barber, who spoke with us this month. Barber notes that the future will not be about choosing between teachers and AI although “fewer, more sophisticated teachers will combine with machines that relieve them of drudgery and provide a powerful evidence base for their teaching.”

All innovators feel challenged at different points because it’s just part of the work. So how do we teach youth that struggle is good, working hard is good, looking back on your mistakes is good, and finding new ways to tackle challenging problems is really good because all these things are important parts of our learning. Our Global Teacher Bloggers are pioneers and innovators in fields such as technology integration, mathematics coaching, special needs education, science instruction, and gender equity. This month we asked them: How do we better instill an idea of risk-taking and struggle in students? “What if we focus on the process and the journey more than the destination,” writes Jim Tuscano, and “align all areas or aspects of learning to support growth mindset,” such as giving students time “to explore, to work with others, and to always go back and reflect on what they are learning.” Elisa Guerra Cruz suggests portraying the whole story when we teach history, science and art: “the pains as well as the gains, the human side entwined with the brilliance, the challenges along with the glory,” because when we “take failure out of the equation and embrace struggling as part of the journey, learning becomes again the joyous, stimulating gift it was always meant to be.” Rashmi Kathuria recommends instilling “the idea of risk and struggle” by creating activities where students, by engaging, “get a scope to use their life skills and strengthen them…when someone goes an extra mile they do more than is expected of them.”

STEM and STEAM advocates will enjoy our conversation with Derek Lo, co-founder of the new application “Py”, which offers interactive courses on everything from Python to iOS development. “We specifically write our content using language that even young children can understand,” says Lo. His company is focused on changing people’s image of “who a coder is” and encouraging girls to get into coding.

Our thanks once again to all our amazing teachers, millennials, other contributors and supporters around the world. We look forward to more of your contributions next month. When it comes to the world of children, there is always more work to be done.

(Photos are courtesy of CMRubinWorld)

C. M. Rubin

Join me and globally renowned thought leaders including Sir Michael Barber (UK), Dr. Michael Block (U.S.), Dr. Leon Botstein (U.S.), Professor Clay Christensen (U.S.), Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond (U.S.), Dr. MadhavChavan (India), Charles Fadel (U.S.), Professor Michael Fullan (Canada), Professor Howard Gardner (U.S.), Professor Andy Hargreaves (U.S.), Professor Yvonne Hellman (The Netherlands), Professor Kristin Helstad (Norway), Jean Hendrickson (U.S.), Professor Rose Hipkins (New Zealand), Professor Cornelia Hoogland (Canada), Honourable Jeff Johnson (Canada), Mme. Chantal Kaufmann (Belgium), Dr. EijaKauppinen (Finland), State Secretary TapioKosunen (Finland), Professor Dominique Lafontaine (Belgium), Professor Hugh Lauder (UK), Lord Ken Macdonald (UK), Professor Geoff Masters (Australia), Professor Barry McGaw (Australia), Shiv Nadar (India), Professor R. Natarajan (India), Dr. Pak Tee Ng (Singapore), Dr. Denise Pope (US), Sridhar Rajagopalan (India), Dr. Diane Ravitch (U.S.), Richard Wilson Riley (U.S.), Sir Ken Robinson (UK), Professor Pasi Sahlberg (Finland), Professor Manabu Sato (Japan), Andreas Schleicher (PISA, OECD), Dr. Anthony Seldon (UK), Dr. David Shaffer (U.S.), Dr. Kirsten Sivesind (Norway), Chancellor Stephen Spahn (U.S.), Yves Theze (LyceeFrancais U.S.), Professor Charles Ungerleider (Canada), Professor Tony Wagner (U.S.), Sir David Watson (UK), Professor Dylan Wiliam (UK), Dr. Mark Wormald (UK), Professor Theo Wubbels (The Netherlands), Professor Michael Young (UK), and Professor Minxuan Zhang (China) as they explore the big picture education questions that all nations face today.

C. M. Rubin is the author of two widely read online series for which she received a 2011 Upton Sinclair award, “The Global Search for Education” and “How Will We Read?” She is also the author of three bestselling books, including The Real Alice in Wonderland, is the publisher of CMRubinWorld and is a Disruptor Foundation Fellow.

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