Education and the Global Perspective

Education and the Global Perspective

In today’s world, some degree of education is necessary for people in most countries.

Learning Objectives

Discuss recent worldwide trends in education, including mass schooling, the emergence of secondary education in the U.S., indigenous education, higher education, and online learning

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • Education is the means through which the aims and habits of a group of people are passed from one generation to the next.
  • Location contributes to a child’s lack of access to primary education. In certain areas of the world, children have difficulty getting to school.
  • Gender often factors into a child’s access to education.
  • Costs contribute to a child’s lack of access to primary education. High opportunity costs are often influential in the decision to attend school.
  • Mass schooling has perpetuated the idea that everyone has a right to be educated regardless of his/her cultural background and gender.
  • A lack of access to education is one of the primary barriers to human development.

Key Terms

  • Mass Schooling: The phenomenon that describes the rise in school attendance worldwide.
  • Internationalization of Education: The increased emphasis on international cultural exchange in the course of education.

Education Today

In today’s world, some degree of education is necessary for people in most countries. Due to population growth and the proliferation of compulsory education, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years, more people will receive formal education than in any prior period of human history. In fact, illiteracy and the percentage of populations without any schooling have already decreased, from 36% in 1960 to 25% in 2000.

Education in its broadest, most general sense is a means through which the aims and habits of a group of people is passed from one generation to the next. Generally, education results from any experience that affects the way in which one thinks, feels, or acts. In its narrowest, most technical sense, education is the formal process (e.g., instruction in schools) by which society deliberately passes accumulated knowledge, skills, customs, and values from one generation to the next.

Education in the Developing World

India is developing technologies that bypass land-based telephone and internet lines. The country recently launched EDUSAT, an education satellite that can reach a great number of people at a significantly reduced cost. Another initiative, started by the OLPC foundation, involving a group from the MIT Media Lab, and supported by several major corporations, has developed a $100 laptop for the delivery of educational programs. As of 2008, the laptops were already widely available.

In Africa, the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) has launched an e-school program. The goal is to provide 600,000 primary and high schools with computer equipment, learning materials, and internet access within 10 years. Private groups, like Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, are also working to improve access to education through such programs as the Perpetual Education Fund.

Internationalization ( Globalization and Education)

Education is becoming increasingly international, and mass schooling has promoted the fundamental idea that everyone has a right to be educated regardless of his/her cultural background. In Europe, for example, the Socrates-Erasmus Program fosters exchanges between European universities, while the Soros Foundation provides educational opportunities to students from central Asia and eastern Europe. Programs such as the International Baccalaureate have also contributed to the internationalization of education. Some scholars argue that, regardless of the perceived quality of different educational systems, experiencing a different system of education can be an important and enriching aspect of an international learning experience. Meanwhile, the global online campus, led by American universities, has promoted free access to class materials and lectures recorded during actual classes. This project further facilitates the globalization of education.

Recent Worldwide Trends

The emergence of secondary education in the United States did not occur until 1910, when a rise in big business and technological advances in factories (for instance, the emergence of electrification) required skilled workers. In order to meet new job requirements, high schools were created with curriculums focused on practical job skills that would prepare students for white- or blue-collar work. This emerging system proved to be beneficial for both the employer and the employee; improved job skills increased efficiency and lowered costs for employers, while skilled employees received higher wages.

Indigenous education refers to the inclusion of indigenous knowledge, models, methods, and content within formal and non-formal educational systems. Often in a post-colonial context, the growing recognition and use of indigenous education methods has been a response to the erosion and loss of indigenous knowledge and language through earlier processes of colonialism. It has also enabled indigenous communities to strengthen links to their traditional languages and cultures, a process that has also been linked to increased academic success.

Higher education generally involves work towards a degree-level or foundation degree qualification. In most developed countries, a high proportion of the population (up to 50%) now obtain higher education at some point in their lives. Higher education is therefore important to national economies as both a significant industry in its own right and a source of trained and educated personnel.

As a result of the Internet, higher education is increasingly open and accessible. Online learning gives students flexibility and choice in terms of what, when, and at what pace they learn. Many universities and organizations are creating open educational resources that self-motivated students can access anywhere and at any time. Unlike traditional forms of higher education, open, online education generally does not take the form of recognized degree programs.

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Education in South Africa: School children at Imperial Primary School in Eastridge, Mitchell’s Plain (Cape Town, South Africa)

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Education in the Middle East: Students from the Hala Bint Khuwaylid secondary girl’s school in the Amil district of Baghdad, pictured with new school bags containing pens, pencils, notebooks, calculators, and other school supplies: USAID is funding the purchase and distribution of 1.5 million school bags through a partnership with Creative Associates International. All Iraqi secondary students will receive bags.

Education and Industrialization

It has been argued that high rates of education are essential for countries to be able to achieve high levels of economic growth.

Learning Objectives

Define education economics, human capital, human capital flight, and educational technology

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • In the developing world, there is economic pressure from those parents who prioritize sending their children to work to make money in the short term over any long-term benefits of education.
  • Education economics is the study of economic issues relating to education, including the demand for education and the financing and provision of education.
  • The central idea of human capital is that undertaking education is investment in the acquisition of skills and knowledge which will increase earnings.
  • Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as the ” brain drain,” is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge.
  • Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources.

Key Terms

  • human capital: The stock of competencies, knowledge, social, and personality attributes, including creativity, embodied in the ability to perform labor so as to produce economic value.
  • brain drain: The migration of educated or talented people from less- economically advanced areas to more economically advanced areas, especially to large cities or richer countries.
  • Education Economics: The study of economic issues relating to education, including the demand for education and the financing and provision of education.

In developing countries, the number and seriousness of the problems faced is naturally greater. People are sometimes unaware of the importance of education, and there is economic pressure from those parents who prioritize their children’s making money in the short term over any long-term benefits of education. Recent studies on child labor and poverty have suggested, however, that when poor families reach a certain economic threshold where families are able to provide for their basic needs, parents return their children to school. This has been found to be true, once the threshold has been breached, even if the potential economic value of the children’s work has increased since their return to school.

Education and Economic Growth

It has been argued that high rates of education are essential for countries to be able to achieve high levels of economic growth. Empirical analyses tend to support the theoretical prediction that poor countries should grow faster than rich countries because they can adopt cutting edge technologies already tried and tested by rich countries. Education economics is the study of economic issues relating to education, including the demand for education and the financing and provision of education. The dominant model of the demand for education is based on human capital theory. The central idea is that undertaking education is investment in the acquisition of skills and knowledge, which will increase earnings or provide long-term benefits, such as an appreciation of literature. An increase in human capital can follow technological progress as knowledgeable employees are in demand due to the need for their skills, whether it be in understanding the production process or in operating machines. Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as the “brain drain,” is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons usually include two aspects which respectively come from countries and individuals. The brain drain is often associated with de-skilling of emigrants in their country of destination, while their country of emigration experiences the draining of skilled individuals.

Educational Technology

Educational technology is the study and ethical practice of facilitating learning and improving performance by creating, using, and managing appropriate technological processes and resources. Technology of education is most simply and comfortably defined as an array of tools that might prove helpful in advancing student learning and may be measured in how and why individuals behave. There are various types of technologies currently used in traditional classrooms. Among these are computers in the classroom; a website for every class; class blogs and wikis; wireless classroom microphones; and online media and interactive whiteboards.

Educational technology is intended to improve education over what it would be without technology. Its benefits include easy-to-access course materials; increased student motivation; improved student writing; subjects made easier to learn; and differentiated instruction.

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Education Technology: There are various types of technologies currently used in traditional classrooms. Having a computer in the classroom is an asset to any teacher. With a computer in the classroom, teachers are able to demonstrate a new lesson, present new material, illustrate how to use new programs, and show new websites

Education and Liberty in the Developing World

A lack of access to education is one of the primary limits on human development.

Learning Objectives

Discuss the factors that impact education in societies worldwide

Key Takeaways

Key Points

  • International development is a concept that refers to the development of greater quality of life for humanity.
  • In 2000, the United Nations signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which includes eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015 or 2020, one of which is Universal Primary Education.
  • Location contributes to a child’s lack of access and attendance to primary education. In certain areas of the world, it is more difficult for children to get to school.
  • Gender contributes to a child’s lack of access and attendance to education.
  • Costs contribute to a child’s lack of access and attendance to primary education. High opportunity costs are often influential in the decision to attend school.

Key Terms

  • Mass Schooling: The phenomenon that describes the rise in school attendance worldwide.
  • Internationalization of Education: The increased emphasis on international cultural exchange in the course of education.
  • Universal Primary Education: One of the eight Millennium Development Goals developed by the United Nations; An attempt to give all primary school aged children access to education.

International development is a concept that lacks a universally accepted definition, but it is most used in a holistic and multi-disciplinary context of human developmentā€“the development of greater quality of life for humans. In 2000, the United Nations signed the United Nations Millennium Declaration, which includes eight Millennium Development Goals to be achieved by 2015 or 2020. This represented the first time that a holistic strategy to meet the development needs of the world had been established, with measurable targets and defined indicators. Universal Primary Education is one of the eight Millennium Development Goals, and great improvements have been achieved in the past decade, yet a great deal remains to be done. The provision of education often focuses on providing free primary level education but also covers secondary and higher education. A lack of access to education is one of the primary limits on human development and is closely related to every one of the other sectors. Almost every development project includes an aspect of education, as development by its very nature requires a change in the way people live.

Universal Primary Education

There has been great progress achieved since 1999 in the achievement of the millennium development goal. UNESCO has found that the number of children enrolled in primary schools worldwide rose by more than 40 million between 1999 and 2007; the net primary enrollment in sub-Saharan Africa rose from 58% to 74% over the same period; and international aid commitments to basic education almost doubled from $2.1 billion in 2002 to $4.1 billion in 2007. However, despite all these important achievements, the world is currently not on course to achieve its target of universal primary education by 2015. Currently, there are more than 75 million children around the world of primary school age who are not in school. The majority of these children are in regions of sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia and within these countries, girls are at the greatest disadvantage in receiving access to education at the primary school age. Moreover, it is estimated that there is a $16.2 billion annual external financing gap between available domestic resources and what is needed to achieve the basic education goals in low income countries. This is due to current aid levels which address only 15% of that gap, resources often not provided to those countries who need it the most, and the amounts pledged not fully honored.

Factors Contributing to Lack of Access and Poor Attendance

Location contributes to a child’s lack of access and attendance to primary education. In certain areas of the world, it is more difficult for children to get to school. For example, in high-altitude areas of India, severe weather conditions for more than seven months of the year make school attendance erratic and force children to remain at home. Gender contributes to a child’s lack of access and attendance to education. Although it may not be as an obvious a problem today, gender equality in education has been an issue for a long time. Currently, there is a gender discrepancy in education. Enrollment is low for both boys and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, with rates of just 27% and 22%. Today, some 78% of girls drop out of school, compared with 48% of boys. Therefore, a child’s gender continues to contribute to access and attendance today.

Costs contribute to a child’s lack of access and attendance to primary education. High opportunity costs are often influential in the decision to attend school. For example, according to UNICEF, an estimated 121 million primary-school-age children are being kept out of school to work in the fields or at home. For many families in developing countries the economic benefits of no primary schooling are enough to offset the opportunity cost of attending.

Internationalization of Education

Education is becoming increasingly international. The most represented case is the spread of mass schooling. Mass schooling has implanted the fundamental concepts that everyone has a right to be educated regardless of his/her cultural background and gender differences. The system has also promoted the global rules and norms of how the school should operate and what is education. In Europe, for example, the Socrates-Erasmus Program stimulates exchanges across European universities. Also, the Soros Foundation provides many opportunities for students from Central Asia and Eastern Europe. Programs, such as the International Baccalaureate, have contributed to the internationalization of education. Some scholars argue that, regardless of whether one system is considered better or worse than another, experiencing a different way of education can often be considered to be the most important, enriching element of an international learning experience.

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Education Index: Countries fall into three broad categories based on their Education Index: high, medium, and low human development.