A brilliant talk by Charles Leadbetter, from the fullonlearning blog.
Charles’ premise is that the most rapid expansion of population in the next 50 years will be in the large cities and slums of the developed world. It therefore follows that the most urgent need for educational reform will be in these places.
Using case study material from around the world he argues that what young learners in these contexts most need is learning experiences which are flexible and can be managed around the other demands upon them (e.g. survival, caring for siblings, helping run small businesses).
He goes on to describe a ‘pull’ not a ‘push’ system of education. He argues that the educational model of delayed gratification that we use in the west (‘pass these exams and you will get a good job’) is not flexible, or rewarding enough for these learners. They need success more instantaneously, he says. The education they participate in has to work for them now.
He concludes by saying that we need to innovate our methods of education in the west as well as ‘undeveloped’ areas because the model of western education is not working and is no longer sustainable.