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Better education: 6 approaches



Leading research shows that educational directions come from a global perspective

Listen to what Professor Usha GOSWAMI, Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2019, suggests about how children learn to read. 

A new paper from the prestigious Brookings Institute suggests that the current challenges to education as we know it can be utilized to help make schooling better for all. The Institute’s mission is to conduct in-depth research that leads to new ideas for solving problems facing society at the local, national and global level.

Stanford University’s Christopher J. Thomas writes how educational institutions “have fostered skills, and through research have made rapid progress in recent decades on issues from food security to communications, transport, and health care.”

But it is also true that “young people around the world are now bringing a new set of challenges into sharp relief. They are working with tough issues including climate change, inequality, exclusion, governance, job instability, and technology. They are redefining what it means to be a global citizen, and to live sustainably.”

As for the big question – Will educational institutions help students build the world they want? Will they prepare all children and young people to be able to participate in the journey? – Thomas takes a look at the Yidan Prize Foundation, whose mission is to create a better world through education  six big ideas culled from prize winners this year:

1. Start from the premise that good quality education is possible everywhere. With the proper support, even the smallest rural schools can deliver active, cooperative, and personalized learning.

2. Know that mindsets matter. Teachers who cultivate a growth mindset help students learn to love challenges and learning—qualities that carry them well through life and work.

3. Make learning joyful. Play and joyful learning cultivate motivation, inquiry, and social skills.

4. Understand the science of education to help all children learn. Learning differences don’t need to be learning barriers. For example, early educational interventions that account for differences in linguistic rhythm perception can help children with dyslexia or developmental language disorders read more effectively and enthusiastically.

5. Believe that high-quality education should be shared. Education doesn’t need to be rationed; technology and goodwill can help remove barriers of geography, financial resources, prior academic qualification, gender, race, and other demographics.

6. Take a more systematic approach to learning what works. It is difficult for policymakers to interpret and apply large numbers of education studies, many of which appear to have contradictory conclusions. Use better methodology.

Each year the Yidan Prize Foundation recognizes outstaning work being done in education. Listen to what professor Usha GOSWAMI, Yidan Prize for Education Research Laureate 2019, discusses how children learn to read. For example, she looks at how children learn to read using drumming rhythms. She extends this rhythm-based research to those children who have developmental language disorder.

She also notes how singing helps children better understand the rhythms of language.

"The challenges the next generation faces are profound—some would say existential. Good quality education will help young people meet their challenges and perhaps even build a world that is better than what we can imagine now," Thomas writes. "But education systems need to be strengthened. The task is especially urgent in the global south where the vast majority of young people live and resources are most scarce. Improving education starts with re imagining systems that are more inclusive, orientated to a growth mindset, joyful, accessible and systematic."




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