Learning in the Global Era: International Perspectives on Globalization and Education

Learning in the Global Era: International Perspectives on Globalization and Education

Learning in the Global Era: International Perspectives on Globalization and Education

Learning in the Global Era: International Perspectives on Globalization and Education

Synopsis

An international gathering of leading scholars, policymakers, and educators takes on some of the most difficult and controversial issues of our time in this groundbreaking exploration of how globalization is affecting education around the world. The contributors, drawing from innovative research in both the social sciences and the neurosciences, examine the challenges and opportunities now facing schools as a result of massive migration flows, new economic realities, new technologies, and the growing cultural diversity of the world's major cities. Writing for a wide audience, they address such questions as: How do we educate all youth to develop the skills and sensibilities necessary to thrive in globally linked, technologically interconnected economies? What can schools do to meet the urgent need to educate growing numbers of migrant youth at risk of failure in societies already divided by inequality? What are the limits of cultural tolerance as tensions over gender, religion, and race threaten social cohesion in schools and neighborhoods alike? Bringing together scholars with deep experience in Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East, this work, grounded in rich examples from everyday life, is highly relevant not only to scholars and policymakers but also to all stakeholders responsible for the day-to-day workings of schools in cities across the globe.

Excerpt

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco and Carolyn Sattin

Human societies, in all their breathtaking differences, face a common task: to transfer a range of skills, values, and sensibilities to the next generation. Socialization of the young is culturally defined and highly varied and is constantly evolving. All societies organize formal institutions to nurture in the next generation the qualities to carry forth the work of culture. For the first time in human history, basic education in formal schools has become a normative ideal the world over. Indeed, over the last five decades formal schooling has emerged globally as one of the most important societal institution for the education of the next generation.

Education, broadly conceived as formally structured, socially organized directed teaching and learning, has always been connected to, yet purposefully set apart from, the other institutions of society. Furthermore, the research literature has clearly established the multiple discontinuities between teaching and learning within versus out of schools. Teaching and learning in schools tend to be highly formalized—for example, around strict time, subject, and level or grade demarcations—while learning outside of schools tends to be more fluid and informal (see Cheng, this volume). Schools usually privilege acontextual learning, whereas learning outside of schools is nearly always context-dependent and hands-on. Learning in schools is often organized to achieve increasing levels of abstraction, whereas learning outside school tends to be applied and designed to solve concrete problems. In general the focus in . . .

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