"Finland is about to embark on one of the most radical education reform programmes ever undertaken by a nation state – scrapping traditional 'teaching by subject' in favour of 'teaching by topic'.
'This is going to be a big change in education in Finland that we’re just beginning,' said Liisa Pohjolainen, who is in charge of youth and adult education in Helsinki – the capital city at the forefront of the reform programme. ...
Subject-specific lessons – an hour of history in the morning, an hour of geography in the afternoon – are already being phased out for 16-year-olds in the city’s upper schools. They are being replaced by what the Finns call 'phenomenon' teaching – or teaching by topic. For instance, a teenager studying a vocational course might take 'cafeteria services' lessons, which would include elements of maths, languages (to help serve foreign customers), writing skills and communication skills.
More academic pupils would be taught cross-subject topics such as the European Union - which would merge elements of economics, history (of the countries involved), languages and geography.
There are other changes too, not least to the traditional format that sees rows of pupils sitting passively in front of their teacher, listening to lessons or waiting to be questioned. Instead there will be a more collaborative approach, with pupils working in smaller groups to solve problems while improving their communication skills. ...
Finnish schools are obliged to introduce a period of 'phenomenon-based teaching' at least once a year. These projects can last several weeks. In Helsinki, they are pushing the reforms at a faster pace with schools encouraged to set aside two periods during the year for adopting the new approach. Ms Kyllonen’s blueprint, to be published later this month, envisages the reforms will be in place across all Finnish schools by 2020."
(Richard Garner, Friday 20 March 2015, independent.co.uk)
"By 2020, the Fourth Industrial Revolution will have brought us advanced robotics and autonomous transport, artificial intelligence and machine learning, advanced materials, biotechnology and genomics.
These developments will transform the way we live, and the way we work. Some jobs will disappear, others will grow and jobs that don't even exist today will become commonplace. What is certain is that the future workforce will need to align its skillset to keep pace.
A new Forum report, The Future of Jobs, looks at the employment, skills and workforce strategy for the future."
(Alex Gray, 19 January 2016, World Economic Forum)
"Sustainability is one of the guiding principles underpinning Macquarie's graduate capabilities framework. Sustainable learning and teaching is an inclusive concept that emphasises participation, resource sharing, mentoring, collaboration and lifelong learning. The Sustainable Learning and Teaching project demonstrates ways of embedding the principle of sustainability and associated graduate capabilities in the curriculum.
The project consists of a series of short videos produced and directed by Mark Parry featuring Macquarie University staff, students, alumni and the broader community. The videos are underpinned by research–based resources developed by Anna Rowe, including an annotated bibliography and teaching strategies for sustainable learning outcomes and assessment tasks. The project was led by Agnes Bosanquet and funded by Macquarie University Sustainability."
[An interesting initiative –despite the overzealous use of video transition effects and music wallpaper.]
"Personalising learning is... ...learner–centred and knowledge–centred: Close attention is paid to learners' knowledge, skills, understanding and attitudes. Learning is connected to what they already know (including from outside the classroom). Teaching enthuses pupils and engages their interest in learning: it identifies, explores and corrects misconceptions. Learners are active and curious: they create their own hypotheses, ask their own questions, coach one another, set goals for themselves, monitor their progress and experiment with ideas for taking risks, knowing that mistakes and 'being stuck' are part of learning. Work is sufficiently varied and challenging to maintain their engagement but not so difficult as to discourage them. This engagement allows learners of all abilities to succeed, and it avoids the disaffection and attention–seeking that give rise to problems with behaviour.
...and assessment–centred: Assessment is both formative and summative and supports learning: learners monitor their progress and, with their teachers, identify their next steps. Techniques such as open questioning, sharing learning objectives and success criteria, and focused marking have a powerful effect on the extent to which learners are enabled to take an active role in their learning. Sufficient time is always given for learners' reflection. Whether individually or in pairs, they review what they have learnt and how they have learnt it. Their evaluations contribute to their understanding. They know their levels of achievement and make progress towards their goals. Stimulated by How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school (Bransford, J. D., A. L. Brown, et al.)."
(Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group, 2007, p.6)
Bransford J.D., Brown A. L. and Cocking R. (eds.), How people learn: brain, mind, experience and school, National Academy Press, Washington DC, 2000.
1). Teaching and Learning in 2020 Review Group (2007). '2020 Vision: Report of the Teaching and Learning in 2020'. Department for Education and Skills.
"How do Rwandan envisage their future? What kind of society do they want to become? How can they construct a united and inclusive Rwandan identity? What are the transformations needed to emerge from a deeply unsatisfactory social and economic situation? These are the main questions Rwanda Vision 2020 addresses.
This Vision is a result of a national consultative process that took place in Village Urugwiro in 1998–99. There was broad consensus on the necessity for Rwandans to clearly define the future of the country. This process provided the basis upon which this Vision was developed. ...
Even if Rwanda's agriculture is transformed into a high value/high productivity sector, it will not, on its own, become a satisfactory engine of growth. There has to be an exit strategy from reliance on agriculture into secondary and tertiary sectors. The issue, however, is not simply one of a strategy based on agriculture, industry or services, but rather, identifying Rwanda's comparative advantage and concentrating strategies towards it. For instance there is a plentiful supply of cheap labour, a large multi–lingual population, a strategic location as the gateway between East and Central Africa as well as its small size, making it easy to build infrastructure (resources permitting). The industries established would need to address basic needs, for which there is a readily available market, as these products can satisfy local demand and even move towards export."
(Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning for The Republic of Rwanda)
Fig.1 vvkatievv, 15 July 2009, 'OLPCorps Kenema, Sierra Leone 2009', Flickr.