More and more people are realizing that schools will have to change to meet the new demands of the 21st century. In my own research and writings, I’ve emphasized the importance of creativity and innovation, and the need for schools to do a better job educating for creativity, rather than simple mastery of facts and skills.
I’m delighted to report that there is a global community of scholars and policy makers who are working on this issue. It’s not just an issue for the USA; schools in every advanced country face the same situation: an older style of classroom focused on the instructional delivery of information, which seems mismatched to creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving abilities.
Monday and Tuesday of this past week, I was invited to join an impressive group of global leaders at the University of Hong Kong, titled the Global Policy Forum on Learning. Organized by Professors Nancy Law and Kai Ming Cheng, the guiding questions were:
1. What do contemporary findings in research on learning tell us about how to improve student learning?
2. How many decisions and reforms are actually based on the results of sound research?
This meeting is just the first step toward creating a global network that brings together learning scientists and policy makers. I hope the work continues.
Here is the list of participants:
Professor Diana Laurillard, Chair Professor at London Knowledge Lab
Mmantsetsa Marope, Director, UNESCO, Paris
Gwang-Jo Kim, Director, UNESCO, Bangkok
Yves Punie, Project Leader, European Commission (Seville)
David Istance, CERI, OECD
Soo-Siang Lim, Director, US National Science Foundation
Marcela Gajardo, Director of PREAL, Chile
Keith Sawyer, Washington University
Naomi Miyake, Professor, University of Tokyo
Marcia Linn, Professor, UC Berkeley
Kenneth Chen, Under Secretary of Education, Hong Kong
Cherry Tse, Permanent Secretary of Education, Hong Kong
Nirmala Rao, Professor, University of Hong Kong
Nancy Law, Professor, University of Hong Kong
Kai-ming Cheng, Chair Professor, University of Hong Kong