Askwith Forum: Learning to Change the World

Askwith Forum:  Learning to Change the World


(indistinct chatting) – [Woman] Oh, yeah. – Good morning. It’s great to see all of
you on a Friday at noon, in this Askwith Forum. My name is Fernando Reimers
and I’m a professor here at the Graduate School of Education. I’m the director of the
International Education Policy Program. Today I will serve both as a presenter and as a moderator of our forum. Before I introduce my
colleagues, the other presenters, I’d like to say a few words
about the Askwith Forums, which help to strengthen
the intellectual life of our school through
conversation, debate, and the exchange of ideas. These are free forums
and we welcome attendance from members of the
greater Harvard community and the general public. In a way, they are the public square that we built to talk about education. I want to thank Keith
Collar, Jodie Smith-Bennett, Roger Falcon and their
colleagues for the wonderful work that they do organizing these events that help us be in dialog
with a broader community. And we’re also delighted that
these events are live streamed and video recorded so
that even more people can take part in these conversations. We are very pleased that
this forum is the school’s featured event for
Worldwide Week at Harvard, which was created to showcase the breadth of Harvard’s global engagement. We’re also very pleased
to welcome those of you attending AGSC’s diversity
recruitment program to campus and today’s forum. Worldwide Week at Harvard is
the first-ever university-wide event designed to promote
intellectual exchange across all schools and
departments in the university around the work that we do that is global and comparative in nature. And I want to thank Vice
Provost Mark Elliott and Todd Washburn for their leadership in making this happen. It is especially important that
we highlight the global work of universities because modern
universities were meant to be cosmopolitan from the outset. The modern research university, a product of the Enlightenment, is one of the three institutions
created by this audacious intellectual movement that was based on the revolutionary ideas that ordinary people
could rule their lives. And that freedom was
preferable to the alternatives. And that they could
collaborate with others in improving their communities. The other two institutions which were a product of the Enlightenment were democracy and public education. And these three sisters institutions are joined at the hip, interdependent. None of them works well without the other. All of them are about advancing
the cosmopolitan proposition that we can collaborate across borders in improving the human condition. Science and higher education
are by definition cosmopolitan. Scientists do not study the problems through the lens of a passport, but understand that scientific communities are bound together in this
shared search for truth. Public education too is
a cosmopolitan activity. The very idea of public education is one that has benefited
from global collaborations. It was John Quincy Adams,
our sixth president, who wrote what is
arguably the first treaty of comparative education when
he wrote a series of letters, the product of his travels to Silesia, which eventually became Prussia, analyzing the nascent
public education system in that region. These letters on Silesia
inspired his friends in this Commonwealth of Massachusetts. And some years later Horace Mann, our first Secretary of Education, would travel to Germany and France to study their education systems, and used a report he wrote
based on those travels to help build his case
for public education in this Commonwealth. Our school of education at
Harvard has, since its inception, also been committed to these
cosmopolitan aspirations. The first faculty position
created at Harvard in 1891 was given to Paul Harris,
an immigrant from Prussia, whose work on the nature of high schools included comparative dimensions. Over the years this school has educated thousands of students who have gone on to advance public education
all over the world and our faculty have conducted research in many different
settings around the world. And we have built scores of international
collaborations in that process. Today we’re gonna hear
from several colleagues whose international and comparative work continues to advance Harvard’s
cosmopolitan ambition to understand the world and
to be of service to the world, advancing knowledge that can improve the world through education. Now let me very briefly introduce my colleagues, our faculty presenters, in the order in which they will present. I’m only going to say a
sentence about their work and then as they begin their presentations they will say a little bit more. We’re gonna first hear
from Sarah Dryden-Peterson, who’s an associate professor of education whose work focuses on educating students in conflict settings as well as refugees. Then we’re gonna hear from Dana McCoy who’s an assistant professor of education and whose work consists
of developing new methods to understand and
improve early development of children in poverty. Then we’re gonna hear from
Felipe Barrera-Osorio, who’s an associate professor of education who specializes on evaluating the impact of educational interventions
that seek to improve educational opportunity
in developing countries. So without further ado let me invite Sarah to come to the podium. – Thanks so much.
(audience applauding) Hello my name is Sarah Dryden-Petersen. I’ve chosen to live in many places: Uganda, South Africa, France, Botswana, Boston, but I consider home
Toronto, where I grew up. Today I want to talk about
learning to change the world by learning about the world. I’m gonna start with a story
and then explain a framework. Don’t worry it’s from a picture book. And then finish with one big idea about the purposes of education. Six years ago my family
and I were visiting a nature sanctuary in Botswana where my husband and I have worked. We arrived just as it was getting dark and we decided to eat
our dinner in the car before setting up our tent. Shortly we heard a rustle in the bushes. The windows were open and we
loved listening to the night. “Is it a gemsbock?” our
older daughter asked. This antelope was her favorite animal. So we moved the car lights
and shone them on the bushes. And it revealed a rhino, enormous and right there in front of us. For months after this,
our younger daughter, who was less than two at the time, every time she heard a
rustle, the sheets on her bed, the bushes of a squirrel moving beside the sidewalk in
Boston, she knew what it was: a rhino. She was learning about the world. Okay now the framework. Not a Box is a picture book. The author illustrator Antoinette Portis has a rabbit character
and the rabbit starts out by sitting in a box. I’ve seen children all
over the world do this. Any unclaimed cardboard box is about the best plaything
you could imagine. But the thing is, as this rabbit character and as all children know, it’s not a box. It’s a car, it’s a robot,
it’s a rhino hospital, it’s all sorts of things, just like the rustle, sheets, squirrel. But the rhino or the grown-up
is bigger and more powerful and that idea sticks. That rustle, it’s a rhino. That car, robot, rhino
hospital, no, it’s a box. How many of you have been in a situation where you’ve gotten up
the courage to speak, shared your ideas, which
were very different from what you were hearing all around you, and then heard back, oh yes
that’s so and so’s idea, the ABCD XYZ framework. And just as you’re thinking
not exactly, it’s too late, the labels been slapped and
the discussion moves on. And your not-a-box idea is
neatly put inside a box. How many of you have experienced this? Yeah, me too. Many of us have also experienced
our ideas, our identities, the very core of who we are,
as being outside any box we can help the people
around us to imagine. The refugee children and
families with whom I work have this experience daily. Their experiences,
their lives, the futures that they imagine for themselves, they don’t fit neatly into
the boxes of nation-state or the boxes of schooling
or the boxes of belonging. They learn about a world
in which they don’t fit. So for the big idea let me
tell you about Alia and Minar. When Alia fled Syria
with her four children, she imagined returning
home within a few months. Like most refugees she left
with only one season of clothes, imagining that she would be
in exile for a short time. But when we spoke she had already been in Egypt for three years. The drawings of her
daughter Minar, though, always rendered her
once-upon-a-time life in Syria. Minar might envision herself differently, her mother thought, if she
could go to a good school. The government schools
in the area of Cairo where the family could now afford to rent, were of poor quality and Alia described her daughter as learning very little. The other options were
problematic as well. The costly private school that
she had originally attended when they moved to Egypt. The teachers there were warm and caring but Minar felt bullied
by the other students and she didn’t feel safe. There was also an informal Syrian school, which was free and followed
the Syrian curriculum and it would keep her connected
to a Syrian community, but at the same time isolated
from an Egyptian community. Minar was learning about a world in which she had to weigh only not-so-good options. The United Nations outlines three possible durable or comprehensive
solutions for refugees. The idea is that these
solutions represent an end to the persecution that
caused a refugee’s flight. The solutions are resettlement
to a distant country, like Canada or Norway; return to the country of
origin, such as Minar to Syria; or long-term integration
into the host country, like Minar in Egypt. But the problem is that
Minar can’t predict which of these durable solutions
might be available to her. This uncertainty has
implications for determining the criteria for a good school. What kind of education would allow her to bridge her present in exile in Egypt with an imagined but uncertain future? Would she return to Syria? If so, the informal Syrian school could provide a safe temporary environment and may ease her transition
back into school in Syria. Would she remain in exile in Egypt? If so, following the Egyptian curriculum and getting an Egyptian certification could help her continue her
studies and build a livelihood. And creating strong relationships
with Egyptian teachers and kids would be worth the challenge and the long-term investment. Or would she seek to move
onward toward Europe? If so, strong basic
skills and certification that could transfer between
national contexts could be key. But the thing is Minar can’t
answer these questions. Her choices of schooling
place her on a pathway to a specific future, but the
actual future is unknowable. Refugee families, along with
policymakers and teachers, struggle daily with the
uncertainty of these futures. But at the same time they must
make decisions in the present about what curriculum
refugees will follow, what language they will learn in, what certification they will receive, and what type of schooling
might be a bridge between their presents and their futures. They’re really trying
to answer the question, what’s the purpose of education? Education of refugees helps us to see just how neatly education
has been packaged into boxes labeled nation-state. The power of this
nation-state box approach is like the rhino, like the grown-up. It sticks but it doesn’t always reflect the way in which refugees
seek opportunities. We know that young people today
sitting in cardboard boxes, be that in Kabul or Kingston,
Bujumbura or Beirut, they imagine and plan for lives that transcend nation-states. For Minar to embed herself
in more than one nation-state could be a strategy to
combat the uncertainty and to leave open
multiple possible futures, but at the same time, in most countries, refugees can’t access rights
that would enable them to create these futures. They don’t have the right to work, they don’t have the right to own property. Education for multiple futures
could keep open these options but no matter what kind of education, the possibilities for
Minar will still depend on the restrictions that are imposed on her by nation-states. The possibilities depend on the boxes. What if our nation-states
and the education within them were more not-a-box like? The futures of children like Minar, the futures of all children,
will likely depend on it. Thank you. (audience applauding) – Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Dana McCoy and
I am an assistant professor here at the Harvard Graduate
School of Education. My research looks to develop
new ways to both understand and improve early childhood development for low-income populations
living both in the United States as well as internationally. So I am a quantitative researcher. Because of that I’m a numbers person, so I’m actually gonna
start today with a number. That number is 200 million. 200 million is a really big number, so just to put this in perspective, if you stack 200 million sheets of paper one on top of the other,
that stack would be almost 16 miles high. But 200 million in this case
is not referring to paper 200 million was a figure
published in the Lancet’s seminal series on early
childhood development in 2007. And it refers to the number of children under the age of five who are failing to meet their
developmental potential. So just to put this in perspective, this is about one in every three children under the age of five around the world. So this is big news. Researchers, when this came
out, started publishing this number in their journal articles. Policymakers used it
to motivate and justify early investments in early services. I kid you not. I actually took a picture
of this advertisement in Newark International Airport
that quoted this number. One in three children. The number is literally everywhere. And in many ways this
is actually great news. This means that the
international community really cares deeply about
investing in early development. We care about reducing
the number of children who are failing to meet their
developmental potential. What does that mean,
developmental potential? To me as a developmental psychologist, developmental potential means the ability to think critically, to solve problems, to get along well with others, to move and interact with
the physical environment, to love one another, to learn, to respond and understand emotions. In other words developmental potential is really, really complicated. So again, me being the pedantic
quantitative researcher that I am, my first reaction
when I heard this number, 200 million, was to ask
a very simple question. How the heck did they measure that? So I went back to the
article and I looked. And it turns out this number, 200 million, is actually the sum of
two different numbers. One is the number of children
under the age of five globally who are stunted, stunted is
a proxy for malnutrition. It simply means that you are too short, given how old you are. The second number is then
half of the number of children under the age of five globally
who are facing poverty. At this point in time this was defined as living in a household that was earning less than one dollar per person per day. And the authors decided
to cut this number in half because they assumed, they
didn’t want to double count, and they assumed that
about half of children who are poor are also stunted. Either way, this number really struck me as somewhat simplistic. How do we represent
developmental potential, this massive, huge idea
of children’s development and learning in something as
simple as how tall are you and are you poor? So my reaction to this was to
gather with several colleagues and we put together this plan
to come up with a new idea for measuring developmental potential. We were going to come up
with a measure that was truer and richer and more comprehensive and that captured children’s
motor and cognitive and social and emotional
and language well-being, in ways that would help
to support policymakers in making more informed
decisions to helping children. Right. Turns out this is a little
harder than it sounds. Identifying skills and
milestones of development that mean the same things in
different parts of the world is really hard. Figuring out how to
communicate those skills and ask questions about
them to caregivers, who are the primary respondents
of our particular survey, is even more difficult, especially when you have caregivers who are facing low literacy levels, who are unfamiliar with
these types of assessments. But we did our best. We interviewed caregivers around the world to make sure that our measures
were making sense to them. We collected data on 16,000 children in 17 low-, middle- and
high-income countries. And we did quantitative
analysis to make sure that the items were functioning similarly in those various places. We worked with UNICEF and the WHO, the Sustainable Development
Solutions Network and various NGOs to make sure
that what we were measuring had both policy and practical relevance. And the product of that was the CREDI, the caregiver reported
early development index, the first measure of its kind for capturing early childhood development in global settings for children
under the age of three. I want to be really clear with you, the CREDI is not perfect,
it is far, far from perfect. It glances over cultural nuance, it fails to really dive deep
into the specific skills that matter for young
children in local locations. But we believe in many
ways it’s a far improvement over how tall are you and are you poor. So the CREDI gives us
a number of different pieces of information and
it solves several problems. The first problem is not all children facing
malnutrition and poverty are experiencing poor development, just as not all children
who have come from more advantaged backgrounds are thriving. If you think about developmental potential as simply the product of
these two risk factors, which are major contributors
to early development, understandably, but they’re
not the only contributors. If we focus on poverty and malnutrition, we miss the opportunity
to potentially invest in early childhood education, in supports and services
that help to promote responsive, warm, stimulating culturally appropriate care from parents. We miss the opportunity
to invest in programs that reduce violence and conflict and neglect and abuse for children. And this becomes a larger issue of what gets measured, gets
done, from a policy perspective. If our measures of developmental potential are represented exclusively
by these proxies of malnutrition and poverty, we are going to fail to
invest in the services that we know, from research,
make a difference for kids. The second reason that this is
an advance over previous work is that the CREDI, although
again very superficial in terms of its ability to
detect cultural specificity, actually can help us to
provide new information and information to researchers to help us to understand cultural nuance. So I’ll present a little
bit of data here today. So this is a graph that
shows the average age at which children in
four different countries from our data set attain
specific milestones. The first milestone is
saying 10 or more words. It’s a language milestone
and what we see here is that there’s vast heterogeneity across these various settings, but children in the
United States tend to talk before their peers from other contexts. This is probably not
surprising to those of us who come in with the assumption that kids in the United
States develop more quickly than those from low-
middle-income country settings. But the story gets interesting
when we start to look at other areas of development
like motor skills, walking without support. What we see here is a little
bit of a different pattern. Kids in Ghana who are
relatively late to talk are actually the first to walk. Kids in Guatemala who are
relatively fast to talk are relatively slow to walk. Things get more interesting
when we start looking at social and emotional
skills like showing kindness. And in this particular case, the order of skill
progression and attainment looks relatively similar to
what it did for language skill. But the differences across
contexts are relatively small. So these are just three
brief examples of questions that we can ask using these large-scale quantitative databases like the CREDI. So in this way the
CREDI is not only useful for hopefully informing policy decisions and making smarter decisions about how we allocate resources, but also for really
contradicting and counteracting these assumptions that we
come in with as researchers about how kids develop worldwide. These assumptions that all children in low- middle-income countries
are universally doing worse than children from high-income contexts, these assumptions that
children facing malnutrition and poverty all develop in the same ways. We know that these
assumptions are just not true. So in sum, I don’t think
necessarily that measurement will change the world, but I
do believe that learning will. Learning will help us to
understand where kids are thriving, where they’re struggling. Learning will help us to identify ways of improving children’s
developmental well-being and reducing inequities that
are prevalent worldwide. Learning will change the world, and measurement, I believe,
is central to that goal. Thank you.
(audience applauding) – Hello, my name is Felipe Barrera-Osorio. In 2009 I was contact by
the government of Sindh to help them in developing a new program. It was a public-private
partnership program, a PPP program. And they contact me and
my colleague Dushyant Raju because we were working
with another village in Pakistan called Punjab
in a similar program. And we were able to convince
the government of Sindh to do two things. One, evaluate the program with a pilot and secondly, to start a
new different type of PPP. It is the root of my research, my research work with governments, in a partnership with governments, and it has more or less four steps. The first step is I pose a
hypothesis based in theory of why certain policies may work or not, and what are the mechanisms
by which they work? Secondly, I created interventions
to test that hypothesis. Then I measure and evaluate
the impact of the interventions and if successful, we scale up. If not successful, we try
to see what is the problem in the design and change the policy. In this talk, I am going to dive in this collaboration
with the Sindh government because it’s an example
of this type of research. What is the motivation of working and seeing the motivation
was that, and still is true, that there is a low enrollment
rate, especially for girls, and low student achievement in Pakistan. And the government when they
contact us, they told us that very frankly they
were not able to reach certain regions of the country. And moreover they start recognizing that the private sector
was very successful reaching these regions. And we knew the literature
about PPP programs. And thus when the idea of creating a new type of program was for. What is this new program that we create with the government of Sindh? It’s a program in which
entrepreneurs propose villages to set schools in which there cannot be a primary
school between 1.5 kilometers. There has to be a proven demand, an entrepreneur has to show
us that there is a list of kids willing to go to the school. There were the two females teacher were willing to teach in these schools, and that the school
has adequate facilities to house the school. These primary schools are
tuition-free, they are co-ed, and entrepreneur receive
a per child subsidy. The schools different in
several characteristics. These are two examples
of schools, one in which it has a very sturdy infrastructure and the other one, the
infrastructure is not so good. And these schools are very
typical schools in Pakistan. So, we did evaluation
in the following way. We randomly finance schools in a fraction of certain villages. Some village receive
the school, others not. And we wanted to test also another idea. We wanted to test if we
pay more subsidy per year, will that change the gap? Will it close the gap between
girls’ and boys’ enrollment? This is a village in Pakistan, this is a contour of the village and usually in Pakistan there
are two public schools, one school here, another one
here outside the village. And there are primary
schools in the village. But you see the program will probably put a school in this area in
which there are no schools in that area. We compare what happened with the village that receive the schools and what happened with the village that
didn’t receive the schools. We found very large effects. We found effects in enrollment, increased enrollment rate
of 30 percentage points, which is very large. And we find positive
effects in test scores of the order of 0.6 standard deviation. Moreover when we compare
the kids that goes to the private schools in the program versus kids that went
to the government school to the public government schools, the kids going to the school program score high in test scores or the order of 0.16 standard deviation. And the composition of
the kids in our schools came from lower-income households. Another question that we
asked in this project was, okay, the entrepreneurs
had a lot of leeway, they has a lot of freedom
to choose the inputs that they want, and we
wanted to understand how entrepreneur choose the inputs. And the other question that
we asked was the following. Suppose that you have a person that tried to maximize the welfare
of everyone in society, how that person will choose
the inputs in these schools? And what we found is
something that is remarkable. We found that the inputs, the
characteristics of the school that the actual
entrepreneurs are choosing, are very similar to the ones that a person will choose,
the person who will try to maximize all the benefits for all society of education. So, these entrepreneurs
chosen inputs that were very similar to those that
a social panel will choose maximizing benefit for society. So, what happened with this program? So, the government actually
scale up the program. Right now this program is one
of the most important programs in the province of Sindh. It is not the only program that the government is implementing, it is just one instrument that the government has at its disposal. The government is using
several instruments. But this is an instrument and it’s proven to be very successful. One consideration that for me
is important is the following. Let’s assume that another government come and they said to me we are
going to implement a policy wide of the type of program
that you did in Pakistan. What do you think? And I will say I will start differently. I will start with a pilot,
because context matters. And perhaps the program was
very successful in Pakistan given the low baseline
enrollment and test scores that was previous in Pakistan. In a middle-income country
with higher enrollment rates and with higher student achievement, perhaps we need to test
these type of programs. And that is the type
of research that I do. I will try to see policies and what is the implication
of those policies. I want to see if the policies
are successful or not. And I want to take seriously
the idea that context matter. Thank you very much.
(audience applauding) – So I’m going to talk
to you about the work that my colleagues and I at the Global Education
Innovation Initiative conduct to try to strengthen the capacity of public education systems
to empower young people to live fulfilling lives. This picture has, on the top half a picture of
this planet from a distance, the only reason I have that there is because from a distance it’s clear that we’re all in these together, but that kind of image was
only available to mankind since 1947 when the
first satellite sent us a picture of planet Earth. The bottom half of that picture shows that we’ve been on this planet for about six and a half million years . in ways we would recognize
today maybe 60,000, and schools were invented in
that perspective yesterday. We’re still trying to
figure out how to get these powerful institutions
to help the full seven and a half billion
people live on this planet achieve their true potential. The goals of the Global
Education Innovation Initiative are to advance understanding
of the ways in which those who lead education
systems, those who work in them practice teaching and learning in ways that are relevant to our times and we do that to support public schools in empowering young people. Now, trying to do that
is an adaptive challenge, it’s not a challenge that has
a simple technical question. There is no equivalent to a polio vaccine to answering that question. There are three reasons why it
is in an adaptive challenge. First because we have to figure out what are the broad social
trends on skills which are necessary to our times and those demands keep changing
as technology develops, as ways to produce goods and
services or to organize change. The second thing is that figuring out how to transform schools
to make them more relevant requires connecting three communities, those who do research, those who make decisions
about public schools, and those who whose daily
practice inform schools, and lastly understanding
how to translate knowledge about what kind of change is necessary into practice, into policies and practice is an activity that no single
individual or institution has the authority to affect alone, it requires collaboration, it requires bringing together power across different organizations,
power that is distributed. Now, what we’re trying to do is to inform three nested hypotheses which are at the core of
conducting public schools. At the core of that hypothesis is a hypothesis about how it
is that young people learn and what is it they should teach, that hypothesis embedded in a hypothesis about what kinds of supports can enable the pedagogies that
help young people learn, what kinds of teacher preparation, what kinds of school organization, what kind of instructional resources can support pedagogies that are relevant. Another is a hypothesis about what is it that sustains the current systems in place and how do we change them which is a hypothesis about leadership. So, we’re trying to inform
those three hypotheses through three sets of activities. We’re trying to conduct applied research, promote dialogue and
learning among communities that have to together develop
a shared understanding about how to change systems and we’re trying to develop simple instruments, tools, protocols that can help teachers and principals figure out what to do
differently on Monday morning, so that it actually
changes a culture of school in a way that is relevant and we’re doing these in the following countries
around the world. We do three kinds of things. First thing is to advance
knowledge on questions that are of interest to policymakers. Second thing is to architect opportunities for people to engage with those ideas and thirdly is to translate those ideas into simple tools and protocols. So, on research we’ve
done the following things, the first thing we did was to identify, to synthesize existing research on what are the competencies that matter, that help people live a good life and we then developed
a taxonomy that we use to analyze the national
curriculum frameworks in six of the countries
that we’re studying and we found that the goals
of education have expanded over the last 10, 15 years in ways that are very, very ambitious and without expansion,
there is an awareness that there is a big disconnect
between those aspirations and what is actually happening in schools which reflects to a great extent goals that have been in
place for much longer period, goals to teach the much
narrower set of skills. The second conclusion of that study is that there is increasing awareness among policy communities
and education communities that teacher preparation
and teacher support are the linchpin of
translating these aspirations into a reality in schools, so that first book which was
translated into a few languages is informing conversations
was a piece of knowledge used to help the countries
of Mexico and Brazil who recently redesigned their national curriculum frameworks, so this is an array of the whole range of competencies that governments now agree should be developed in schools. They’re not just cognitive skills, but the capacity to solve problems, they’re the capacity to know oneself and to manage oneself and to set goals and to learn from experience
as well as the capacity to get along with other
people and to work with them and to collaborate in
achieving their goals. The curriculum is a very powerful driver which is an important thing to mention, but in the international
development literature, there was a time not long
ago, two decades ago, when the curriculum was mentioned as a blind alley in
international development and international
development organizations were encouraged to
ignore curriculum reform as a promising avenue for reform. Well, this is not
thankfully what governments around the world have done in expanding aspirations for schools. This is a summary of the
national curriculum in Singapore which is a very nice visual
that people can remember of what they’re trying to
do which has at the core the ethical development of individuals, then the environment of sale
of capacities to manage oneself and only on the outward person
a set of particular skills that would help support those capacities. We have completed a study of teacher professional development, what kind of support can
teachers receive in schools in eight different nations to prepare them to
teach to the whole child and what we find is that
many of those programs that are effective are very different from the programs that
are most commonly used which consist of pulling
teachers out of their classrooms for a period of two or three
days and teach them ideas in a way that is somewhat
decontextualized, disembodied from their practice and hope that when they
come back to their schools, they can connect those two dots. The programs that are effective, we found are to a great
extent based on the schools. They involve not training individuals, but teams in schools, they
include principals of schools as really important partners, but they’re not programs that take place only in the school, in fact, they connect schools with other schools and those networks of schools
with another institution that serves as a manager of that program that bring new ideas
that identify what works in some schools and brings them to others. We’re currently on the applied
research front of things, beginning research on the
preparation of school leaders and on initial teacher education. The second set of things inform dialogue. It builds on a book a colleague and I wrote some 20 years ago which resulted from the realization that books don’t read themselves and if you want books to be read by people who make decisions about education, you have to actually ask them
what are you interested in and you have to bring them
together into a conversation that helps to connect the
problems that they care about with the ideas that are contained in books and what we have done as examples of these informed dialogues
I will illustrate, too, is to bring together communities of policymakers,
researchers, and practitioners because they actually all
have very valuable knowledge, but a lot of the published
scholarship on education has only one voice all
those three communities and to a great extent ignores
what practitioners know and what we have found is
that there is a great deal that we can all learn if you
bring to the same conversation those three communities
who in the end collectively are the ones who can transform or not the culture of education. So, an example of that informed dialogue is something that with some
colleagues in Massachusetts we are doing to try to
get people to rethink initial teacher preparation. We brought together 25
individuals to a conversation here under the leadership of
the late commissioner of elementary and secondary education and we examine how it was they were providing initial preparation in contrast to what some
of the other nations that we’re studying or were doing. We then travel together
to Singapore for a week and then we said, “How do we make sure that
all the 80, 8-0, institutions “of teacher preparation actually use “what we have learned to
begin to change their ways “or to begin a conversation
to change their ways,” and borrowing a page
from John Quincy Adams when he published his letters on Silesia, we published letters on
education in Singapore which are the reflections
of those practitioners on what we thought was
admirable of what Singapore does as well as our collective challenge to various stakeholders
in the Commonwealth, from the state house, the
Department of Education, our schools of education, our districts, and our schools themselves on how it was that we could prepare a form of teacher professional support that would more effectively help teachers develop the capacities for
education in the 21st century. Another example of such
dialogues is a meeting that took place here a year ago where my colleagues in
these various 10 countries were invited to identify five individuals who together could build a network of research policy and practice
in each of their countries and we came here to discuss
what are the challenges to scaling reforms that
educate the whole child. What we have discovered by now, three years into this initiative is that contrary to our expectations, actually education for the 21st century doesn’t need to be invented
it exists in many schools in many systems for the
most part on a small scale. The real challenge is to figure out how to make those experiences, the experience that all
students receive consistently throughout their academic trajectories, so we spent two days discussing what are those barriers to scale and how can we overcome it
and we published that book and turned that book into a tool to advance informed dialogues
in each of their nations. I was recently in Colombia meeting with about stakeholders from these three different communities including leaders of schools, teachers, NGOs that work supporting schools, schools of education,
and members of government talking together about what would it take to produce an education that
educates the whole child for the entire country of Colombia. Third set of things that we do is we try to translate those
ideas into simple protocols, some of them not so simple. So, an example of one of those protocols is a curriculum from
kindergarten to high school that is aligned with a set of skills that can help us achieve the
sustainable development goals. The sustainable development goals outline a most ambitious vision
approved by the United Nations two years ago at the 70th General Assembly of what would it take to have a world which includes every person and in which we can live
in peace with one another and relate to this earth in
a way that is sustainable and so we mapped those
goals against competencies that high school graduates should know, be able to do, and care about, and from there map backwards
an entire curriculum which is currently being used as a tool to create networks of improvement in the countries that I have mentioned, so the notion of a network of improvement, one of the tools that we have developed is a very simple 13 step
protocol that tells a school how would you begin to
align your curriculum on behalf of a vision of sustainable development goals and the point is not that the school gets it right in year one, the point is that you
follow a discipline process that can help you get better every year and of course if you do that
not alone, but in good company, if you do that with other schools that are following the same process, using the same language,
using the same methods, every school in this network of seven can gain every year
seven years of experience and if these networks are integrated into networks of schools around the world, then you can exponentially
augment the learning that every member in that network has, so we have built under this
third leg of developing tools essentially three platforms, one is it global innovation lab, global citizenship innovation lab. I’m working with a range
of schools around the world that are just doing
that, putting in practice global citizenship curriculum, figuring out what works, what doesn’t, and trying to exchange those lessons, so that colleagues in Dubai
talk to colleagues in Australia, talk to colleagues in China, talk to colleagues in Colombia. The second platform is
a network of networks. There are many networks around the schools that are very interested
in this curriculum and we are not studying
them in the same way we’re studying the lab, but we’re sharing what we learn and learning from them as well and eventually with having done that, we’re looking for ways to
share this with the world. We’re hoping to develop MOOCs
to develop publications, all materials that can make this knowledge accessible to others, so I hope this gives you an
idea of what we’re trying to do. To me, it is very humbling
that these institutions that were invented only years ago, I talked about Horace Mann, have really helped humanity
change our cultural DNA and they’ve done that in a period that is very, very recent in our history because most of the kids around the world. The 1.2 billion learners that are involved in educational institutions, 70 years ago did not have an
opportunity to go to school. In fact, 70 years ago when
humanity was only 2.5 billion, only four in 10 children went to school and that in seven decades
we’ve been able to do that because we invented these institutions and we agreed on set of goals that actually facilitated the
kind of collective leadership that made it possible
gives me tremendous hope that we will be able in the
next five decades not even seven actually empower all children
who go to those institutions to become architects of their own lives and contributing members
of their communities and one institution that has
played a very important role in that enterprise is the UN agency that was tasked with that role, UNESCO, and it’s an agency that I
think it’d be very important for every educator to
understand what it does and to facilitate that task. I have a gift for you,
you can download it free only today on Kindle. It’s a book called Teaching
Two Lessons About Unesco and other writings on
Human Rights, thank you. (audience applauding) So, what we’re going to
do before we hear from you is I’m gonna invite my
colleagues, each one of them, to reflect on what they heard and process that in terms of what they do, so maybe I should model that,
I loved your presentations and here’s one takeaway
from each one of them. From Sarah, it was so
clear in your presentation how important it is to think about these vast institutions of education through the eyes of a child
and not just any child, but the most marginalized children because in looking at
what education looks like from the perspective
of a refugee children, it helps us question the whole
architecture we have built, it helps us think anew and differently about the kind of education that might actually be more relevant and more empowering to that person and it’s important to hear that because it doesn’t happen
often in the policy community that people would take the time to see education through
the eyes of a child, much less through the
eyes of one of the most marginalized children that we can imagine. From your presentation, Dana, it was such a great example of how we can think of the world
as a global laboratory to help us develop more robust theories and to challenge existing understandings of what good development
is and what promotes it and yes, developing good metrics and questioning existing metrics is a huge piece of the enterprise, but of course the second
piece of your enterprise is that you’re not just doing
these in the United States, you’re doing these in different countries and debunking existing understandings of what are the kinds of experiences, of settings that actually contribute to the healthy development of children, what is the healthy development. Felipe, in your presentation, I heard the power of
thinking of governments as partners in advancing knowledge because as you’re advising government in thinking through how
to address this problem of getting more kids to
school, more girls to school, and to learn more you
also have an opportunity to tweak their thinking and say, “Why don’t we design these in a way “that actually helps us
advance understanding,” and I have looked at this literature on school-based decision-making and a lot of it is so inconclusive and the kinds of experiments
that you’re doing tell us so much to help us understand what difference does it make that a person of the local level is the one who decides how do
you actually use the resources and make a very, very positive difference, so thank you all of you for those things. I hope that those of you in the audience who are hearing this, how powerful and how
important it is to generate an advanced knowledge and understanding based on looking at the entire
world as our laboratory, but I’ve talked for too much, I’d like to hear from you. What did you hear in these talks? – Some of the themes
that I thought resonated across the talks today which
I found so interesting, it seemed like all of us
in one way or another, we’re talking about the
fact that context matters, that we’re talking about different places in which this work happens and Felipe, so explicitly thinking about how it might be different
from one place to another even once we know something
about a given place. It also seemed like all of us were talking clearly about collaborations and these connections between research and policy and practice that are centered in sharing knowledge, but also really in relationships. So, how do we develop relationships with governments in Pakistan or with with different networks of teams and in various countries. Another theme that seemed to stand out, maybe a little more subtly
was that of teachers, whether they are caregivers, whether they are teachers within
public or private schools, within these initiatives, whether they are teacher
leaders within various schools, and I guess one of the big questions that I started thinking about in listening to all of them was Fernando, you talk about this kind of 200 year history of schools and one of the things
that really strikes me is that we’ve gone on a real kind of trajectory over those 200 years where education used to be
really centered in communities and so teachers were the
ones making decisions at the very local level
and context mattered because that small context was actually the only thing that anyone knew and didn’t see the kind of comparisons that were talking about and it seems like there are real benefits to the kind of comparative knowledge that we’re thinking about and how do we learn why
might a child in Ghana walk first, but talk later and what does that tell us about human development and how kids learn. On the other hand, what have
we lost by de-centering schools and education from communities and thinking at global levels and I think from my own work, we see this sense of
refugees could succeed within schools as we define them globally, but then only take that
knowledge and succeed if they actually bypass structures rather than work within them. – Great, thank you, Sarah. – Great, Sarah stole two
of my themes preemptively, so I also really noticed this theme cross all of our presentations about the importance of
understanding context and the complexity involved
with all of this work as well as the specificity of it, the degree to which
understanding development and learning and education
really needs to be nested within an individual context. We can borrow lessons from other places, but it’s important to basically
leverage the local resources and local understanding to
make work the most impactful. Also, this notion of
collaboration resonated very strongly with me, that schools and teachers
and individual children don’t exist in a vacuum and education doesn’t exist in a vacuum, it involves collaboration between governments and
private partnerships. It involves collaboration
between communities and schools and families and making sure that we’re situating and understanding it in this
way is really important. The third observation of the theme that I had is slightly
different from Sarah’s and that is really the
degree to which education and the skills that we promote through education have changed, and Fernando, I loved
your historical context in thinking about this. What we think of often
when we think of education is math, science, reading, these important sort of
knowledge-based skills, but at the same time, there are so many other characteristics that we’re supporting through education, 21st century skills, social
and emotional well-being. We’re thinking about the impacts of trauma on children’s mental health and what that means for their daily lives. So, one of my main
takeaways from this talk was the importance of really broadening our perspective on education and its goals and thinking beyond these
traditional metrics and outcomes that we tend to care about
to consider additional ways that we can support development and learning more holistically. – [Fernando] Thank you very much, Dana. – Thank you. First of all, it’s very
interesting to hear colleagues to talk about the
research and its outreach and all the ideas are so interesting and I have two or three
thoughts about the common themes that happen in the discussion. The first one is about the skills, usually we take as given
there are certain skills that schools should promote and it’s very nice to start thinking that we are broadening the
horizon of what are the skills that the kids start needing
to have for a successful life and that is a critical question
of what type of skills, the early literature that
I know start thinking about specific skills versus general skills and not much about what type of skills. Now we are kinda in this dimension about cognitive skills or
social emotional skills which is a very important dimension that I think that is an important question that we are trying to face. The other common theme that
I hear is about measurement. Dana and I talked about measurement, I wholly agree with that
data measurement is important Yesterday, I was reading a
philosophy, of all topics, one person that I was
arguing that measurement cannot approach reality and I was so taken by that idea because when you choose certain measures. you are choosing realities or how and measurement has this property, that is we measured certain things and that has an impact on that reality that we are trying to measure. The third idea, these
are very random ideas, the third idea that for me is interesting is about this idea of context matters and something that I was
listening to you guys and something that I really, that also I want to put in the table is the following context matter, but we cannot be afraid of context, it cannot be this whole idea that the deter us to do our job. Yes, context matter, it’s a big animal, but some time to take decisions and you need to deal with
context in a simplified way and you have to do it and
just go ahead and do it. So, I have those three crazy ideas. – Thank you, before we turn it over to those of you who are joining us today, let me ask each of you to reflect on the following questions. Someone, an educator in
the US might reasonably say something along these lines, “We have so many problems in education “in this country that we need to solve, “but why should we care about “understanding education comparatively? “Why should we spend be
spending energy studying issues “outside of the United States?” “Why should a school of education “that is relatively small, Harvard, “have faculty who spend any energy “looking at issues other than
education issues in the US?” How would you respond to such a person? Maybe you can start. – So, let’s go this way. I arrived to the United States in my second period United States in 2006 and I came to a conference in 2007 which was a conference
basically of researchers doing work in the United
States about education, very national oriented conference and one of the sessions was
about teacher incentive programs and I entered the session say, “This is very interesting “because there are a lot of
teacher incentive programs “all around the world and I
want to hear this debate,” and the debate was totally
mute about evidence that came from outside the United States, so there was all the discussion about how that this program
didn’t work in the United States and I was sitting there saying a lot of this evidence in
other parts of the world are very relevant for this debate and why they are not talking about this and that the truth was
that they didn’t even know that there were all these
areas that were very serious, very well construct evidence about teacher incentive programs in India, Kenya, Mexico, Pakistan, that was not part of the conversation, so why do we care because precisely we can learn from other contexts and we can learn from other systems and of course there are some challenges that are very different in our context than in these cultures. Another example and I will finish here is one of the most important
programs in social protection is this program in Mexico called PROGRESA which is a conditional cash transfer in which families, poor
families receive money to invest in human capital,
in educational health and after the valuation of Mexico, like five or six years later, the mayor of New York decide to create a similar program in New York and that was also something
that it was very interesting because he was one program in Mexico implemented in New York and of course the implementation in New York was very different, but the point of the program, the basic idea of the
program was the same, those circles in which you can learn from different contexts and
from different programs, I think are critical in
understanding the importance of education and what works
and what doesn’t in education. – I would gree with you, Felipe. I think that there is a sort
of prevailing idea in research that evidence is generated
in the United States and pushed out to other places with a very little sort of
recognition of the degree to which evidence that
is sort of developed within other places around the world can inform our practice
in the United States and I have similar examples
from my own research. I do a lot of work in
Brazil working with teachers on social and emotional learning programs and the creativity and the passion and the cultural relevance
of social emotional learning in Brazil has really revealed
to me so many incredible ideas about how we can change the approaches that we’re using in the United States to make them more effective. Technology is another great example. The prevalence of cellphones
as tools for intervention, I think that that evidence
is really being generated primarily in low and
middle-income country contacts as you know mechanisms that we can use to support well-being, so I think there’s a
definite practical argument for the need to study the education of areas outside of the US, but I also think there’s a more of a philosophical one as well. Harvard in particular
is a global university. We have students from all around the world and I think that our
research should reflect that incredible strength
and diversity as well. I would also say that
increasingly outside of Harvard, we are a global society, the world is becoming more
global and interconnected and to ignore that, to
ignore those connections, I think really just is antithetical to the goals of higher
education, so I’ll end there. – I guess I’ll start by
picking up on this idea of an interconnected world. One of the projects that I’ve worked on over the past few years has been with the United Nations High
Commissioner for Refugees and thinking about what kinds of models of refugee education could
be decided upon and used and Felipe, I think this comes back to what you were saying
about context matters, that we could spend the
next 200 years figuring out what’s best in each context and then realize that we’ve done nothing to support the education of children in many contexts around the world, so making some decisions
and running with them and I think that part of this work has really made me realize and think about how education can both help to create tolerance and to create peace, but it can also create conflict and thinking about the ways in which we and that most of the conflicts
we experience now are global, they’re not defined within
international borders and so the kind of responsibility that we have no matter where in the world to think about schools
as mechanisms for peace rather than as vehicles for conflict. The second I think relates
to this idea of teachers. When I was a middle school
teacher here in Boston, many of my students
were from various places all over the world and really what motivated me
to go into this kind of work is because I realized I didn’t understand where they were coming from. I was trying to fit them into boxes that didn’t make sense for those students and I think the more that
we as teachers can know about the experiences that
our students come from, whether that’s here at a
university or in first grade, the better teachers we can be in terms of bringing their own
experiences to the classroom, and the third is really
about thinking about how we de-center power and stop thinking about
ourselves as the norm rather than a broad world out there and this always brings me back to my kitchen table growing up. We had a huge map of the world on the wall and we have a similar map of the world on the wall of our kitchen right now and we put dots when
we go to various places and in some ways the competition is about how many dots can you get, but the real message I think is that no matter how many dots
you have on that map, there’s more spaces
where there are not dots that we don’t understand, and that if we only
take our own experience as what matters and what counts, that we should really think about those other dots that aren’t there. – I would only a couple of
ideas to why we should be doing comparative and international work. One of them is that in order to solve new challenging problems and to have new insights
as a way to solve them, it’s a good idea to talk to
others who think otherwise and it’s interesting
that the first center, the field of comparative
education in the United States begins at Columbia
University a century ago when they create the first
Center of Comparative Ed and the rationale of the
presidents of Columbia at the time had was that they realized we were educating the
population of children, many from immigrant backgrounds, many who whose parents had
very low levels of education, and the president of Columbia thought, “We’re going to need teachers
who do things differently “and they’re going to be more likely “to have the creativity,
the capacity to innovate “in coming up with ways to educate them “if you’re exposed to how this
is done around the world,” and one of the great figures that was attached to that
Center of Comparative Education was John Dewey who developed nothing else than a theory about how
education contributed to a democratic society out
of his comparative work, looking at education
in Russia and in Mexico and the report he had written for the education system
in Turkey and so on. The second reason is that the world is a much bigger laboratory
than a single jurisdiction and so the range of
variation is much greater if you look at the world. As someone once put it,
if you want to understand how education makes a difference, you can’t answer that
question in a country where everybody goes to school, you can only answer that question if you look at places where a
lot of kids don’t go to school and then you can answer. There was a very pervasive notion that people accepted as dogma in education until we began to have
comparative evidence which was the notion that
governments have to choose between the goals of being
equitable or being excellent, that it was a real trade-off, and it was only when we
began to have measures of educational achievement
as it related to social class beginning in the year 2000 as a result of comparative
assessments one by Pisa that we realize that
country all over the map, that indeed there were some countries that either did well in
equity or excellence, but there were also countries
that did poorly on both and country that did very well on both and that generated a lot of interest on what is it that those
countries did differently that allowed them to be
equitable and excellent, and lastly I showed you the
picture of the planet from space and mentioned that we only
began to have those images in 1947 in the time when
the world was immersed in a terrible conflict, World War II, that ended only with the
use of nuclear weapons, one of the great consequences
of that horrible tragedy is that humanity came together
in San Francisco and said, “How do we make sure this
never happens again,” and they drafted this wonderful document called the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights that essentially said the only
way we’re gonna have peace and security in the world is
if we build an order of things that actually commits every
one of us to the well-being of every other member of our species because we are so interdependent
that there is no place to hide on this planet if
some people live in conditions that are beyond their dignity as humans and I think that the reason
we’re all in this together is what has helped us bring
all the kids in the world or most of them to schools and is one of the reasons
this great institution should be committed to
that same enterprise of advancing knowledge that is benefiting 1.2 billion learners and not just those who
live in our neighborhood. So, with that, why don’t we open it up to your comments, your questions? I’d asked that you be brief, so that we can have more
opportunity to hear from you. There are mics on both sides
of the room on the aisles here. I’d ask you to queue behind the mics and I’m gonna take three questions, then ask my colleagues to
respond to some of them and then another round of three and so on until we get to about 1.5. Okay, at which point, I’m gonna invite, oh, I was gonna invite
someone who’s left the room. Go ahead. – Hi, my questions for Felipe. I was just wondering when you said that increased in test scores, I wanna know more about the control group, what exactly was your control group, were there other kids from
other low-cost private schools or were you comparing them with students from government schools? The second thing you
said that entrepreneurs automatically chose inputs
which had high social benefits which makes me wonder
were they being provided with additional subsidies or was what was their motivation
for picking those inputs? – [Fernando] Thank you, how about you? – Hi, Lorenzo Garza. I’m actually here for the DRP fellowship. I’m a Title I educator in Arizona and this question is for Sarah. Looking at the idea that
refugees must bypass the boxes that we put them into, I have refugees from Mexico, from Uganda, several other places in Africa, and I just wanna know in a Title I school, we really don’t have as
many financial resources, what are the best ways that
a financially strapped school or district can provide the opportunities for students to flourish as they begin to bypass the structures that they are inevitably placed in when they come to the United States? – [Fernando] Thank you,
you got the third question. – Good afternoon, everyone. My name is Rashid from
Worcester Polytechnic and my question is how can we learn from the equity excellence trade-off that’s seen in developing countries where education might not
necessarily be equitable, but they have a functional
educational system? How can we apply those concepts
from the developing world into developed society such
as us in the United States? – [Fernando] Thank you. – Thank you. – Who’d like to start? And you can address
both of these questions, questions you wish people had asked. – I can address this question directly, such a really productive question I think about what kind of strategies
teachers or schools might use to think about meeting the needs of their students. There were three ideas
that came to my mind. The first is really I think about trying and this is I think relevant
for schools all over the world to reduce the distance, but that students have
traveled from where they are to the kind of culture that schools embody and trying to break down
the kinds of barriers. I know a lot of refugee
families who I have worked with have had negative experiences in schools and so the very institution
of school is scary or maybe actually dangerous
in some of the places that they’re coming from,
so creating ways to bridge those distances with families, bringing the kinds of
assets that families have into the classroom
using multiple languages and even if there aren’t a
lot of resources to do that, families can serve as resources
and students themselves especially as they get older can also and I think most importantly
it really centers on those relationships of students feeling like they can can get to know teachers, that the teachers will take the time to listen and understand
the kind of places that they are coming from and I think critically important too is that often we think about schools as enabling children to
experience a kind of equity, experience a situation in
which there is tolerance. I think it’s also really important for us to teach children how to
address the inequities that they will inevitably
face outside of that school even if the school is a place of tolerance and a place that strives for
both equity and excellence. – Thanks, Sarah. – Let me address the
question directed to me. First of all it, so this is a paper that we just recently finished. I am so happy because it took so long to produce that paper, but the question is
what is your comparison and so what we did was again, we randomized villages, some villages received
the school, others not, and this exercise was a very
large in the following sense, we have to go back to the village and get information of all
the kids in the village and we got information not at the school, but at the household, so
we went to the households and we test the kids in language and math, and we compare what happened on average with the kids in the
villages without the school on average with the kids with the schools, so the comparison is of
course in these villages as I show that the school of the program is not the only option that this kid has, there are some kids are going
to other private schools and there are some kids that
are going to public schools, these are public, but anyway I am not going
to go into that discussion. So, the comparison is kids in
village without the program and kids in the village with the programs. The result about the
characteristic of the school that the children have
chosen, it’s so incredible because again the argument
that we are making is, and we were not expecting this, the argument that we are making is, “Hey, let’s compare a person
who will maximize the society “versus the person who is
trying to maximize his profit,” so the person with maximizing
profit is the entrepreneur, they are trying to say, “Okay, should I put this input or not? “Should I put these characteristic or not “and if I put it in it cost
me a certain amount of money, “but if I put it and I attract more kids, “the kids that I are attracting, “the government is going
to pay me more money,” so that is from the point
of view of the entrepreneur. From the point of view
of the social planner, the social planner is maximizing that, is maximizing the
benefits for the families, but also is maximizing the
potential externalities from education and the
externalities are two. One is that these kids in the
future will have higher wages because they have higher productivity, but the second one is that
there are some externalities because of health and others
investment in education and the social planner will
take those into consideration and they say, “Okay, if I want to maximize “society as a whole which characteristics “should I chose in this school,” and it turns out that
they are very similar. The result is very interesting
because you may tend to think that they will choose
different characteristics. There is one characteristic
that is critical in Pakistan which is females. Everyone everywhere that
characteristic is very important in the following sense, teachers that are females are the ones that are having the high impact
in learning in these kids and that characteristic is very relevant in explaining the results of
higher student achievement in the experiment that we are doing. So, entrepreneurs are choosing
the majority of teachers in these schools are females
and interesting enough with less experience
and with less education vis-a-vis the teachers that
are in the public schools, but again it is a very
remarkable find that we are observing in these schools. – Thank you. I think we have time for
another round of questions if you wanted to come up to the mics and as you do, I will take
a crack at the question of how do you learn from
comparative experience as something that could
be useful for the US, so one of those studies
that looks at countries that actually do very well in overall achievement for students, but also very well in
that their relationship between social background of
the students and achievement is highly equitable, you go and
you look at those countries, I’ll mention a place, a
jurisdiction, Shanghai, and you say, “Well, what
happens in the schools “that have a higher
proportion of poor kids,” what you observe is that in those schools, there is a mechanism of improvement of instructional quality that is built in and the mechanism consists
of connecting the schools every year that have higher
levels of performance with the schools that have lower levels, and the teachers in the
highest performing schools are given the assignment of collaborating with their colleagues in the
lowest performing schools in trying to help them do better and there are systems around
the world where that happens, doesn’t happen in every system, so you can get those kinds of insights from looking at the wide variation of practices around the world as it relates to the wide
variation of outcomes where those outcomes are achievement or inequality of the connection
between both of them. Let’s get the next three
rounds of questions. Please. – Hi, I’m Mary Ann Gunderson. I’m a curriculum developer and I love what you
said about the fact that 21st century education already exists, it’s really a matter of scaling it and I’m interested in
particular in organizations that are growing up in very small scales that link students in the United States with students all over the
world using video conferencing and I know there are private schools with very wealthy students doing that all over the United States, and I’m interested in creating
a demand of the policy, the policy attempts to
spread that to public schools across the United States and I know that I see a couple states I think that have started to create certificate programs for
global competency certificates and I wonder if universities
could start to reward students for the same kinds of activities in high school and in grade school and I wonder if you want
to comment on any action you’re seeing to create demand
for that in high schools, that kind of global curriculum. – [Fernando] Thank you, let’s
get a few more questions. – Hi I’m James Jackman,
doctoral student here at HGSE, So, I was just interested to get you guys, what are your reflections
on kind of respecting and maintaining on the unique
context that you guys work in or making comparisons across countries, sort of looking at the differences versus kind of maybe
I’m trying to think of a more humanistic approach of looking at the similarities across
these and the trade-offs that you guys make in your
work and those tensions. – So, I heard a little bit
of an interesting tension between what Professor Sarah, you spoke, and Professor Felipe, what you spoke, and it was really interesting, Professor Felipe, you
said context matters, but you cannot be afraid of context and at some point when you were ending, Professor Sarah, you said
that there will always be dots that we don’t understand
and know enough about and so I want to sort of flip it and ask you, Professor Sarah, how can we sort of not
be afraid of context and then I want to ask Professor Felipe, what is sort of the detrimental impact of taking context more
seriously than required if you can share that with an experience through your research. – [Fernando] Thank you, Shawna, Lisa? – I’d like to ask you if
you see in your in your work in the places that you’ve been working the same kind of tension, I’m
gonna use that word advisedly, between public education,
charter education, voucher education, private
education in the United States has its own role at the
moment that’s not competing, but the notion that our
current government has of giving people money to allow them to register their kids in private schools, so hold the notion of competition and also of variety and how that fits into the picture of a globe coming together. Thank you.
– Thank you, Lisa. You wanna start? – Sure, so I guess I am afraid of context and I think that coming
from the more disciplinary and sociology and
anthropology that I come from, I do think that context always matters, I don’t think that it
should stand in the way of thinking about those similarities and differences across
contexts that can help us learn and get to this these
kind of learning moments, Dana, that you were describing so well, but I think that it, for me, it also connects back to this question of working with what already exists. So, we see in refugee
populations this idea of connecting people in
different parts of the world, they may be able to draw on resources that are not available locally. When we started to study this, we realized that many refugee students have already created this
aside from any global or national type of program and are simply using Facebook
to connect with students n other parts of the
world to share essays, to get feedback on exam questions
to become more successful in the environments that they’re in, and I think those dots that we don’t know and that we may never know, we need to actually learn
from those individuals who are in the context that they are about what is working,
what already exists, and create these kind of environments that you’re talking about, Fernando, where we could learn from each other similarities and differences and not assume that our
answers in one place are the answers in the other. – Thank you, Sarah. – Yeah, I’ll respond a
little bit to your question about similarities and differences in making these comparisons. I think there’s room for both, there’s room for highlighting similarities first and foremost. I think that that is
what you know unites us and brings us together and
helps us to translate ideas from one context to another. At the same time, I think that there are important differences in
development in learning and education systems that do exist across different settings. I appreciate your point, there’s a danger in
drawing those comparisons as being quote-unquote better or worse and this is something that
I think is a real tension when you start measuring
individuals or measuring schools, that there is a tendency to
say one is quote-unquote good and one is quote unquote bad, but I think in my work what I try to do is I really appreciate those
nuances as sort of helping to generate evidence that we
can then unpack and explore through greater detail that
will inform better practices that are more tailored
to a particular setting, that are actually going
to support the development that is unique to that setting in a way that is more informed, but I think it’s an issue of framing, it’s an issue of deepening understanding at the same time that we’re widening it and it’s a tough balance to strike, but I think there is a
balance to be achieved. – Thanks, Dana. – So, the question about context, there is a very instrumental
way to deal about context which is the following. Let’s say you have an idea
of a policy that may work because you have a clear
theory of why it may work and then you said, “Okay,
I am going to do a pilot “in certain context,” so you go to do your pilot and
you test if it works or not, then you go to another
context and you say, “Okay, same idea, same concept, “I will try to do it in another context “to see if it works or not.” There are two discussions there. One is that you may we
have the proof of concept, but you have to adequate
that the intervention to the different, your knowledge of the context
that you are applying, but the same concept
you are going to do it in one context and the other one, and you try to see if we work or not. If we work in different context, you may start thinking
more easy with one policy that may work in different contexts. If a policy work in one
context in and not in another, then you start thinking, “Okay, what is the problem? “What are the characteristics,
the context that allowed “the policy to work in one
context and not in another,” and there you start
trying to do research in where are the countries of the context that allowed these different
interventions to work or not, so there is a very
instrumental way to proceed and that is if the way
that one person like me is trying to proceed and when I say that, context is a very big construct and very important construct, but that cannot deter us to try to start, try to test different general ideas, and the general idea that
in theory has to work in different contexts, so that is why I am thinking, okay, context is a very important idea, but you need to start thinking, “Okay, let’s try to go to context “and let’s try to test a
different intervention.” About the question about the
private versus public sectors, same discussions happen
in a lot of contexts, but again, let me go back to the example that I gave is the same government, it was the government that says, “Look, I need to be practical, “I cannot reach certain areas, “that I know that the
private sector are rigid.” They cannot reach it for several reasons, but the bottom line is they say, “I am going to form an alliance, “I am going to work
with the private sector “to deliver public education,” and that idea of having an alliance between the public and the private is very different from an idea of having public versus or against private, and in some context the
idea of forming alliances, it is more imprinted and I think that is an important concept because at the end of the day, the objective is the same one. The objective is to have
kids that are more happy that develop the whole
potential of their lives. Of course the discussions happen sometimes and there are some people
in the public sector saying, “Okay, we don’t want the private.” There are some people
in the private saying, “I don’t want the public.” I think that a more practical
way to think the problem is, “Hey, let’s try to push
to the same objectives “and form alliances.” – Thank you and if I could say a word on the question of providing
students opportunities to come into contact with peers in other nations through technology, look, the world is in a
much better place today than it was because of
technology 50 years ago. The BB&N conducts a survey every year where they ask representative samples of the adult population the question, to what extent do you consider yourself more a global citizen
than a citizen of a nation and for the US, it’s quite interesting, a quarter of the population strongly identifies with
a global citizenship, and another quarter to some extent, and then you have half of the
population on the other side. You look at Canada, it’s more
those global citizenship, but the real dilemma is not that you don’t have a significant
percentage of the population that understand that we’re
all in this together. The real dilemma is that in
the same geographic space, you have people who have
very different views over that question and this is not something
new the very first person on record to make a case for
global citizenship education in high school was a professor at Columbia at that Center of Comparative Ed, professor named Isaac
Kendall, an immigrant himself who was convinced that if the country did not do a better job educating students to be cosmopolitan, we’re gonna be a hazard to the world. Now that he did that in 1928, a lot of people saw the world was stable and he went on to give a speech at the National Association
of Secondary School Teachers in which the speech is
structured in three segments. First segment is a strong case for global citizenship
education in high school. Second, third he says, “And this is not being anti-American, “I don’t think is an either-or. “I think I can be a
very patriotic American “and at the same time understand “that we have to understand the world,” and the last third of his speech, he went on to explain that
he was not a communist, that he was not a traitor to his country for articulating those ideas and there are parts in
this of this country where that setting hasn’t
changed very much sadly, so I don’t know that we can change that because of universities change rules of admissions or employers, I think that the work of
educating people for tolerance, for peace has always
required courageous people in the trenches, in the
classrooms, in districts, who understand that a good education is about humanizing the person and you only humanize a
person when you can help them see themselves in every other human being, this is what this enterprise is about. So, I think with that, let
me just thank my colleagues for their wonderful work that they do, for sharing some of that with
us, and for teaching here. We’re all so lucky to have you and we’re also lucky to have all of you, we thank you for your interest, thank you.

Danny Hutson

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