Education and Globalization

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Vol. XVI, No. 2

APRIL-JUNE 1998

Education and globalization

A

ccording to the definition given by Jacques Hallak during the conference on “Educational Reconstruction and Transformation of Education. Challenges for the 21st Century”, globalization is a combination of much freer trade in goods and services combined with free capital movements. The phenomenon dates far back in history with the development of international trade. However, for the past few years, we have observed a high acceleration in this trend due to a political and ideological environment eminently favourable to its development and rapid advances in technological innovation, especially in the area of telecommunications. Educational planners – wherever they come from – must think seriously about the consequences of such a phenomenon, particularly in terms of shifts in the job market, in order to better adapt their country’s training system.

In January 1998 at a conference organized by the University of Bristol’s Centre for International Studies in Education ,1 Jacques Hallak presented a paper on the following theme: Education and globalization. Later, in March 1998, the Director of IIEP again debated this theme with participants in IIEP’s Annual Training Programme. Some of the ideas that arose during these two conferences and ensuing discussions are outlined below. growing over the past three decades. It is estimated today at over a million individuals. All the same, in most cases, the teaching provided does not meet the new demands being created by globalization. Thus, as Mr. Hallak emphasized during his two presentations, the aim of most existing educational systems, which consists in serving a national economy by training an adequate workforce for definite tasks and allowing a limited elite to acquire management and administration responsibilities, appears somewhat out of step with changes affecting contemporary society. This is confirmed by new forms of illiteracy observed in some of the most developed countries. To meet the challenges of globalization, it would in fact appear necessary to prepare individuals for a workplace where responsibilities are constantly changing, where vertical management is replaced by networking, where information passes through multiple and informal channels, where Software A new interface of a Data Entry Manager software designed by IIEP is now being used by IEA for TIMSS Surveys.

initiative-taking is more important than obedience, and where strategies are especially complex because of the expansion of markets beyond national borders. Therefore, education must help individuals to perform tasks for which they were not originally trained, to prepare for a non-linear career path, to improve their team skills, to use information independently, to develop their capacity for improvisation as well as their creativity, and finally to lay the basis of complex thinking linked to the harsh realities of practical life.

Implications of globalization on training needs
International scope is not totally absent from current education systems. For example, at university level, and especially in the areas of science, technology and research, the flow of foreign students has not ceased

Adapting education systems to deal with the changes
In the booklet based on the speech he delivered at the Bristol conference,2 Mr. Hallak drew a distinction between the various fields of educational activity where reforms could be carried out, so as to take into account changes involved in the trend towards globalization. Adapting education systems to Obituary A tribute to Clarence Beeby, an intellectual architect of modern education and one of the most influencial founding partners of IIEP.

Inside

UNESCO Report
IIEP reviews UNESCO’s fourth World Education Report on Teachers and teaching in a changing world.

Research
Does partnership make it possible to improve the efficiency of technical and vocational training policy? An...
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