We see that profound change is on the horizon for education, but how do we get there? That was one of the questions posed earlier today on EduTalk Radio in an interview with Katherine Prince and Jason Swanson.

A new paper authored by Prince offers answers to that question. In Innovating Toward a Vibrant Learning Ecosystem: Ten Pathways for Transforming Learning, Prince shares a framework designed to help education stakeholders become active agents of change in creating the future. While any given education stakeholder might contribute to only one or a few of the innovation pathways, the sector needs to advance along all of them in order to realize the best of future possibilities.

Listen to the full interview with Prince and Swanson to learn more about the innovation pathways framework.

 

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One child, one teacher, one book and one pen can change the world.Over the last week or so, I’ve been thinking about why I went into the field of education. This is the type of reflection that typically happens around my birthday. The whole, “Why am I here and what the heck am I really doing?”

My answer was swift and to the point, “Education is a human right. It has the power to transform lives, lift people out of current circumstances, and propel human progress. Education is the life-blood of humanity.” To be clear, that is the power of education, not me. I’m just a guy that does some things from time to time.

However, the true power of life and of education came into even greater focus when Malala Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education and a teenager, became the youngest ever to win a Nobel Prize at age 17. I had known about her story, certainly, but given my life ponderings it was a powerful reminder of the transformative nature of education.

For those that are not familiar with her story, Malala is known for human rights and education advocacy in her home region of Pakistan where the local Taliban had, at times, banned girls from attending school. Malala’s advocacy has since grown into an inspirational, international movement. In early 2009, when she was 11 or 12, she wrote a blog, using a pseudonym, for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control, and her views on educating girls. This advocacy led to a New York Times documentary about her life, she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by Desmond Tutu, and was awarded the National Youth Peace Prize. However, in October 2012, Malala boarded her school bus in the northwest Pakistani district of Swat. A gunman asked for her by name, then pointed a pistol at her and fired three shots. Malala, ever the fighter, survived as did her message of the power of education. She was quoted as saying, “I think of it often and imagine the scene clearly. Even if they come to kill me, I will tell them what they are trying to do is wrong, that education is our basic right.”

With that poignant reminder of education as a basic right, United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of England, launched a UN petition in Malala’s honor demanding the following:

  • We call on Pakistan to agree to a plan to deliver education for every child.
  • We call on all countries to outlaw discrimination against girls.
  • We call on international organizations to ensure the world’s 61 million out-of-school children are in education by the end of 2015.

This petition helped shape the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill. Malala’s message not only changed opportunities for her home region but all of Pakistan and potentially the world.

We have universal, public education in the United States. However, we take it for granted and we struggle mightily to reach all children. We are still leaving children behind each and every day. We see bright eyes dim just as we see lives transformed. We see students fall deeper into the grips of poverty just as we see students graduate to become the first in their family to walk across a stage to earn a degree. We have an uneven dream in our country. Augustine once wrote, “Hope has two beautiful daughters. Their names are anger and courage; anger at the way things are and the courage to see that they do not remain the way they are.” We need to collectively have the anger, courage and hope to insure that all of our children have access to an education that helps them fulfill their potential and their dreams.

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Collective Impact: The End of Piecemeal Education Reform

by Lillian Pace October 20, 2014

Did you know the United States spends more educating its citizens than any other developed nation, yet we continue to fall in the middle of the pack on every international measure of academic performance? Some might use this as a rallying call to invest even more in the system. At KnowledgeWorks, we believe in a […]

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Discussing Quality Collective Impact with USED Deputy Secretary

by Mary Kenkel October 9, 2014

Throughout this year, StriveTogether and its collective impact approach have gained national attention from the Stanford Social Innovation Review, the U.S. Department of Education and the White House. And yesterday, U.S. Department of Education Deputy Secretary Jim Shelton discussed collective impact with StriveTogether during the Communities Defining Quality Collective Impact webinar. “We recognize that there […]

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Focusing on What’s Best for Students

by Mary Kenkel October 3, 2014

My hot coffee sat in front of me, a promising start to any morning, as I cracked open the local paper. “Worn out on tests?” the front page read. “Graduation exams triple for Ohio freshmen.” Reading past the first paragraph, I quickly learned that Ohio is abandoning the Ohio Graduation Test (OGT) for freshmen this […]

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Working to prepare our Next Generation of Globally-Minded Citizens: Mulder Appointed to Center for International Understanding Board

by Mary Kenkel October 1, 2014

Congrats to Cris Mulder, our Vice President of Communications and Marketing, for her recent board appointment to the Center for International Understanding at the University of North Carolina. Mulder will bring a broad array of experience, from public to private sector both internationally and nationally, to the CIU’s Board of Directors. “It’s imperative that we […]

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