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The world is globalised – so why isn’t education?

Education needs to have a globalised emphasis. Source: Shutterstock.com

Today’s world could not exist without international cooperation and globalised relations. Everything from the history you study in class to the pen with which you write your notes relies on international interdependence, so why doesn’t education prepare us to be global citizens?

School is a great training ground for remembering facts and quickly and accurately recalling them in exams. The whole education system is geared toward scoring a top grade in your final one-hour exam before you are let loose in the real world.

But once in the real world, we quickly realise we have no idea how to apply for international visas, how to navigate foreign economic structures or how to integrate into a contrasting culture.

Like a newly-hatched turtle blindly making its way across the sand in pursuit of the ocean, graduates are left to struggle through an unfamiliar economic landscape until the globalised current inevitably sweeps them up.

So why does education not prepare students for the connected and globalised world that the system itself depends on?

Well, if you look at the exam boards, the curriculum writers and the textbook providers, you will notice one thing: they are all owned by the same elite group of companies.

They are businesses who are selling their product to schools, yet not amending their curriculum to match the ever-changing world.

“There is a closed circuit in education, where textbook producers are the examination companies. They are strangling the education system with an instructionalist focused outlook – strangling the education system. This instructionalist education system has been the same for centuries. Why hasn’t it changed with the times?” Graham Brown-Martin, chief education adviser at pi-top, an education technology company teaching children to code, told Study International.

This archaic curriculum sells students short on their real-world potential and leaves them blind in the globalised world. Learning about navigating international relations in the business marketplace is forgone in favour of memorising political structures upon which countries were historically built.

But we are now on the brink of global collapse, explained Brown-Martin. Climate change is at a critical point, population growth is at tipping point, and these two factors combined means there are exponentially more refugees than ever before – with no signs of slowing.

And yet, students are not being educated that these problems even exist let alone how to respond to them.

The saying goes ‘history always repeats itself’, but maybe it wouldn’t if we had the foresight to study the problems of today before they turn into the mistakes of tomorrow.

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