International LitCam Education Summit
Digital age teaching and learning - the role of national education systems
14. October 2015
Dimension Hall 4.2 (Business Club), Frankfurt Book Fair
International exchange on the topic of education has become key in developing our societies in a globalized and digitized world. Surveys show the correlation between the quality of educational school systems and economic growth. Therefore, education ministries are forced to constantly monitor how this is done internationally and what they can adopt in order to improve their own systems.
It has become evident that the basic skills for successful students today are not only reading, writing and arithmetic, but also digital literacy and 21st century non-cognitive skills. We can witness changes in students’ learning styles as well as in teaching strategies. In this light developing countries must first teach basic skills more effectively before starting to address the wider skills agenda. There is little point in investing in pedagogies and technologies to foster 21st century skills, when the basics of numeracy and literacy are insufficient.
How can national education systems in different countries face these challenges?
The LitCam Education Summit will focus on three countries and regions: Indonesia (South East Asia), Korea (East Asia) and Finland (North Europe) as well as Germany (Europe).
Since 2009 Indonesia has allocated a fifth of its annual budget to education. But PISA shows that Indonesian students are performing some three years behind the OECD average. The top priority for Indonesia is therefore to improve learning outcomes and to enable students to form core skills and understanding. The new minister for education and culture, Anies Baswedan, wants to start by improving teachers’ skills. Indonesia will also develop the educational system further by promoting technology.
In 2007 SEAMOLEC SEAMEO was founded in Indonesia. Regional Open Learning Centers assist SEAMEO Member Countries in identifying educational problems and finding alternative solutions for sustainable human resource development through the dissemination and effective use of open learning and distance education. Seamolec’s flagship program, called Digital Simulation, consists of managing digital information, participation in virtual classes and digitizing content to turn it into multimedia digital books/documents.
Several training sessions for master teachers were carried out from April to June 2014 to prepare them to support implementation of Digital Simulation with blended learning strategies in 27 provinces of Indonesia. These trainings were attended by 1.267 participants.
Finland, the former PISA winner, is at the forefront and will provide students with the necessary skills for a more technological, global society. The country wants to change its educational system and establish “Phenomenon Based Teaching”, an approach that emphasizes broad interdisciplinary topics rather than single-subject classes. Finnish schools will place less emphasis on subjects like math and history and they will instead focus on broader, more interdisciplinary topics. They will start reorganizing their classrooms during the 2016/17 school year based on the National Curriculum Framework. Instead of classroom-style rooms with kids sitting in old-fashioned rows, students will work in clusters to enhance their communication skills.
South Korea spends 7.6% of the country’s GDP on education, more than the average OECD of 6,1 %. This is the third-highest GDP percentage spent on education among OECD countries, after Iceland and Denmark. Every school in South Korea has high-speed internet. They are also equipped with digital textbooks which make learning materials more accessible, especially for lower income students. The Ministry of Education has also created a Cyber Home Learning System, an online program designed to help kids with their after-school learning. Among other recent initiatives and new learning opportunities to students from lower-income and rural families there are TV lectures on the Educational Broadcasting System (EBS). Seo Nam-soo, South Korea’s Minister of Education, said his “top priority” is trying to nurture students by unleashing their potential and dreams.
Are these the correct answers for educational systems of the 21st century?
Education expert and president of Didacta and Worlddidac, Professor Wassilios E. Fthenakis, will highlight the challenges of the national education systems in the global and digital age. The Minister for Education and Culture of the Republic of Indonesia, the South-Korean Education Minister as well as the Minister of Education from Finland will tell us where they stand and present their visions for their respective countries.
A moderated panel discussion with the Education Ministers and Professor Wassilios E. Fthenakis will finalize the summit.