Towards Global Learning Goals is a movement of educators, thinkers, pioneers, policy makers, innovators, parents and learners.

The core team, led by Tom Fletcher CMG, a former Ambassador, now Visiting Professor at NYU, writer and education campaigner, aims to build the coalitions that will transform global education in the 21st century so that learners:

  • have access to the most important knowledge that humankind has built;
  • develop the skills young people need to thrive, adapt, learn, create, invent, coexist;
  • shape the character attributes that will equip them as global citizens.

Education of the head, hand and heart. Of mind, body and soul.

The 21st century will be a time of unprecedented technological change and movement of people. The digital economy will bring extraordinary opportunities and threats. States, ideas and industries will go out of business. What it means to be human will change.

How we manage this paradigm shift is the greatest challenge of our time. Yet we are in danger of being overwhelmed. We have the tools to react globally, but too many people are being left behind rather than empowered by globalisation and technological change.

“Most people are learning the wrong things in the wrong way.”

Nowhere is this more striking than in education. Most of the world’s population continue to learn the wrong things in the wrong way. Internet penetration allows us to imagine for the first time that young people anywhere could access the best resources. Yet education varies hugely in quality, fails to share the delight and magic of learning, and is rarely connected to the demands of the future economy. Content and assessment focuses on classic academic knowledge rather than character and skills. States jealously guard control of their education systems rather than help young people become global citizens. Most children are taught in factory schools, and 75m are not receiving any formal education at all.

This has consequences. A generation of people on the move will not be equipped with the skills they need. Polarisation, extremism and distrust will increase. The next Pasteur, Einstein or Jobs may not appear to move humanity forward. As humans, we navigated previous periods of tumultuous change such as the agricultural and industrial revolutions not just through mastery of the new tools, but through a new mindset.

We must act fast if we are to do the same again. We want to create greater equality of opportunity, to develop the skills needed to thrive in a new economy, and to make it easier for people on the move to adapt. Education is not filling a bucket but lighting a fire.

“This is a challenge of politics rather than education.”

At its core, this is a challenge of politics rather than education. We need new coalitions for change. The pioneering educators and governments. Businesses that want to see people better equipped with the skills they need. Parents who want their children to thrive. And most importantly young people themselves, who can lead a learning revolution.

Read our reports ‘The World Needs Global Learning Goals’ and ‘Kindling the Flame’ for our interviews with leading experts, our understanding of the challenges, and our proposed solutions.

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© Towards Global Learning Goals 2018