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Looking globally: the future of education
Looking globally: the future of education

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8 Summary

This week you have been introduced to three models that can be used to shape education systems. The models do not describe any specific education system but they describe a way of thinking about the purposes for education. Is education only worth investing in if it brings with it the potential for economic growth, or is it about increasing personal well-being in society?

In each of the next three weeks you will be guided to reflect on the three key drivers for change identified in Week 1:

  • environmental (Week 3)
  • demographic (Week 4)
  • technological (Week 5).

In each case you will be asked to evaluate what you think education needs to do to contribute to meeting these challenges, as well as whether these global changes offer any opportunities for society and, hence, education. You will also be asked to think how far the three models for education you have studied in Week 2 have affected how education already responds to these drivers and whether adopting another model may improve that response. Throughout, you will be asked to consider how education can help fit young people for the future.

Further reading

If you have found the issues discussed this week of particular interest, you may want to read further about the three models for education. Martha Nussbaum, Ingrid Robeyns, Leon Tickly and Elaine Unterhalter, among others, have written extensively about these three ways of thinking about education.

If you would like further access to published research, and support in critically reading and reviewing such work to inform your own re-visioning of the purposes of education, why not consider the Open University’s new postgraduate module: EE830 Learning and teaching: educating the next generation, which will run for the first time in October 2018. In this module you will be directed to readings from these authors. Anyone wishing to deepen their understanding will find open access papers available by exploring the internet. If you are interested in signing up for this masters module, you can find more information at postgraduate/ qualifications/ f70 [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] . If you have general enquiries about registering on the programme please email contact or phone 0300 303 5303. If you have specific queries and would like to speak to a member of the academic team please email