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

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Week 3: How do environmental drivers affect the possible purposes for education?


Welcome to Week 3 of Looking globally: the future of education.

In Week 1 of the course you were invited to consider key global drivers for change in education and in Week 2 you started to think about alternative ways of thinking about education.

In the next three weeks you will be challenged to think about alternative ways that education could respond to the United Nations’ view of the central role of education in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) also introduced in Week 1:

The success of these goals is driven by the education goal. The SDGs reflect the important role of education by encapsulating targets in a stand-alone goal (Goal 4).

(Unesco, n.d.)

This SDG talks about how the education needed should be ‘inclusive’, ‘equitable’ and ‘promote lifelong learning opportunities’. This course argues that, in doing so, it will need to prepare the next generation to respond to changes affecting societies. In particular, this course presents three drivers of change which should affect how we think about the purpose for education:

  • environmental
  • demographic
  • technological.

This week you will consider the first of these: how – depending on your view of the purpose of education – should we respond to the environmental issues that are challenging societies both locally and globally? You will draw on your own experiences of educating young people in your reflections.

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371