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

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1 Thinking critically about the human capital model

Many people’s views of education have been reflected in a human capital way of thinking (Week 2). In the human capital way of thinking, society as a whole views education as about training a workforce suitable to sustain economic growth, and individuals within that society see education as a way to amass personal wealth markers.

Activity 1 Is the human capital model fit for the future?

Timing: Allow approximately 60 minutes
  1. Think back and identify ideas that you have come across in Weeks 3, 4 and 5 or elsewhere that indicate this model is a valid way of thinking and can underpin ideas about education. For example, you considered in Week 4 how education could help people to use resources more wisely, while still continuing economic growth.
  2. Now consider ideas that make the human capital way of thinking cause difficulties. For example, Ken Robinson’s view from the Changing Education Paradigms video in Week 1 that education is seen as a production line because people think only in economic terms. Overall, do you consider the human capital model to be a suitable one on which to base an education system fit for the future?
  3. Post on the course forum [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   why you consider the human capital model to be a useful way of thinking about education or not. Make three posts: the first based on environmental reasoning about education, the second on demographic reasoning and the third on technological reasoning. Read several of the other posts.

Remember that you need to add at least 3 posts to the forum in order to gain your badge.

Please note: we may wish to reuse your course forum contributions, anonymously, in future sessions of this course. If you wish to opt out of this, email