Towards a Learning Planet

 

Towards a Learning Planet

Francois Taddei

Abstract:

How can we structure an open research agenda for education at an international level?
 
The world is facing a unique convergence of crises -- environmental, economic, and social (hunger, disease, violence, climate, biodiversity loss, pollution, etc.).  Needs are massive, urgent and universal.  They are calling for a collective and dynamic response to engineer learning environments and empower everyone wishing to contribute to meeting these challenges.  In the meantime, exponential growth of technology has a significant impact on all human activities.  As Artifiical Intelligence can beat humans at the game of Go, win a literature prize or be recruited to a board of directors, it is legitimate to be concerned about the future of job markets and what we should be teaching the next generation.
 
How can our education sysetms prepare today's children to meet the challenges of the 21st century?  We need to profoundly rethink the skills we teach and find ways to encourage our children to re-shape their world and become actively involved in creating a better future for all.  Traditional education sysetms were not designed to encourage creativity and development of new knowledge.  Our education system must offer new ways of understanding the world and new ways of improving it.  These challenges concern all of us, as parents, learners, teachers and citizens irrespective of our countryWe need to engineer learning societies, defined as cooperative learning environments: when one individual learns something, addresses a problem or creates a new approach, others can do it more easily and therefore tackle challenges with increasing complexity.
 
Participatory science and IT can be harnessed to transform the science of learning and teaching.  In the field of education, they are underused for sharing data, problems, ideas and initiatives, and for creating networks of researchers and field actors.  It is time to develop participatory approaches for teachers, students, parents and scientists to work together, identify concrete questions and challenges, generate and analyze and develop approaches and perspectives that can be further shared, evaluated, adapted, etc.  
 
How could we all collectively gain from collaborative approaches to mutualize costs, share research findings and learn from one another?