Today we take stock of the Sustainable Development Goals, which were adopted by the United Nations three years ago. With me is Silvia Montoya who is the director of the UNESCO Institute of Statistics. UIS is charged with monitoring a few of the SDGs.

In our conversation, which we had on the sidelines of the Global Education Meeting in Brussels, we dive into the problems and challenges of trying to measure concepts such as literacy, global citizenship, and sustainability.

Today’s episode of FreshEd was made possible through the support of the Graduate School of Education at the University of Tokyo and Education International.

Citation: Montoya, Silvia, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 140, podcast audio, December 17, 2018. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/montoya/

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Is there a worldwide learning crisis today? My guest, Keith Lewin, argues that the real issue in much of international education development has to do with financing.

In our conversation, we discuss aid to education and the ways in which the Sustainable Development Goals don’t take the idea of sustainability seriously.

Keith Lewin is an Emeritus Professor of International Education and Development at the University of Sussex

 

Citation: Lewin, Keith, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 138, podcast audio, December 3, 2018. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/keithlewin/

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Today we bring you a special episode of FreshEd. With me is Manos Antoninis, the Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report, which was just released.

Each year, UNESCO publishes an editorially-independent Global Education Monitoring Report to monitor the progress towards the education targets in the Sustainable Development Goals. This year’s topic is migration, displacement, and education.

Based on evidence from around the world, the report argues that investing in the education of mobile people can actually create cohesion and peace. Of course, there are many challenges facing children, teachers, policymakers, and society from the displacement and migration of large numbers of people.

The 2019 report is entitled Migration, Displacement, and Education: Building Bridges, not Walls and is available online now.

Citation: Antoninis, Manos, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 136, podcast audio, November 20, 2018. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/antoninis/

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Global citizenship education is an idea you’ve probably heard about.  It’s fairly straightforward as an abstract concept.

Much attention on global citizenship education today is to ensure that certain values are taught in school despite the ever-growing demands on students from subjects like Science, Math, and Language.

But how can global citizenship education be measured? What tools exist to incorporate global citizenship education across the curriculum? That’s much more difficult.

The Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, UNESCO, and the UN Secretary General’s education first initiative youth advocacy group convened a working group of 88 people to catalog practices and tools in use around the world that measure global citizenship education. They found some innovative ways to measure the concept.

With me today is Jasodhara Bhattacharya. She was one of the lead members of working group from Brookings, which resulted in a report entitled Measuring Global Citizenship Education: A Collection of Practices and Tools.

Citation: Bhattacharya, Jasodhara, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 88, podcast audio, September 25, 2017. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/bhattacharya/

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Can education be used to create peace? Can it help mend long standing issues in conflict afflicted regions? These questions don’t have easy answers, but we’ll jump into the debates surrounding them feet first.

My guests today, Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah, have been studying education, social transformations, and peacebuilding for the past decade and have worked and written together since 2011. They find that education has the capacity for both positive and negative outcomes. Education can certainly help resolve conflict by creating community and giving voice to under-represented groups in society. However, education can also be used as tool by ruling elites as a way to maintain their grip on power, which may sow further divisions in society.

Think of it this way: imagine if a ruling party in a country decides to censor content from history textbooks that may question its power. Would that really create the conditions under which peace is possible? Or imagine if minority groups are purposefully excluded from school-based decisions. How can peace be sustainable if the structures of education systematically exclude certain people? These issues are not strange or reserved for “poor” or “developing” countries. In fact, the politics of education happens in every country.

With me to talk about peacebuilding and education are Mieke Lopes Cardozo and Ritesh Shah. Mieke is assistant professor in International Development Studies at the Institute of Social Science Research at the University of Amsterdam, and Ritesh is a Senior Lecturer of Comparative and International Education at the University of Auckland.

The Global Partnership for Education is a powerful multi-stakeholder organization in educational development. It funnels millions of dollars to develop education systems in dozens of low-income countries. Yet the board of directors of the organization strategically avoids some of the most important and controversial topics in education today.

My guest today, Francine Menashy, has researched the Global Partnership for Education and the ways in which its board of directors avoids the topic of low-fee private schools, which is a heavily debated idea in both education policy and research.

Francine Menashy is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership in Education at the University of Massachusetts Boston. She researches aid to education and non-state sector engagement, including the policies of international organizations, companies, and philanthropies.

Her research discussed in today’s show was funded through a fellowship with the National Academy of Education and the Spencer Foundation.

Citation:Menashy, Francine, interview with Will Brehm, FreshEd, 33, podcast audio, July 21, 2016. https://www.freshedpodcast.com/francinemenashy/

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Education For All is a global movement led by UNESCO. It began in 1990 when 155 countries adopted the World Declaration on Education For All. The movement was renewed in the year 2000 when countries agreed on the Dakar Framework for Action, which committed them to achieve education for all by the year 2015.

Education For All continues to be a common phrase in educational development. But it has changed over its 26-year existence. It linked into Goals 2 and 3 of the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals and was tied closely to the World Bank through the funding mechanism known as the Fast Track Initiative.

The movement has adapted and adopted new elements and has included additional actors, such as non-governmental organization, human rights activists, and philanthropic organizations and individuals.

My guest today, Leon Tikly, argues in a forthcoming article in Comparative Education Review that Education For All is best understood as a regime, borrowing an idea from international relations. He says there are “a set of implicit or explicit principles, norms, rules, and decision-making procedures around which actors’ expectations converge.” Of course there are tensions within the regime of education for all, and in this article he attempts to think through what these might be.

Leon Tikly is a professor in the Graduate School of Education at the University of Bristol. His work focuses on education in low income countries and in particular countries of Sub-Saharan Africa. He is known for his theoretical work on how to conceptualize education as an aspect of the postcolonial condition.

His forthcoming Comparative Education Review article is entitled ““The Future of Education for All as a Global Regime of Educational Governance.”

Is gender parity in education the same as gender equality? And what about gender equity? These terms have different meanings but are often conflated to mean the balance between the number of boys and girls attending school. This statistical measure of parity says nothing of gender equality or equity, and misses important issues of education quality. And yet gender parity is precisely the indicator used by many school systems, international assessments, and global development goals to judge an education system’s approach to gender.

Today’s guest, Supriya Baily, argues that when the language of parity is used to discuss equity, we miss the large structural factors that actually hinder gender justice in education. In a new article, co-written with Halla Holmarsdottir for the journal Gender and Education, she argues that gender equality is different from gender parity and that we must move beyond simplistic notions of access to really understand gender and education. Dr. Baily is an Associate Professor at George Mason University and the Associate Director for the Center for International Education.  Her research interests focus on gender, education, and empowerment as well as higher education in India.