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seth stephens

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Should there be an international agency in charge of regulating education and if so how much authority should it have.

the United Nations exist to foster peace and sponsors different agencies and governments throughout the world (WHO, world courts, interpol) would not a similar agency charged with monitoring how countries specifically in war-torn or underdeveloped nations bu generally everywhere are training and indoctrinating their youth.

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    Mar 13 2014: No, I don't believe there should be an international agency. Even if it could be accomplished, standardizing education would result in the outflow of ideas that have the same base. It would decrease originality and diversity in how we approach issues and most likely lead to less issues being resolved. I'd also expect to see an overemphasizing in whatever particular field the standardization is set, such as mathematics, science, language, or whatever subject is viewed as most important by the governing body.

    As far as structure goes, the entire world is still trying to find the best format for education; putting a stop to that experimentation can only result in a more permanent educational model that's still in need of improvement, especially since a standardized model couldn't take into account the local cultures of different countries.
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      Mar 16 2014: I agree with alot of what you are saying here. but my ideas with sucha hypothetical international agency would be not as an enforcement of some imagined internatinal standard but more as just another outlet to foster global learning. perhaps this natural education evolution that occurs as different cultures and different economies tackle and solve different problems in varied way would benefit from some clever and discreet observation. bureaucracy has a negative connotation in a lot of countries due to real or imagined fears of corruption and a prevailing view that the best government is as small as possible( this is mostly an American things as the EU has some very socialist leaning governments) but a well constructed lighted-handed approach to monitoring global methods of education and adapting improvements keeping local economic necessities, and cultures among other issues in mind could help some of the developing nations to fill gaps in there workforce faster as they create more complex societies while at the same time allow "t eh west" to see that there are other ways of dong thing . in short we are now alll learning from each other but a little more organization would aid us learning faster.
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        Mar 20 2014: You've indicated that this international agency wouldn't have too much power. Would you be able to clarify what power it would have and what its responsibilities would be?
  • Mar 13 2014: No. The last thing humanity needs is yet another gigantic bureaucracy completely out of touch with ordinary people. Why is it that those who denounce "international corporations" or "globalism" are so very quick to propose government-like entities with the same or greater levels of power? If it's wrong for a business to have such power, it's WORSE for a government to have such power.

    The UN, by the way, exists to let countries blow off steam instead of invade each other. It doesn't work very well.
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      Mar 15 2014: why is it wrong for corporations or in this case governing agencies to have power beyond local political boundaries.
      • Mar 16 2014: Why is it right? Please prove that bigger and bigger government is far more responsive and just than any other solution. Empires are not good for the common people, and you propose an imperial agency, but so many young people are just fascists, deep down.
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    Mar 12 2014: Different sources provide different numbers, but by most accounts, there are 196 countries in the world - give or take 4. To regulate the education of one country is (almost) impossible, how could one imagine regulating the education of almost 200? However, based on :-) :-), a "broad framework" migh be workable.

    Then the questions are:

    - What is the purpose of "overseeing" the education of different countries?
    - Who would do it?
    - How could it be done?
    - What are the critical resources needed: Manpower, logistics, etc.?

    These are basic questions. As one begin analyzing the issues in detail, more and more difficult questions arise.

    "Is the U.N. effective in international affairs anymore?

    Ms. BENNIS: Yes and no. It's effective when the major powers allow it to be effective. It depends a lot on how you define effective. If you define it the way George Bush defines it or John Bolton, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, effectiveness is defined as following the U.S. lead and endorsing U.S. wars. When the U.N. does that, in my view, no it is not effective. When it stands up to those efforts, as it did in 2003 in the effort to justify the war in Iraq, I think the U.N. is very effective.

    Beyond the very high publicity security aspects, though, there's the question of what the U.N. does on issues of development, on issues of wiping out communicable diseases, childhood education, clean water, economic development, the whole range of issues that we in the U.S. hear very little about. In those ways, the U.N. is much more consistently effective.

    It's not perfect. It needs lots of changing, not least to be more democratic and more transparent. But it does a lot better on those issues than it does on issues of peace and security where the heavy hand of the United States, through the veto in the Security Council and in other ways, comes to bear on what the United Nations can and cannot do."

    http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=613874
    • Mar 20 2014: Well for somethings you always have wikipedia, and i think that is the most we can go
      That is tryng to make a global database of knowlege and metodologies, and plataforms to help coordenate a methodology or a educational institute
      It all alread exists

      Beayond that it goes to what Rodrigo said: "What is the purpose of overseeing the education of different countries?"
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    Mar 23 2014: From the thread below I understand you're really suggesting an agency to promote learning. There is no real reason this needs to be a single agency nor a part of the UN. Any group or person interested in fostering education can do so. There are already several NGOs that do this.

    The UN does collect statistics on education and this is a good use of a centralized authority
    http://unstats.un.org/UNSD/Demographic/sconcerns/education/ed2.htm

    There is probably more information / data that could be collected to understand how successful different approaches taken by NGOs are working.
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    Mar 14 2014: A great big NO. The absolute worst thing that can occur is to put a bureaucracy in charge of anything. In the USA the government uses funding as a weapon to run schools .... we are falling fast in education, economics, diplomacy, etc ... see what big government has done for us. On a world level what would be the methods/means to enforce the mandates. You speak of the UN .. do you know how many nations contribute to the operation ... very few. there is all sorts of issues ... the USA has even thought of shuting the NY site downfor many reasons.

    Big government and government interference almost always leads to bad results ... history has taught us this over and over. However, we fail to learn or profit by the lessons of history.

    Another money sucking group with no real possibalities of success will not help.
  • Mar 13 2014: The educational system in the US has failed. It has become a processing center for social engineering, essentially void of those values that spawn individual effort and achievement. The values that are being taught are globalist in nature, which promote an anti-American sentiment. I am not sure if the UN is not already in charge of our education
    The educational system in the US was highly ranked world wide in many areas, a ranking that would last until the sixties. Now the questions are; what brought it down, what teaching philosophy was introduced that would have such a disastrous effect? What degraded the teaching and the teachers? Weekly news reports on teachers, male and female, abusing and raping our children.
    We devalued education. We lowered expectations and teaching standards to accommodate a new norm. Unions took control of our schools, both administratively and in the classroom. The philosophy of everyone gets a trophy translated to every gets a diploma. America spends more money on education then any other, only to achieve a failing grade, greater bureaucracy, incompetence and stronger unions.
    Other nations have shunned the feel good rule of tolerance, maintaining an expectation of performance for teachers and students. Perhaps that is the solution.
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    Mar 17 2014: government is in itself neither good not bad but neutral. its how its run and how it effects the populace that make it tyrannical or Utopian. Now maybe there is a better way to foster international cooperation and improvement of our species as a whole, but I think in general people need to be less nationalistic and more worried about helping all of civilization go forward, and one of the big factors in the advancement of our civilization is how we educate the future generations. more and more bureaucracy until we live in some sort over regulated empire is of course not the answer but letting every one to go it alone seems equally bad and on a global scale I don't think that survival of the fittest should dictate which nations have the most influence in politics economics and world opinion in the future and the way to mitigate that is to work on leveling the playing field so that all thew citizens of thee world have an equal chance of success and happiness.
    • Mar 22 2014: How old are you? 15? The larger a government is, the more remote and unresponsive it is--always, without exception.
    • Mar 22 2014: What personal experience do you have in working in government?
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        Mar 24 2014: Do you simply look up TED conversations and try to be antagonistic? That's more effective at making people remote and unresponsive than any large government.
        • Mar 24 2014: No. I just respond to particularly fascistic "suggestions" and point out the basic truth behind them. Somebody with absolutely ZERO knowledge of how government works thinks that adding EVEN MORE GOVERNMENT will make the world better? That's a very bad idea. That's like taking medical advice from someone who doesn't even know if drinking water is ever a good idea. However, since you're soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo offended at me, lay out the evidence that some juggernaut of an international agency dictating all educational policy world-wide, top-down will result in a pedagogical paradise. Let's see your evidence.
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        Mar 25 2014: I think you're confused, Seth Stephens could be entirely wrong, naive, and uninformed; and so could I. We could both be complete idiots, but that doesn't give you a pass to be condescending. There are much more respectful ways to tell someone that you disagree with their opinion.

        Actually, if you look further up the conversation, you'll see that I commented earlier in opposition to his idea as well, whether you think I did so in an intellectually correct manner or not is neither here nor there. I simply don't like how you choose to disagree with people.
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    Mar 16 2014: it seems the general consensus is that more bureaucracy would be bad and that funding and logistics nightmare trying to create such an agency would cause would not be worth it. but I think that would mostly depend on how it was implemented. we obviously don't want everyone in the world to have to take the SAT test before they can leave their home country or anything extreme like that. but mostly just some observation and documentation of different teaching methods around teh world and some global loose regulations for the basics. we dont need nations like the USA using political or economic pressure or the power fo some trumped up laws of some tribunal to go forcing smaller or poorer nations to adopt its goals and policies like having to read English to trade with other nations or anything like that but just maybe schools just reporting to an international advisory committee on local method and how they work and in turn the international agency could publish education material using this research available at cheap or reduced rates in a voluntary basis to participating schools. maybe the agency could be run on a school system level self contained from teh political arena( probably impossible but one could dream)
    • Mar 16 2014: What direct experience do you have with running or managing any organization?
  • Mar 14 2014: We have enough problems in each country coordinating education, let alone across multiple countries.
  • Mar 13 2014: how can one agency know each country, their culture
    Forget about country, culture at micro level changes every 25 km and so the education
    The country wide same framework is also not correct but had to be done for standardization but internationally it will be mess
    • Mar 13 2014: One-world-government cultists don't care about the panoply of human cultures. They believe that human cultures can only exist if they are dictated from above. Me? I'd be happy if there were some way to peacefully devolve all the large countries into smaller countries, each about the size of England. That includes my own USA. There is too much power concentrated in too few hands.
  • Mar 12 2014: In one of the previous conversation I have suggested the same.Today the world has become a global village , and people travel from one country to another country in search of employment.Also many commercial organizations are multinational working in different countries.

    So, there should definitely be a International Agency not to regulate education but to draw out the broad frame work which will unify the education system across all the countries.

    But, this agency should not be controlled by rich people or politicians.
    • Mar 13 2014: The world has NOT become a global village. The world has become a global playground for the ultra-rich and nobody else. There is no other "global" that is real. The LAST thing needed is yet another dictatorial bureaucracy. Likewise, ALL AGENCIES ALWAYS END UP BEING CONTROLLED BY THE RICH AND POLITICIANS! That's called "reality".