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How can a country achieve educational reform, when the entire structure, system is faulty? where can one start?

can one achieve educational reform without a foundation?
educational reform in developing society
educational reform towards achieving employable graduates
teachers training reform
curriculum reform

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    Feb 26 2012: You want a country to change then the government must make the decision and fully support the change by all means available. This is easier in non-democratic governments where discussion is limited. In some Socialist countries there has been exciting change. The Chinese government fully supported the new systems of education in Sinapore and in a brief time it surged to the top of the educational ladder.

    In most other countries I would suggest that Edger Rice Burrows was correct when he said that "a journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step. I would suggest that you plant the seeds of change. Present your ideas to a proper forum. Do not expect radical change. Except small advances toward your goal. This is a lengthy process and you will meet much resistance. Find sources for the tools necessary for change. My "golden rule" is that if you do all of the work the people in charge MAY allow this to happen and will take the credit. You must accept that if it succeeds they did it ... if it fails be ready to take the heat. It is vital that you gain a sponsor of sufficient rank or position who states that your idea has merit and the powers should evaluate it. Without this support you will not go very far and certainly not fast. Bounce ideas off of everyone. Be willing to change. You will make enemies and friends.

    If it fails ... find out why. Revise and start all over. There is not right or wrong way. Find out what the leaders think and weave that into your plans. You have a noble cause and the power of TED minds to help. Remember that when you get to specific or pivital points. Use all of tools in the box. Don't forget tools like khanacademy.org.

    The best of luck.
    • Mar 3 2012: Totally agree, but what if the government are in total support? Political will, money and the need for change is not a problem and is there. What if there is a deep sense of unity in the quest for change, the time is rife and it is so important now. The society recognises this and the government have recognised this, discussions have been had in abundance, in fact the amount of summits, fora organised and attended by the right participants, attendees and speakers have been good. Everyone seems to be involved. So what next? No action plan seems to be followed through, it seems to end there. Discussions need to lead to action, to reform, to a plan and the society needs to be carried along. What next? This is the problem. What next? And how to do this next step? It will be interesting to learn more about the Chinese experience, any suggestions of books to read, sites to visit?
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        Mar 3 2012: On the face there is total support. If that is true then why has this not gone forward. At some point there is a "power" that stands to lose. That "power" has put the brakes on behind the scenes. If you would like to see more on the Chinese progress go to the PISA site and they analyze the singapore experience. There is a book I could recommend that is called, WORK HARD, PLAY NICE.
        There is a way to confront the issue. At the next forum stand and ask questions of where are we, who is running the show, when can we expect pliminary results for review, etc ... This would elicit a response that would be a matter of record. You will not make anyones best friend list but you may achieve a action response. Best of luck. Bob
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    Feb 25 2012: the entire idea of an educational reform sounds frightening when it comes to a developing nation. there should be no country level system of education at all. there should be no curriculum. there should be local solutions optimized to local needs and local circumstances.

    country level education systems are useful nowhere. but in a rich country, you can sorta afford it. it is cumbersome, suboptimal and expensive. but people can afford to attend school for 20+ years, and pay a big load of money for it. however, in a poor country, it is imperative to have light weight, efficient, affordable education. the state should stop organizing it or interfering with it in any way.
    • Mar 3 2012: completely agree that country level education systems dont seem to be useful. that is the peoblem that the idea of educational reform sounds frightening, yet it is necessary in order to build a society that is most effective and efficient. When there is the political will and the desire for change, but ithe idea seems so large, no one seems to know where to start from and how to go about it, then what? I also believe that the need to also emphasise the need for vocational training and other such ways of developing skills is also necessary as the traditional curriculum does not suit everyone. Also working with the private sector can assist in shaping a curriculum that will mean graduates are employable and come out with skills required and assist in getting them employed.
  • Feb 25 2012: Start by reading "The Six Secrets of Change" by Michael Fullan.( Jossey-Bass. CA. 2008). Thoroughly understand the concepts and adjust to your culture(s).

    Include "The Fourth Way" by Hargreaves and Shirley.

    Contact the Toyota Motor Corporation and ask for their help in adapting the Toyota Way to your teacher and administrator training and development and how to assess continual improvement. Failing that contact Jeff Liker at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan USA.

    Commit to a ten year or longer effort. Be willing to challenge tradition and experiment following the lead your children provide at every opportunity. Make sure the children have every opportunity to teach one another and those that follow them. Understand the world they come from since how an individual learns is as diverse as the stars in the universe.

    Be kind to yourself. And remember, to discover if the children are learning, ask a teacher.
    • Feb 25 2012: Good advice here. In addition, try to find a way to inspire curiosity. When children (and adults) are strongly curious, they will want to learn. Inspire respect and desire to know life, to broaden their views. Raise education to a new higher level of dignity and value. As others have said, adjust as best fits your local and national needs. Likely a lot of people will read your question and will think of how to help. Money is not the only answer, but desire for knowledge seems like the first important step to move ahead. People who want to better themselves are the ultimate leaders.

      And inspire service to one another; love for fellows.

      Ask for prayer if you need it, if you have a favored religion.

      The best decisions are those made after research, advice and careful thought.

      Peace,
      MK
      • Mar 3 2012: Great advice. Money really is not the issue nor problem. What and How and Who to do this appears to be a problem. What if everyone is talking about the need to change and the importance of education and its link to economic development, crime rate etc yet it seems there is a problem with knowing how to move forward because the systems need reformation and there is no proper structure in place?
  • Feb 25 2012: Start by making sure that women and men have equal power in all systems within your society. That is the solution to all of the problems within all countries wherein males currently dominate in the design and implementation of societal systems.
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    Feb 25 2012: I think there's no simple solution to change a 'broken' system. Education is a core element in that change, for it's healthy education that empowers future generations to do great things. I think four changes need to be made simultaneously in order to ensure positive growth, and I don't think those changes will create a better society overnight, for the broken society taught us how to think and feel and those instincts take a long time to change.

    I think educational, political and economic reforms must come simultaneously, and they have to feed off each other.

    Social change is necessary too. A society isn't only shaped by it's government. It's shaped by the day-to-day behavior of people. Spreading messages and arguments for healthy behavior through media can contribute to this change. But the change will also come from hard interaction with people who have unhealthy social behavior. These interactions are challenging. You can't change everyone's mind. But you've got to open as many minds as you can.

    I have few solutions for you. I think someone who has a lot of wisdom to share with regards to social change is CJ Ortiz. He has a lot of videos on realistic, practical and healthy behavior in his video series "Metal Motivation". Don't let the name scare you off! He is incredibly wise:
    http://www.youtube.com/user/MetalMotivation

    Political policy can help shape a healthy world if the system is open to the spread of healthy policy. I believe western politics is mostly an unhealthy system. I propose Tiered Democratic Governance. Here's the (unfortunately ended) conversation I begun on the topic:
    http://www.ted.com/conversations/9374/an_alternative_to_the_current.html
    • Mar 3 2012: thanks Spencer, this is very interesting and the idea of social change is a great start. I am interested in reading about the tiered democratic governance and will do so asap. I will appreciate it if you can recommend any more reading on social change. I believe this is a vital area to focus on.