A discussion between Saku and Schleicher for Hundred. The post-COVID-19 challenge: operating change through technology with a strong entrepreneurial mindset. Through the example of China, Andreas Schleicher highlights the same initiatives as those suggested in the visionary book Edupreunarial Pivot, in 2019.
Teachers have no better tool than themselves. For this, they have to develop their entrepreneurial spirit. Andreas Schleicher encourages teachers to embody a new spirit: a spirit of creation and renewal. The entrepreneurial mindset is also the answer to countries who need to think about learning, especially struggling countries: “It is up to teachers once again,” says Andreas Schleicher.
Schleicher takes a stand for the independence of teachers. Discussing with Saku, the Director of Education and its skills illustrates what the Pivot champions: The health crisis has brought out significant needs in the field of education. The teacher must become a “leader, designer of innovative learning environment, co-creator, facilitator, and coach for learners.”
China is a major example of the entrepreneurial spirit. While Chinese teachers have adopted a culture of research and collaboration, Andreas Schleicher says: “They are not used to curriculum raining down on them but instead, are used to co-creating instruction and learning environments using a great enabler, technology. “
Although technology is not a new educational tool, there is a strong need for renewal in its use. The first necessity is to enable all learners to have access to equipment. Then, teachers have to support them. ” Only about 50% of teachers worldwide feel comfortable or have experience in digital teaching & learning”, says Schleicher.
How to think differently about the adoption of technology? Through telling success stories and developing tools, Edupreunarial Pivot includes technology not only as a tool , but also as the crux of change. Material inequality among learners is a statement; those it cannot be an excuse for insufficient digital learning.
Once again, China has won the bet of entrepreneurship in digital learning. Described by Andreas Schleicher as “the most impressive example,” China has succeeded in putting 50 million learners online within a month. An effective response from the country described as the cradle of Coronavirus. ” They didn’t rely on broadcasting technologies but focused on building strong relationships between teachers and students within their system. They combined social and digital environments in a way that reaches every learner. Ones they couldn’t reach to digitally, they got school books delivered to the learner’s homes.”
“In this time of social distancing, social relationships need to be at the crux of everything,” says the German scholar.
By developing their entrepreneurial mindset, teachers influence learners in their relationship with learning. They become more demanding and, therefore, more active. “They will tell their teachers how they learn best, from what they want to learn to how they like to learn, and teachers won’t be able to deliver their teaching in a way they always have done in the past,” says Schleicher. The sanitary crisis is the opportunity for teachers to adapt to each student’s learning style and for the student to appropriate pedagogies.
The other result could be the decrease in inequalities. Everyone learns in a different way. The individual relationship with the learner must take place inside and beyond the classroom. “In my view, teachers might be the only possible solution to massive inequalities that this crisis brings in our students’ lives”, argues Andreas Schleicher.
What’s next? According to Schleicher, the teacher must be the initiator of change. His or her key resource is technology. To achieve this, local governments must concretely support these initiatives. The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and HUNDRED encourage cross-borders collaborations and partnerships between the private and public sectors.
To take up tomorrow’s challenge, the Pivot has implemented the Generalized Distance Learning (GDL) canvas: a free tool available to all stakeholders in the field of education. The GDL canvas addresses the issue of distance learning. Our webinar, also available online, guides you in mastering the GDL canvas.
Here is the link to the interview of Andreas Schleicher for Hundred.