“If Americans are to continue to prosper and to exercise leadership in this new global context, it is imperative that we understand the new global forces that we have both shaped and had thrust upon us. The alternative is to be at their mercy.” —Edward Fiske, The Fiske Guide to Colleges
As renowned writer Edward Fiske so famously said, it is necessary for all countries to teach their students to be apprentices of inclusive and sustainable development. Countries educate their citizens in hopes that it will advance their people and increase contributions through work, citizenship, and service. The Alliance for Excellence Education has estimated that raising high school education percentages would increase earnings for graduates by the billions, create thousands of new jobs, increase state and local revenue by hundreds of millions, increase federal tax revenue by the billion and increase annual gross domestic product by the billions. Due to rapid globalization, it is more important than ever for the success of citizens and their country to prepare students to understand the world and reality they live in, the complexity of globalization and how to contribute to this “new” world.
While the rise in globalization has been quite recent, the impact has been extensive. Over the last 40 years, 400 million people have moved out of extreme poverty– more than any other time in history. Since 2000, despite a few setbacks, the global economy has been expanding, and as of March of this year, $1 out of every $20, or 13 percent, of generated local revenue comes from exports.
As technological and societal advances continue to transform industries and communities, the economy will become even more global than it has already become; and due to the more knowledge and globally based economy, the skill sets and demands required within jobs become far more diversified. For example, the number of workers in administration and blue-collar workers dropped nearly 20 percent from 1969-1999, while managerial, professional, and technical positions increased 10 percent. Routine and manual labor positions are being filled by computers or low-paid workers in other countries, while problem-solving and communication focused jobs are in increasingly high demand. These shifts in the economy and job markets indicate a need for a redesigned education system.
The most influential education-based factor for student learning and success has time again been correlated to teacher effectiveness. As teachers provide students the opportunity to understand globalization, how it shapes the lives of everyone around them, and to develop the capacity to participate across industries and fields to improve the world and society, the more students will understand the importance of education in their lives and for their communities, as well as help them make sense of the world.