Surviving the 'Framework Wars'

How multiple frameworks can be a strength, not a confusion

Global Learning Goals (‘Hand’) from ‘Kindling the Flame’ report

This is an excerpt from the report ‘Kindling the Flame’ by Towards Global Learning Goals, released January 2018.

  • There are a multitude of frameworks for global learning to choose from – from the Delors report in 1996 to the OECD ‘global competencies’ coming out in 2018, and many others in between.
  • While these competencies are recognised as important by a growing list of countries, there remains huge variation in how they respond. The lack of consistency in definition and measurement poses a challenge for global learning goals.
  • Rebecca Winthrop of the Brookings Institute calls it ‘Framework Wars’ – we do not want to add to it. For the purpose of global learning goals we think it is possible to distil the three key skills to: how to learn (and keep learning), how to adapt, and how to manage yourself and your life.
OECD Big Five

The OECD calls them skills for social progress. We have the Big Five: extraversion, agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism/emotional stability, and openness.

World Education Forum – 16 Skills

The WEF have defined sixteen skills, divided into foundational literacies, competencies and character qualities.

What’s missing?

Of the frameworks we have examined, the WEF has the one that best captures the key aspects of how to teach this adaptability.

The challenge for the next phase is to find ways to measure these skills, so that governments, educators, learners and parents are more incentivised to prioritise them. There is a vacancy for someone to develop a credible global assessment of adaptability for an age of massive human migration.


What’s the next framework to watch out for?

The OECD’s
PISA 2018 work on global competences is set to provide the best framework yet for others to gather, teach, innovate and assess around. 2018 could be a breakthrough year in what and how we learn.

Towards Global Learning Goals supports this measure and believe that it should be fast-tracked into the reputable PISA system of international student assessment.

If we want global learning goals for all to become a reality, a vital first step is for us all to know how well governments are performing on them. Then learners and citizens can hold them accountable for the necessary changes in our education systems.

Read the full report (including how we can make global learning goals real for everyone) by Towards Global Learning Goals:
‘Kindling the Flame’