Globalization of Eductation


The following discussion is based on personal understandings in association with the significant changes occurring under the term Globilization. The statements are personal and represent no Institution, Department or Organization.

What does this mean for people in their lives?
As an administrator who has focussed on implementing change I found the above readings fascinating. One of 'first-messages' to instigate change is to communicate urgency. However, sustaining urgency is another issue. The possibility of slipping behind is a national threat and like any organizational body (whether large or small) finding the problem and enacting on it is critical. Whether the right problem and most effective action is selected is another problem. The STEM argument employs a heavy dose of urgency. Whether it can be whole government is a sustaining question.

This is an era of rapid change where change is cyclically fastening. The 'emergence' is a threat to the controller/dominator. As competitive bodies emerge the dominator/controller enacts. If something is cheaper, provides a better service, and is easier to access and use, that 'something' will attract clients. Attracting clients is perhaps easier to achieve than creating clients. Attracting students from emerging nations is a responsive process to ensure the 'emerger' doesn't become the dominator and reverse attract. If Australia's best students (on mass) start to view Malaysian, Singapore and Hong Kong Universities as the best option for their careers local Universities will need to restructure their product.

I am interested in some of the discussions that have occurred whilst the Australian Cricket Board lost influence as India gained controlling influence of International Cricket. Once Australian Rules Football was – 'football meatpies, kangaroos and holden cars'. With the emergence of International Football (soccer) in Australia this once sacred artifact is restructuring its mantra.

Australian political and business sectors are moving faster, operating and seeking new opportunities within global socio-economies than what its general population recognizes. The general population's recognition of this global transition is the demise of manufacturing, the growth of online shopping, the amount of 'foreign' fruit and veggies in our supermarkets, foreign ownership of once were national icons and semi skilled jobs. The recognition is not that Australia is restructuring and that what was once cultural symbols and identifying artifacts maybe no-longer relevant. This restructure is an action triggered by Federal Government decisions and it is struggling to manage the rolling and predicted and unpredictable outcomes. The rise of racism in Australia is a concern. The bashing of Indian and Asian students could have been predicted, but unfortunately University Institutions, Federal and State Governments, and local councils took no premeditated action. Responsive systems do not rely on reactionary measures. Opportunistic decisions need to include processes that protect socio values and ethics of clients (in this case International Students).

What will this mean for education and training?
Australian Education and Training is stagnant and at the same time rapidly changing. CEOs, Senior Corporate Directors, District Managers and Principals are aware that change needs to occur. Some innovative teachers are more or less going it alone. The Australian Professional Standards for Teachers and Principles refer to the need to instigate and employ innovative learning programs. In 2001 Prensky announced to the world that the students of the day are different. Our student clients have grown up learning through technology. They are learning through digital technologies from home and not at school. Schools on the large are maintaining practices mannered by the 1950's. Instead of a chalk and talk it is photocopy and talk. Students are still the passive listeners and teachers the active believers. Hattie discusses this - teachers controlling instruction and students controlling learning. This I believe is the link pin for change in K-12 education.

I am amazed by the resilience and the general strength of tendering to the status quo. Schools demonstrate a fortress of resistance to the restructuring forces of globalization. International Students illustrated within 'Global Student Mobility in the Asia Pacific' are basically delivered the same conditions as Universities has always delivered. The arrival of significant International Student numbers has not affected policy, procedures or product. They are still students. Their space is in the continuation of the student-teacher relationship paradigm. The International Students are subservient to the expert teacher. This teacher student relationship (controller and controlled) is the linchpin to the globalization restructure of Education and Training.

In reference to Australian Rules Football, Paul Roos (coach of Melbourne and ex-coach of Sydney) once mentioned that throughout his entire playing career he never once asked for tactical advice by his coach. Leadership in League Teams has significantly changed to accommodate the 'player voice' and increase tactical influence. He is now recognized as a leading coach within the league. The emergence of the student as a client is significant. Educational and Training departments, institutions and organizations need to restructure the student teacher paradigm. The biggest challenge is to remove welfare dependency from the relationship and include client and service processes, that include socio relevant values and ethics based agreements. This will become increasingly important as educational deliverers and private business partners to provide services. Transitioning teaching and learning practices to operate within global conditions is the primary urgency. It assumes a higher priority to that of specific subject domains.

What does it mean for you?
The globalization of education influences my perspective of service and delivery. It requires incorporating new behaviors and the dropping of old behaviors. I consider myself more as an innovator than a gatekeeper. The concern I have is the capacity to sustain innovation within the administrative structures of education. It is obvious that innovation should be evident in all hierarchical structures. My observation is that innovation is weak at the core and strong on the edge of most learning organizations. Gatekeepers are most evident within the core, and innovators are most obvious on the edge. 

When a leadership decision is made to innovate strategic direction it is often actioned by the innovators who are on the edge of core business and those who are operating within the core enact little change. When threatened gatekeepers can passively resist and actively resist.This is highlighted by the displayed behaviors within 'Global Student Mobility in the Asia Pacific'. Teachers ignore the needs of International Students, and at times demonstrate hostile and demeaning interactions. The OECD refers to the driver of innovative learning environments as the 'pedagogical core'. If the pedagogical core is resistant to change, decisions to enact globalization will be met with passive and aggressive resistance. The pedagogical core is one aspect I intend to study throughout the coming months.

In regards to the Great Australian Dream – the dream is not over. It is just a hell of a lot more complex. As Australia moves from a welfare embodied– 'she'll be right mate' cultural perspective, opportunities will be grasped. If Australian culture moves from risk aversion to risk management the dream will become more sophisticated and more open to structural change. I think Australians have the capacity to become global citizens. A key step is to step out of the graces espoused through our monarchy-constitutional basis and become a republic. This is the symbol that would assist our transnational place of being and influence our vision and artifacts of behavior.


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