The Education Crisis: Being in School Is Not the Same as Learning (2024)

THE NAME OF THE DOG IS PUPPY. This seems like a simple sentence. But did you know that in Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda, three out of four third grade students do not understand it?

The world is facing a learning crisis. Worldwide, hundreds of millions of children reach young adulthood without even the most basic skills like calculating the correct change from a transaction, reading a doctor’s instructions, or understanding a bus schedule—let alone building a fulfilling career or educating their children.

Education is at the center of building human capital. The latest World Bank research shows that the productivity of 56 percent of the world’s children will be less than half of what it could be if they enjoyed complete education and full health.

For individuals, education raises self-esteem and furthers opportunities for employment and earnings. And for a country, it helps strengthen institutions within societies, drives long-term economic growth, reduces poverty, and spurs innovation.

A global learning crisis

As a result, it is hard for them to do anything about it. And with uncertainty about the kinds of skills the jobs of the future will require, schools and teachers must prepare students with more than basic reading and writing skills. Students need to be able to interpret information, form opinions, be creative, communicate well, collaborate, and be resilient.

The World Bank’s vision is for all children and youth to be learning and acquiring the skills they need to be productive, fulfilled, and involved citizens and workers. Our focus is on helping teachers at all levels become more effective in facilitating learning, improving technology for learning, strengthening management of schools and systems, while ensuring learners of all ages—from preschool to adulthood—are equipped for success.

Change starts with a great teacher

A growing body of evidence suggests the learning crisis is, at its core, a teaching crisis. For students to learn, they need good teachers—but

Fortunately for many students, in every country, there are dedicated and enthusiastic teachers who, despite all challenges, enrich and transform their lives. They are heroes who defy the odds and make learning happen with passion, creativity and determination.

One such hero works in the Ecoles Oued Eddahab school in Kenitra, Morocco. In a colorful classroom that she painted herself, she uses creative tools to make sure that every child learns, participates, and has fun. In her class, each letter in the alphabet is associated with the sound of an animal and a hand movement. During class she says a word, spells it out loud using the sounds and the movement, and students then write the word down. She can easily identify students who are struggling with the material and adjust the pace of the lesson to help them get on track. Children are engaged and attentive. They participate and are not afraid to make mistakes. This is a teacher who wants to make sure that ALL children learn.

But even heroes need help. We need to be sure that all teachers are motivated to do their best and that they are equipped with what they need to teach effectively.

To support countries in reforming the teaching profession,the World Bank is launching “Successful Teachers, Successful Students.” This global platform for teachers addresses the key challenges of making all teachers effective, making teaching a respectable and attractive profession with effective personnel policies, and ensuring teachers are equipped with the right skills and knowledge before entering the classroom and subsequently supporting them throughout their careers.

Technology offers new possibilities for teaching and learning

Rapid technological change is raising the stakes. Technology is already playing a crucial role in providing support to teachers, students, and the learning process more broadly. It can help teachers better manage the classroom and offer different challenges to different students. And technology can allow principals, parents, and students to interact seamlessly.

The Education Crisis: Being in School Is Not the Same as Learning (1)

One of the most interesting, large scale educational technology efforts is being led by EkStep, a philanthropic effort in India. EkStep created an open digital infrastructure which provides access to learning opportunities for 200 million children, as well as professional development opportunities for 12 million teachers and 4.5 million school leaders. Both teachers and children are accessing content which ranges from teaching materials, explanatory videos, interactive content, stories, practice worksheets, and formative assessments. By monitoring which content is used most frequently—and most beneficially—informed decisions can be made around future content.

In the Dominican Republic, a World Bank supported pilot study shows how adaptive technologies can generate great interest among 21st century students and present a path to supporting the learning and teaching of future generations.

Yudeisy, a sixth grader participating in the study, says that what she likes doing the most during the day is watching videos and tutorials on her computer and cell phone.Taking childhood curiosity as a starting point, the study aimed to channel it towards math learning in a way that interests Yudeisy and her classmates.

The Education Crisis: Being in School Is Not the Same as Learning (2)

Yudeisy, along with her classmates in a public elementary school in Santo Domingo, is part of a four-month pilot to reinforce mathematics using software that adapts to the math level of each student. © World Bank

Adaptive technology was used to evaluate students’ initial learning level to then walk them through math exercises in a dynamic, personalized way, based on artificial intelligence and what the student is ready to learn. After three months, students with the lowest initial performance achieved substantial improvements. This shows the potential of technology to increase learning outcomes, especially among students lagging behind their peers.

In a field that is developing at dizzying speeds, innovative solutions to educational challenges are springing up everywhere. Our challenge is to make technology a driver of equity and inclusion and not a source of greater inequality of opportunity. We are working with partners worldwide to support the effective and appropriate use of educational technologies to strengthen learning.

When schools and educations systems are managed well, learning happens

Successful education reforms require good policy design, strong political commitment, and effective implementation capacity. Of course, this is extremely challenging. Many countries struggle to make efficient use of resources and very often increased education spending does not translate into more learning and improved human capital. Overcoming such challenges involves working at all levels of the system.

At the central level, ministries of education need to attract the best experts to design and implement evidence-based and country-specific programs. District or regional offices need the capacity and the tools to monitor learning and support schools. At the school level, principals need to be trained and prepared to manage and lead schools, from planning the use of resources to supervising and nurturing their teachers. However difficult, change is possible. Supported by the World Bank, public schools across Punjab in Pakistan have been part of major reforms over the past few years to address these challenges. Through improved school-level accountability by monitoring and limiting teacher and student absenteeism, and the introduction of a merit-based teacher recruitment system, where only the most talented and motivated teachers were selected, they were able to increase enrollment and retention of students and significantly improve the quality of education. "The government schools have become very good now, even better than private ones," said Mr. Ahmed, a local villager.

The World Bank, along with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the UK’s Department for International Development, is developing the Global Education Policy Dashboard. This new initiative will provide governments with a system for monitoring how their education systems are functioning, from learning data to policy plans, so they are better able to make timely and evidence-based decisions.

Education reform: The long game is worth it

In fact, it will take a generation to realize the full benefits of high-quality teachers, the effective use of technology, improved management of education systems, and engaged and prepared learners. However, global experience shows us that countries that have rapidly accelerated development and prosperity all share the common characteristic of taking education seriously and investing appropriately.

As we mark the first-ever International Day of Education on January 24, we must do all we can to equip our youth with the skills to keep learning, adapt to changing realities, and thrive in an increasingly competitive global economy and a rapidly changing world of work.

The schools of the future are being built today. These are schools where all teachers have the right competencies and motivation, where technology empowers them to deliver quality learning, and where all students learn fundamental skills, including socio-emotional, and digital skills. These schools are safe and affordable to everyone and are places where children and young people learn with joy, rigor, and purpose.

Governments, teachers, parents, and the international community must do their homework to realize the promise of education for all students, in every village, in every city, and in every country.

The Education Crisis: Being in School Is Not the Same as Learning (2024)


What is the difference between learning and education? ›

In simple terms: Learning is a lifelong process of transforming information and experience into knowledge, skills, and behaviours. On the other hand, education is just one approach to learning. It's a process where a society passes on the knowledge, values, and skills from one generation to another.

What is the crisis in education Hannah Arendt? ›

More than half a century ago Hannah Arendt described education as being in a state of crisis, and identified two factors responsible for this: the loss of authority and the impulse to control the future; both emerge from the distinctive dogmas of modernity.

What is the biggest problem in the education system? ›

Deficits in government funding for schools.

Funding is always an issue for schools and is, in fact, one of the biggest issues facing the American public education system today. For more than 90% of K-12 schools, funding comes from state and local governments, largely generated by sales and income taxes.

Is there a crisis in education? ›

The latest academic test results administered by federal and state governments indicate again that California has a severe and potentially disastrous crisis in public education.

What are the main differences between teaching and learning? ›

The primary goal of teaching is to share knowledge or skills whereas learning involves applying the knowledge acquired. When compared to learners, teachers possess higher authority as they are experts in an area of study.

Why is learning and education important? ›

It helps people become better citizens, get a better-paid job, shows the difference between good and bad. Education shows us the importance of hard work and, at the same time, helps us grow and develop. Thus, we are able to shape a better society to live in by knowing and respecting rights, laws, and regulations.

What are the types of crisis that can impact a school? ›

A crisis may impact a small group of students in one classroom or the entire school community. Possible types of crises: death of a student or staff member, acts of violence, suicide attempt or completion, natural disaster such as earthquake, fire, toxic spill, automobile or other accident.

What were the main ideas of Hannah Arendt? ›

Although she did not write fiction, Arendt believed that stories and not the methods of social, political and historical science capture the contingency of human events; and like all great storytellers she realized that the meaning of a story can never be entirely abstracted from it.

What are the key concepts of Hannah Arendt? ›

Arendt articulates her conception of modernity around a number of key features: these are world alienation, earth alienation, the rise of the social, and the victory of animal laborans.

What is the single biggest issue facing education today? ›

1. Access to quality education: One of the biggest challenges facing education in 2023 is access to quality education. This is especially true for underprivileged communities.

What is the biggest challenge faced by students today? ›

Some of the most common areas where students face challenges include:
  • Academics.
  • Accessibility.
  • Finances.
  • Living environments.
  • Mental health and wellness.
  • Relationship difficulties.
Apr 26, 2023

How can we solve education crisis? ›

But as our focus shifts to pandemic recovery, California has an opportunity to reset our education system to focus on educating.
  1. Set statewide learning goals and require spending transparency. ...
  2. Adjust the Local Control Funding Formula to incentivize districts to improve student outcomes.
Feb 17, 2022

What is wrong with today's education system? ›

Many American critics believe that the major problem with public education today is a lack of focus on results. Students aren't expected to meet high standards, the argument goes, and the process of education takes precedence over analyzing education results in policy-making circles.

What does a student in crisis look like? ›

A Student in Crisis

Written or verbal threats, or attempted assault or homicide. Destruction of property or other criminal acts. Extreme anxiety, panic, or uncontrollable crying. Inability to communicate (e.g., jumbled, pressured or slurred speech; disjointed thoughts)

Is teaching the best way of learning? ›

It turns out the benefits to learning by teaching are not limited to comprehension; the strategy also helps students develop essential social-emotional learning skills. Learning by teaching can help improve student efficacy, confidence and communication skills.

What is the relationship between teaching and learning? ›

Teaching-learning is a process through which the teacher, the learner, the curriculum and other variables are organized in a systematic manner in order to attain the pre-set goals. Teaching as Intentional Activity "teaching is undertaking certain activities the intention of which is to induce learning.

What are the 3 different types of learning and what's the difference between them? ›

People have different learning styles because they vary in their ability or need to process information by sight, sound, and touch. Some may prefer visual aids like charts, while others will learn better through listening (auditory) or doing things physically (kinesthetic).

What is the purpose of learning? ›

Learning is the process of gaining new skills, knowledge, understanding, and values. This is something people can do by themselves, although it's generally made easier with education: the process of helping someone or a group of others to learn.

What is the most importance of learning? ›

Learning always keeps you active to educate about various skills, knowledge, and competencies. Continuous learning helps to innovate new ideas. This nurtures your brain and thinking ability. When new opportunities come your way, this gives you appreciation and makes you happy in life.

What is the value of learning? ›

When people learn, they gain confidence for trying new things and stretching themselves. Continual learning contributes to higher levels of resilience and self-efficacy in completing a task or tackling a challenge.

What are two examples of a crisis? ›

Family Situations - a child abuse investigation, spouse abuse, an unplanned pregnancy, a parent's desertion, a chronically ill family member, and lack of social supports are examples of family situations that can create stress and crises.

What are examples of crisis problems? ›

Family crises, natural disasters, suicide, sudden financial disruption, community-driven events, and impactful life events are some of the most common crisis examples and types that enforcement professionals must respond to.

What are five causes of crisis? ›

The five broad Causes of Crises are:
  • External Economic Attack.
  • External Information Attack.
  • Breakdowns.
  • Psychopathology.
  • Human Resource Factors.

What is the human condition Hannah Arendt summary? ›

The Human Condition, published in 1958, was a wide-ranging and systematic treatment of what Arendt called the vita activa (Latin: “active life”). She defended the classical ideals of work, citizenship, and political action against what she considered a debased obsession with mere welfare.

What does Hannah Arendt think is important about action? ›

Action, for Arendt, is “revelatory” in that the person engaging in action discloses their essential being to others (p. 180). A crucial element of action is the fact that the end is unknown at the time of acting. In action, the end is “not pursued but lies in the activity itself” (p.

What is between past and future Hannah Arendt about? ›

In Between Past and Future Arendt describes the perplexing crises modern society faces as a result of the loss of meaning of the traditional key words of politics: justice, reason, responsibility, virtue, and glory.

What issue did Hannah Arendt point out with the conception of human rights? ›

For Arendt, the problematic nature of the rights of Man is deeply rooted in the rise of the nation's sovereignty against the sovereignty of individuals. As she puts it, the entire project of universal human rights conceives of the human being as an entity with no higher authority above herself.

What is thinking for Arendt and how is it different from knowing? ›

Thinking, Arendt knows, is distinct from action that takes place in the world. Thinking is a seeing into the unseeable and the unsayable. It is a relation with oneself in the two-in-one of a dialogue one has with oneself. In thinking, the thinker withdraws from the world.

What is the meaning of revolution Hannah Arendt? ›

Overview. In On Revolution Arendt argues that the French Revolution, while well studied and often emulated, was a disaster and that the largely ignored American Revolution was a success, an argument that runs counter to common Marxist and leftist views.

What are controversial issues in education? ›

Here are some examples to look out for.
  • History – conflicting versions of your country's history.
  • Religious Education – conflicting views on morality and religious truth.
  • Health Education – conflicting attitudes towards sexuality and moral behavior.
  • Civic and Social Education – conflicting political programs and ideologies.

What is the greatest challenge facing teachers today? ›

10 Common challenges teachers are facing in the classroom
  • Understanding different learning styles.
  • Lack of effective communication.
  • Staying up to date with learning technology. ...
  • Communicating with parents.
  • Pressure from school administrators. ...
  • Creating engaging lesson plans that fit the curriculum.
Mar 7, 2023

Who has the best education system in the world? ›

1.The United States of America – Country with the Best Education:
UniversityQS World University Ranking 2023
Massachusetts Institute of Technology1
Stanford University3
Harvard University5
California Institute of Technology6
1 more row

What is the single most important factor in education? ›

The most important factor in a child's education is the extent to which we teach him to enjoy learning! Teaching a child to take pleasure in study is the greatest guarantor of his intellectual success!

Why does school cause stress? ›

Concerns about not having enough friends, not being in the same class as friends, not being able to keep up with friends in one particular area or another, interpersonal conflicts, and peer pressure are a few of the very common ways kids can be stressed by their social lives at school.

How do you motivate students? ›

Tips On How To Motivate Your Students
  1. Become a role model for student interest. ...
  2. Get to know your students. ...
  3. Use examples freely. ...
  4. Use a variety of student-active teaching activities. ...
  5. Set realistic performance goals. ...
  6. Place appropriate emphasis on testing and grading. ...
  7. Be free with praise and constructive in criticism.

What is the most difficult part of being a student? ›

Acquiring successful time management skills is the biggest challenge one may face as a student. Moreover, there is the stress of making a good adjustment. Because students strongly believe their future depends upon their doing well.

What is the greatest challenge middle school students face today? ›

Different classroom and school structure

One of the biggest challenges for middle-schoolers is adjusting to a new learning environment. The school itself may be larger. There's also a shift in how classes are held. In elementary school, kids may have had one or two teachers for core subjects.

What are the 9 challenges our students face in school? ›

This guide will help you research and find evidence to support an argument. Nine challenges students face in school are poverty, homeless families, child abuse and neglect, bullying (including cyber bullying), violence, obesity and eating disorders, sex and pregnancy, suicide, drugs, and dropping out.

What is the education definition of learning? ›

Learning is “a process that leads to change, which occurs as a result of experience and increases the potential for improved performance and future learning” (Ambrose et al, 2010, p. 3). The change in the learner may happen at the level of knowledge, attitude or behavior.

What is teaching learning and education? ›

Teaching and learning is a process that includes many variables. These variables interact as learners work toward their goals and incorporate new knowledge, behaviours, and skills that add to their range of learning experiences.

What is the difference between learning and development in education? ›

But what is the difference between learning and development? Learning is defined as gaining new knowledge. And development is applying that knowledge to drive results and grow as a leader.

What are examples of learning? ›

A lot of our learning occurs randomly throughout life, from new experiences, gaining information and from our perceptions, for example: reading a newspaper or watching a news broadcast, talking with a friend or colleague, chance meetings and unexpected experiences.

What is learning in education essay? ›

Learning is a continuous process that involves the transformation of information and experience into abilities and knowledge. Learning, according to me, is a two way process that involves the learner and the educator leading to knowledge acquisition as well as capability.

What is the best way to learning? ›

Top 10 best study tips
  1. Be consistent. If you try to cram, you'll set yourself up for failure. ...
  2. Sleep properly. ...
  3. Try the Pomodoro method. ...
  4. Create the right environment. ...
  5. Create flashcards. ...
  6. Break everything down. ...
  7. Teach other people. ...
  8. Get some exercise.
Apr 7, 2022

What is learning and what learning is not? ›

Learning is a change in knowledge, beliefs, behaviors or attitudes. Learning is not something done to students, but something that students themselves do.

What makes the learning process successful? ›

Three key principles for effective learning

understand the learner's context (past, present and future); establish and respond to the learner's existing level of knowledge; and. provide adequate and appropriate practice over time.

How can we improve teaching and learning in the classroom? ›

Establishing the Optimal Learning Environment
  1. Having compassion and empathy. ...
  2. Creating a secure and dependable structure. ...
  3. Ramping up the positive. ...
  4. Supporting academic risk. ...
  5. Teaching active listening. ...
  6. Embedding strategy instruction. ...
  7. Building collaborative relationships.

What best describes the learning environment? ›

What is a Learning Environment? A learning environment is more than just a classroom—it's a space in which students feel safe and supported in their pursuit of knowledge, as well as inspired by their surroundings. Think back to some of the classroom environments you've encountered on your educational path.

Why is learning important? ›

Learning is important to society as a whole because it helps different groups of people to share knowledge, agree on mutual values, and understand one another better.

Which is better learning or development? ›

The ultimate difference between learning and development is that learning can give leaders new skills, while development can help leaders solve the problems they face. Development inspires leaders to take on the challenges of leadership, armed with the right behaviors.

What are the 4 types of learning? ›

There are 4 predominant learning styles: Visual, Auditory, Read/Write, and Kinaesthetic. While most of us may have some general idea about how we learn best, often it comes as a surprise when we discover what our predominant learning style is.

What are the three main types of learning? ›

There are three primary types of learning styles, as defined by teacher Neil Fleming: visual, auditory, and kinesthetic. Most people learn best through one or two of these methods, but there are ways to use all three learning styles to your advantage.

What are the negative learning experiences? ›

Spreading incorrect information or processes can result in lost time and resources, or even serious consequences, such as illness or injury. Consider the following examples: A factory worker who learns that safety gear is not only uncomfortable, but also unnecessary after a period of time without incurring an accident.


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