EFF16: Learning Literacy by Design

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Most of us are familiar with the traditional literacies associated with reading, writing and arithmetic.  We may also be aware of a growing need to think differently about technology, communications and other areas if we are to survive and thrive in our world today. Yet change in our world comes ever faster, it seems we are having to learn about new things almost continuously, every day.

While we may all be born learners, learning quickly and judiciously is a skill and behaviour we must surely build upon and develop. If we go along with that thinking, it raises a series of questions.  What is learning literacy?  Can learning literacy be defined? Can it be designed into the school curriculum and beyond, for example in dealing with life’s challenges, as volunteers and in our work? Joseph Stiglitz reflected the essence of the idea, and the importance of citizens’ learning literacy when he said “successful and sustained growth and development requires creating a learning society. Especially as we move towards a knowledge economy.” **

EFF16 addressed ideas around learning literacy and how it can be adopted by education systems and citizens more generally.

The debate was chaired by Education World Forum Programme Director Gavin Dykes and speakers included Elhadj As Sy, Secretary General of International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) and Michael Trucano, the World Bank’s Senior Education & Technology Policy Specialist and Global Lead for Innovation in Education.  The speakers were joined by a live audience of Education World Forum delegates including students  Amy Donovan and Jack Wickham from Saltash.net Community School and other contributors from across the globe  in an attempt to explore what learning literacy means, and how we might develop it by design. Eileen Barnes-Vachell, a senior consultant with Babcock Education, closed the debate. Ken Royal monitored the Twitter stream.

**Joseph Stiglitz, IEA/World Bank Round Table, RSA, July 2012

Joseph Eugene Stiglitz, ForMemRS, FBA is an American economist and a professor at Columbia University. He is a recipient of the Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences and the John Bates Clark Medal.  http://www.josephstiglitz.com/

EFF14 and EFF15 followed the launch of the SDGs and EFF16 raises and issue about learning literacy and its role in enabling all of the SDGs to be successful.  It is crucial that the goals work together, that information is passed between them and that they do not become silos.  At EFF we believe that this is the essence of learning and learning can be the force that gives the SDGs the energy to succeed.

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