Monday, December 12, 2011

Day 5 “The Seasons (Tchaikovsky)” – inspired by the closing concert

December – Christmas
Once upon a Christmas night the girls were telling fortunes: taking their slippers off their feet and throwing them out of the gate. (Vasily Zhukovsky)
After 5 days we are ready to go home and our thoughts regardless of Christmas or any other special day are with all those girls(and boys) in the world that have little more than their fortunes to talk about and how we can translate the ideas we shared in actionable initiatives to improve equity and social mobility!

January - At the Fireside
A little corner of peaceful bliss, the night dressed in twilight; the little fire is dying in the fireplace, and the candle has burned out. (Alexander Pushkin)
But this bliss keeps on being brutally interrupted by statistics such as that the average costs of a Starbucks coffee is 3 US $ compared to school fees in Africa that can be as low as 2 US $ and while Starbucks profit for 2009 was more than 300 million US $ in 2009, at the same time 70 million children around the world were still not going to school.

February - Carnival
At the lively Mardi Gras soon a large feast will overflow. (Pyotr Vyazemsky)
What a festival it would be if we manage to achieve a massive change in the teaching force, with massive investments in the preparation and the continuous education of the teacher, in wages and other measures to support a drive to attract and keep the best and the brightest into the teaching force.

March - Song of the Lark
The field shimmering with flowers, the stars swirling in the heavens, the song of the lark fills the blue abyss. (Apollon Maykov)
“La Pintana loocks bad , but it is not, and if it would be bad , we , the children of La Pintana School, will change it”.
Christopher Rojas , 8º básico

April - Snowdrop
The blue, pure snowdrop — flower, and near it the last snowdrops. The last tears over past griefs, and first dreams of another happiness. (A. Maykov)
Five seminar groups wrote executive summaries highlighting the most important aspects to focus on.  Together with the presentations and film footage this will be transformed in a Salzburg Seminar debrief and a new publication in the series of ETS policy notes to be found on the websites of the Salzburg Global Seminars and the ETS website.

May - Starlit Nights
What a night! What bliss all about! I thank my native north country! From the kingdom of ice, snowstorms and snow, how fresh and clean May flies in! (Afanasy Fet)
No plans can be implemented without proper financing that includes accountability and cost control. Developing specific policies that target equity and combining these with new ways of financing them can secure a fresh attention for education embedded in a strategy to support social mobility.

June - Barcarolle
June Let us go to the shore; there the waves will kiss our feet. With mysterious sadness the stars will shine down on us. (Aleksey Pleshcheyev)
One tool for social mobility identifies the concept of Global Competencies as overarching learning focus whereby Global competence signifies the capacity and disposition to understand and act on issues of global significance. The overall aim is to ensure that all youth (especially those with fewer resources) can develop the capacity to understand and transform the world in which they live to contribute to their own and societal wellbeing.

July - Song of the Reapers
Move the shoulders, shake the arms! And the noon wind breathes in the face! (Aleksey Koltsov)
In all that is developed and implemented it is essential to include the voice of the learners and the community they live in. This can take the form e.g. of parental & community involvement; learning from families; making families stakeholders; schools as a reflection of where we want to be as a society; sense of community/social cohesion and the need to view education as a community/social issue

August - Harvest
The harvest has grown, people in families cutting the tall rye down to the root! Put together the haystacks, music screeching all night from the hauling carts. (A. Koltsov)
Social mobility is not just a human right, but also an economic motor. Inspired by the reference in one of the presentation herewith a quote from the 2010 PISA report: The High Cost of Low Educational Performance – The long-run economic impact of improving PISA outcomes:  A modest goal of having all OECD countries boost their average PISA scores by 25 points over the next 20 years – which is less than the most rapidly improving education system in the OECD, Poland, achieved between 2000 and 2006 alone – implies an aggregate gain of OECD GDP of USD 115 trillion over the lifetime of the generation born in 2010 (as evaluated at the start of reform in terms of real present value of future improvements in GDP)… Other aggressive goals, such as bringing all students to a level of minimal proficiency for the OECD (i.e. reaching a PISA score of 400), would imply aggregate GDP increases of close to USD 200 trillion according to historical growth relationships

September - The Hunt
It is time! The horns are sounding! The hunters in their hunting dress are mounted on their horses; in early dawn the borzois are jumping. (A. Pushkin, Graf Nulin)
The search is on for experts, policy and decision makers, movers and shakers in the world of higher education and post-secondary vocational training who can contribute to the understanding of and action plans for social mobility and equity issues in these fields.

October - Autumn Song
Autumn, falling down on our poor orchard, the yellow leaves are flying in the wind. (Aleksey Nikolayevich Tolstoy)
From October 2nd to October 7th the second seminar on Optimizing Talent: Closing the Mobility Gaps in Education Worldwide will be convened in Salzburg, bringing again together participants from different countries to try to improve accessibility to education confront inequity and improve education quality.

November – Troika
In your loneliness do not look at the road, and do not rush out after the troika. Suppress at once and forever the fear of longing in your heart. (Nikolay Nekrasov)
With this three year effort to bind people worldwide who share the same commitment and dedication towards the injustices in society, ‘who follow the need and don’t suffer from lack of purpose’, and with a possible extension to a world congress on access,  equity and social mobility, it should become more easy to suppress the fear of an unchangeable triple A- lack of Availability, Affordability and Accessibility.

Gerben van Lent

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