The case for 21st-century learning
Andreas Schleicher, OECD Education Directorate Anyone wondering why knowledge and skills are important to the future of our economies should consider two facts. First, jobs: employment rates are higher among people with more education than among those with less. This has continued to be the case during the crisis. Also, in those OECD countries where college education has expanded most over recent decades, learning differentials for college graduates have continued to rise compared with school leavers, for instance. Their pay did not decrease, unlike that of low-skilled workers. This is a good, concrete argument for skilling up. For most of the last century, the widespread belief among policymakers was that you had to get the basics right in education before you could turn to broader skills. Those that hold on to this view should not be surprised if students lose interest or drop out of schools because they cannot relate what is going on in school to their real lives.
• 21 century learning