The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain’t Learning

˙ PREAL Blog

This post is also available in: Spanish

A new book by Lant Pritchett, The Rebirth of Education: Schooling Ain’t Learning, argues not only that education systems in developing countries need to shift from focusing exclusively on enrollment to focusing on learning, but also that they should move away from central control towards systems that are locally controlled, adapted to context, and free to innovate.

Pritchett, a professor at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and fellow at the Center for Global Development in Washington, argues that education systems should have six specific characteristics: open to a variety of school types and educational approaches, locally operated, performance pressured, professionally networked, technically supported, and flexibly financed.

He argues that these characteristics might generate systems that take many different forms, but that “success is more likely to come from disruptive innovation than mimicry of best practice…For education systems to evolve to meet the needs of the 21st century, the powerful must cede their control over education to make way for systems that give greater control to local officials, parents, and teachers.”

View a brief overview of the book here, the introduction here, or order the full text here.