Education 📚

“Education is most powerful weapon to change the world.” - Nelson Mandela

A brief introduction to education 📚

Education is etymologically “guiding out of”, meaning “developing”, “producing”. It now more commonly means the learning and development of the intellectual, moral and physical faculties, as well as means & results of this development activity

Human education includes skills and cultural elements characteristic of geographic location and historical period.

 

Education is seen as an important element of people’s development, that’s why we developed the concept of  Right to Education in the Human’s Rights since 1948:

“Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit. Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance, and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace. Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.”

 

Every country and region of the world has its own educational system, with a role traditionally devolved :

  • To the parents of a child, to bring their child to the adulthood
  • To the parents’ substitute: the school, the tutor & the State

Education is a valuable investment, both individually and collectively. It’s often analyzed through available evidence of the private (i.e. individual) and social (i.e. collective) returns to education.

The most common way to measure the private returns to education is to study how attainment improves individual labor market outcomes – usually by attempting to measure the effect of education on wages. 

Regarding social returns, the most common approach is to measure the effect of education on pro-social behavior (e.g. volunteering, political participation, interpersonal trust) and economic growth.

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5 important definitions

 

Literacy

Literacy is a key skill and a key measure of a population’s education. While the earliest forms of written communication date back to about 5500-5000 years ago (3,500-3,000 BCE), literacy remained for centuries a very restricted technology closely associated with the exercise of power.

It was only until the Middle Ages that book production started growing and literacy among the general population slowly started becoming important in the Western World. In fact, while the ambition of universal literacy in Europe was a fundamental reform born from the Enlightenment, it took centuries for it to happen. Even in early-industrialized countries, it was only in the 19th and 20th centuries that rates of literacy approached universality.

Culture

Culture is a word for people’s ‘way of life’, meaning the way groups do things. Different groups of people may have different cultures.

A culture is passed on to the next generation by learning, whereas genetics are passed on by heredity. Culture is seen in people’s writingreligionmusicclothescooking, and what they do.

The concept of culture is very complicated, and the word has many meaningsThe word ‘culture’ is most commonly used in three ways:

Thdiscipline which investigates cultures is called anthropology, though many other disciplines play a part.

 

Creativity

Creativity is a phenomenon whereby something new and somehow valuable is formed.

In order to be creative, a person needs to be able to view things in new ways or from a different perspective. Among other things, you need to be able to generate new possibilities or new alternatives

Three reasons why people are motivated to be creative:

  • Need for novel, varied, and complex stimulation
  • Need to communicate ideas and values
  • Need to solve problems

The created item may be :

 

Pedagogy

Pedagogy is the art or science of being a teacher and of learning. The word pedagogy comes from the Greek word paidagōgeō, which means “to lead the child.”

It is most commonly understood as the approach to teaching, refers to the theory and practice of learning, and how this process influences, and is influenced by, the social, political and psychological development of learners.

The pedagogy adopted by teachers shapes their actions, judgments, and other teaching strategies by taking into consideration theories of learning, understandings of students and their needs, and the backgrounds and interests of individual students. 

There are hundreds of forms of pedagogy, some more focused on the learners’ development, some more on the content taught itself.

 

Social-Emotional Development

Social-emotional development represents a specific domain of child development. It is a gradual, integrative process through which children acquire the capacity to understand, experience, express, and manage emotions and to develop meaningful relationships with others.

As such, social-emotional development encompasses a large range of skills and constructs, including, but not limited to: self-awareness, joint attention, play, the theory of mind (or understanding others’ perspectives), self-esteem, emotion regulation, friendships, and identity development.

Social-emotional development sets a foundation for children to engage in other developmental tasks. For example, in order to complete a difficult school assignment, a child may need the ability to manage their sense of frustration and seek out help from a peer. 

As already explored, water is a precious, fundamental, and limited resource but also it plays an important role in the world economy:

  • Approximately 70% of the freshwater used by humans goes to agriculture.
  • Fishing in salt and fresh water bodies is a major source of food for many parts of the world.
  • For our health and to prevent dehydration, it is recommended to drink a minimum of 1,5L of water (up to 16L depending on the region of the world we are living in)

We intended to sum up the main challenges we are facing as humanity in this century, by gathering a few strong facts.

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I – DIRTY WATER AND DISEASES

Fact 1: In 2015, 1.8 billion people still use an unsafe drinking water source which may be contaminated by feces. (Source)


Fact 2
: Millions of people are infected with neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), many of which are water and/or hygiene-related, such as Guinea Worm Disease, Buruli Ulcer, Trachoma, and Schistosomiasis.

These diseases are most often found in places with unsafe drinking water, poor sanitation, and insufficient hygiene practices. (Source)


Fact 3
: The WHO estimates that in 2015, the deaths of 361,000 children under 5-years-old could have been avoided by addressing water and sanitation risk factors. (Source)

 

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II – WATER RENEWABLE CYCLE DIMINUTION AND DEPENDENCE

Fact 4: The renewable internal freshwater resources of most countries in the world are decreasing since 1962.

So passed Brazil, the largest renewable water reserve in the world, from 74 000 m3 to 28 000m3 renewable water per year, resulting in being divided by 2,6 in 52 years. (Source)


Fact 5
: The WRI estimated in 2013 that 36 countries faced “extremely high” levels of baseline water stress: these countries are mainly located in Northern Africa, Southern & Central Asia & Middle-East. (Source)


Fact 6
: In 2012, the global consumption of bottled water amounted to 288 billion liters and was forecasted to reach 391 billion liters by 2017. (Source)

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III – WATER POLLUTION & REDUCTION OF OCEAN SPECIES


Fact 7
: A huge percentage of the available freshwater is polluted with trash and waste from the cities as well as with toxins due to industrial processes, agricultural fertilizers, pesticides, and wastewater.

Polluted water is considered to be responsible for 14 000 human deaths daily worldwide. (Source)

 

Fact 8: In 2015, it was estimated that there were 5.25 trillion pieces of plastic debris in the ocean. 269 000 tons of that mass are floating on the surface, while the deep sea is littered with approx. 4 billion plastic microfibers/km².

Also on average each human absorb the equivalent of a credit card (5g) of micro-plastic every week, the consequences on health are still unknown. (Source)

Reminder : if takes from 20 fo 550 years to plastic objects to biodegrade in the sea.

 

Fact 9: From 1950 to 2000 the phytoplankton population has been reduced by 40 %. The higher temperature of the sea surface, overfishing and acidification is in charge of this reduction. (Source)

Phytoplankton is not only a highly important part of the seafood chain by being at its base but also responsible for 50 % of the oxygen that we breathe (more than the forests)

 

 

 

At least one very good news: The access to improved drinking water has been mainly increasing in most of the countries in the world as you can see on this very good interactive graph made by Our World in Data.

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KNOW YOUR PERSONAL WATER FOOTPRINT

 

You are wondering how much water is hidden behind your daily habits?

 

You can calculate your personal water consumption with the Water Footprint Calculator!

 

Freshwater is essential to our life. First of all, we can’t live without it, but we can improve our use of it by changing our lifestyle and relation to it.

We have to rethink our individual and collective relationships to this vital resource.

 For example, stop flushing drinkable water in the toilet and instead flush greywater, or even stop using water altogether. Alternatively, make the black water useful for creating new energy (like biodigester) and get it biologically filtered locally.

 

At the same time, we need to improve our access to it, use resilient, low energy consumption methods to permit everyone access to the precious liquid.

We need ambitious policies to protect this necessity for humans and the environment from greed and pollution, as well as to ensure fair and safe access to it.

Finally, we need to adapt our practices to reduce its waste in agriculture or industry, through improving the irrigation, the water retainment efficiency, and strongly reduce our consumption of products and materials requiring a lot of water (like meat, cotton, plastic, …)

 

Solutions

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