Interviews with society stakeholders

One of the driving question of this project is how to achieve a greater understanding of optimal conditions for the processes of teaching and learning adjusted with current and future society demands. An underlying hypotheses of this question is that effective investments in education (Horizon 2020) can only occur by studying and pinpointing the gaps between school practices and society needs. For this purpose, after collecting in situ data in the schools, results were contrasted with different individuals outside of the field of education (e.g. scientists, politicans, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, artists, shopowners, etc.). Emergent themes from these discussions were then responded to by academics from different fields and enrich the final white paper.

Fragments of the anonymised interviews:

We have to celebrate that we live in diverse societies but we also have to recognise that plural societies are not easy to govern. So we have to work extra hard to promote dialogue to fight fear and intolerance. Languages are so important for this -understanding each other is a first step to resolving conflict. And of course intercultural understanding must be in the mix.

Sara, town mayor

Education for tomorrow needs to be relevant. I see the homework my kids bring home and I think 'this is not what they will need to know when they grow up; why are they studying this?'' I want my kids to learn to think creatively. They need to know how to think outside the box. I know that's become cliché but it is so true.

Marc, CEO

Simply being informed nowadays is so difficult. I mean knowing how to discern fake news for instance. Our generation and of course the next needs to be, I guess the word is sensitive toward reality. I mean truth seems to sort of altered by the 'new media ecology' as you've called it. What's this concept of 'alternative facts'? Of course, we can get into philosophical debates about reality, going back to Plato, but in the end, to be responsible citizens we've all to come to some sort of agreement about what's what I think.

Paul, small business manager

We're living in a world where there multiple interpretations of recorded events, what with all the different options of capture and surveillance, you know. I don't just mean 'Big Brother' type CCTV although of course there's that too. But eveyone has cameras in their cellphones and we need to be more aware of where the limits lie concerning individual privacy and rights as well as the fact that almost any event is bound to be seen from multiple angles by different people - according to their perspectives and what works for them, right? There will be so many different ways to tell a different story of the same occurrence. Education needs to help young people deal with that.

Maria, lawyer

There's a lot of talk about media literacy. I think we mostly think of media literacy as the sophisticated use of media tools to do a lot of everyday tasks but also to engage and communicate with others. But I think it's more than that. I think media literacy  -sometimes called digital literacy, I believe- anyway, to me media literacy is not just about USING technology but building up PARTNERSHIPS with technology. It is about adding to and extending one's own capabilities by working with others, mediated through technology. This implies a type of co-dependence with technology. I admit I find this a bit scary. But I guess that's inevitable and we've got to learn to live with it.

Jaume, chemist

Have you ever heard of 'cognitive load management'? I remember reading this somewhere, I don't recall where. It has something to do with being able to distinguish and filter information to find out what is most relevant, what is really important. This is the world of data overload, input, input, input all the time and educators should find a way to help learners know how to maximise their thinking -or better said- cognition, yes, that's the right word, manage and maximise their cognitive performance, through technology and working with other people and just thinking things through to the end.

Fatima, dentist

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