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The 52:52:52 project, launching both on this site and on social media in early 2024 will help you address 52 issues with 52 responses over 52 weeks.

A Mundane Comedy is Dominic Kelleher's new book, which will be published in mid 2024. The introduction is available here and further extracts will appear on this site and on social media in the coming months.

This site addresses what's changing, in our own lives, in our organisations, and in wider society. You'll learn about key changes across more than 150 areas, ranging from ageing and time, through nature and animals, to kindness and love...and very much else inbetween.

Halcyon's aim is to help you reflect on how you can better deal with related change in your own life.

What's Changing? - Education



Please see recent education-related change below.


See also:


February 2024

  • Universities are supposed to produce intellectual and scientific breakthroughs that can be employed by businesses, the government and regular folk. Such ideas are placed in the public domain, available to all. In theory, therefore, universities should be an excellent source of productivity growth. In practice, however, the great expansion of higher education coincided with a productivity slowdown. Whereas in the 1950s/1960s workers’ output per hour across the rich world rose by 4% a year, in the decade before COVID 1% a year was the norm. 

  • In a survey, 53% of British undergraduate students confessed that they had used AI to help them write essays. Most of them said they were merely using chatbots to suggest topics, though one in eight said they were generating the actual content.


January 2024


December 2023

  • Students across Europe scored the worst performance drop in the history of the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), published by the OECD. The education capabilities survey tested nearly 700,000 15-year-old students in 81 countries on mathematics, reading and science. Germany, Iceland, the Netherlands, Norway and Poland recorded lower achievements in mathematics in 2022 than in 2018. 


October 2023


September 2023


July 2023

  • George Monbiot argued that shortcomings of today’s education are limiting students’ readiness for an uncertain future. One: it is too rigid. Two: we don’t teach students about complex systems. Three: we don't equip students with meta-skills and metacognition, the ability to think about thinking. Monbiot claimed that "Many students will complete their education without ever being taught the principles of complex systems...schoolchildren should be taught to understand how thinking works, from neuroscience to cultural conditioning; how to observe and interrogate their thought processes; and how and why they might become vulnerable to disinformation and exploitation. Self-awareness could turn out to be the most important topic of all."


June 2023

  • Reading scores for US 13-year-olds fell to their worst level in 33 years, according to a national survey. Mathematics results weren’t much better, backsliding 19 years. Pandemic-related school closures were considered to be a major contributing factor.


April 2023

  • Society is changing: with rising inequality, disinformation, the effects of climate change and rapid advancements of technology, With this, the skills children need to navigate life and work are changing too, but less than half of the world’s children are on track to develop the skills they need to thrive, according to UNESCO. Children need to learn to collaborate, to look after each other and the environment, as well as to solve problems and think critically. Yet, historically, education systems around the world have emphasised acquiring knowledge and information and de-prioritised interpersonal skills.


January 2023


December 2022


October 2022


September 2022

  • Girls' education has a 2.8x return on investment, according to the World Economic Forum, while early childhood education brings in at least a 9x return.
  • India, Nigeria, and Pakistan are the top three countries with the highest numbers of the 244 million out-of-school children in the world, according to estimates by Unesco. Of particular concern is that the figure appears to be increasing in sub-Saharan Africa as it trends downwards in the rest of the world. In addition to Nigeria where there are now over 20 million out-of-school children, Ethiopia, Tanzania, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Sudan are in the unflattering top 10 with China, Indonesia, and Bangladesh.
  • The number of UK applicants to UCAS reporting a mental health condition on their applications  increased by 450% over the past decade. While that could be seen as a positive - with people being more willing to talk about their mental health  - there is no doubt that it is also indicative of a pervasive underlying concern, including the fact that half of students say their mental health is worse than it was  before the pandemic. To address this, Samaritans partnered with The Positive Planner, co-creating a journal designed to improve student well-being. The planner comprises daily intentions and reflections, mood trackers, mindfulness activities and positive affirmations, as well as meal planners, shopping lists and diaries.


July 2022

  • Learning is in crisis. Even before COVID-19, 53% of children in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs) were unable to read and understand a simple text by the age of 10. The pandemic was expected to push that figure up to 70%. However, recent years have witnessed major advances in technology and experimentation with digital learning solutions that enable a new kind of experience, by tailoring learning to the needs of the individual. Such digital personalised learning has shown promise in LMICs in closing education gaps for lower-attaining students by allowing them to learn at their own pace and to their own proficiency, positioning it as a potential tool to address learning gaps as the worst of the pandemic recedes.


June 2022


May 2022


April 2022


December 2021

  • By the end of 2021, roughly 168 million school-aged children worldwide had missed out on classes for around a year during the pandemic, and one in three of those were unable to access remote classes. The toll of the pandemic on children's development and wellbeing will become more evident in the months and years ahead.


October 2021


September 2021

  • The pandemic disrupted children’s education on an unprecedented scale. By mid-April 2020 more than 90% of the world’s students had been locked out of classrooms. As demand for remote learning grew, education technology, or edtech, was increasingly adopted by teachers and children worldwide. New apps and software began to be used alongside traditional teaching methods, proving that digital learning had potential.
  • By late 2021, India’s school children had lost a year to COVID. In the absence of physical classrooms, nearly 40% of students in underprivileged households had not been studying at all.


August 2021


July 2021


April 2021

  • India's government must do more to prepare children for the future. claimed GZERO Media. This is a country that produces state-of-the-art engineers and digital entrepreneurs, but India's new National Education Policy is designed to solve the problem that half of rural students in grade 5 can't read at a grade 2 level, and less than one-third can do basic division. India produces more than its share of stars, but it needs entire generations of well-educated children.


March 2021


September 2020


August 2020

  • At least one third of the world's schoolchildren - some 463 million - were unable to access any remote learning in the months when Covid-19 shuttered their schools, Unicef said in a report, which revealed the limitations of remote learning for those children who do not have access to the necessary technology - and for those in countries that did not respond adequately to the situation. It also found significant inequalities across the world, with at least half of all schoolchildren in sub-Saharan Africa unable to access remote learning. "The sheer number of children whose education was completely disrupted for months on end is a global emergency," said Henrietta Fore, Unicef's executive director. "The repercussions could be felt in economies and societies for decades to come."


July 2020


June 2020

  • Under a new government plan, all 43,000 schools in Russia will be equipped with facial recognition cameras and systems. And in an almost surreal twist, the name of the monitoring platform is "Orwell." The company that won the contract is owned by...a close friend of President Vladimir Putin, reported GZEROMedia.


May 2020


April 2020


November 2019

  • On the surface, universities are a nice idea. You go in, pick a subject you like, learn from the experts, and leave being job- and future-ready. This is why so many people (around 40% in rich countries) decide to go to college, even if it means making big financial and personal sacrifices. Yet just because so many people are doing it doesn’t mean it’s necessarily a good thing to do. In fact, while there is generally a cost – in terms of employment prospect – of not having a college degree, there are not always clear competitive advantages in having one, particularly if almost half of the population has one. 


August 2019


March 2019


February 2019

  • Starting in 2019, undergraduate students at the National University of Singapore had the option to design their own course modules. Interested students needed to organise themselves into groups of at least 10 and submit a proposal. Upon approval, they could then invite industry experts as guest tutors, or select courses from online platform edX. A faculty mentor would then be assigned to guide them. The university aimed to allow students greater ownership over their learning journey, and the ability to pursue topics not currently offered by the university, from blockchain technology to sustainability and climate change to photography.


January 2019

  • The global share of children who do not attend primary school has fallen from 28% in 1970 to 9% in 2016. But progress is stalling, and is less impressive than it appears, warned The Economist. The share of children not attending school has fallen by less than one percentage point since 2007. Some 63m children of the relevant age do not go to primary school; another 200m do not attend secondary school.
  • Literacy rates have been steadily climbing for decades now, and though it seems incremental, even a fraction of a percentage point can make a huge difference. Considering there are some 5.5 billion adults alive today, the 0.23 percentage-point increase from 2015 to 2016 (the last year for which data are available) means about 11.5 million more people can read, according to Quartz.
  • Kenya will start teaching Chinese to elementary school students. The move further deepens China’s influence in the country, where it has invested billions in infrastructure and cultural projects, noted Quartz.
  • Academics are only just beginning to understand the misfortunes of working-age Americans without a college degree. New evidence suggests that in the past 50 years, the earnings of this group have scarcely risen in real terms—and for men they have fallen. Such Americans are far more likely to live in rural areas, since the collapse of the urban wage premium means they no longer earn more in a city. And technological progress could make things worse.


December 2018

  • Raconteur asked what skills we should be teaching children in schools, in 2032, or 2042, and beyond. What tools should we be arming today’s children with so they stand a chance of surviving the world or work in one or two decades from now? Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity. Yuval Noah Harari wrote in his new book, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century, in a chapter entitled Education: Change is the only constant, Professor Harari continues: “More broadly, schools should downplay technical skills and emphasise general-purpose life skills. Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, to learn new things and to preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations.
  • The global gender gap in education continues to close. The latest data showed that, in 2016, there were 99.7 girls enrolled in primary and secondary school for every 100 boys. For comparison, in 1986 that number was 85.1. 


October 2018


September 2018


August 2018


July 2018


June 2018


May 2018

  • The US is very poorly prepared for an automation wave due to the structure of its education, suggests a new report. The main reason is the emphasis on long-college degrees rather than apprentice-oriented on-the-job training found in some European countries. This latter (closer to the push-and-pull of the market) may be more adaptable to employer needs.