Education » Overview

Education and labor issues have featured as topics for discussion in our program portfolio since the 1950s. Recognizing that the way we learn and the future of work will change beyond recognition in coming decades, Salzburg Global Seminar is scaling up its commitment to explore these topics through a multi-year program on Education for Tomorrow’s World.

New technologies are taking us faster towards a post-industrial world, even in emerging and least-developed economies. Current teaching systems and metrics are being called into question. Young people, in particular, urgently need skills and support networks to realize their potential and forge individualized pathways for learning and work. Special attention needs to be paid to neglected talent, especially among marginalized groups, exploring how best to identify and nurture this otherwise wasted potential.

Relearning learning is critical to energize truly entrepreneurial societies. This will go far beyond education ministries to involve innovators, neuroscientists, data analysts and students themselves. As well as critically engaging with the ‘supply side’ of education, we must review the “demand side” – how to meet immediate needs to fill current jobs, identify new talents suited to new jobs, and promote access and diversity in a rapidly changing labor market.  

This program, launched in 2015, directly supports action to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (particularly Goal 4). It is a key component of Salzburg Global’s Human Transformation axis for 2016-2020, which recognizes that the digital and life sciences revolutions are radically changing assumptions and systems around education, jobs, families, health and ethics. Managing for change requires personal and organizational resilience, and for new technologies to be rooted in deep understanding of human needs and wants. 

To view related sessions, click here.


Alina von Davier - “There are many things we don't measure because we don't know how”
A still from the Alina von Davier's animation
Alina von Davier - “There are many things we don't measure because we don't know how”
Patrick Wilson 

Salzburg Global Fellow Alina von Davier has released an animation on her work on collaboration for her organization Educational Testing Service (ETS).

Alina von Davier is a Fellow of the 2015 session The Neuroscience of Art: What are the Sources of Creativity and Innovation? She is also senior research director at ETS and adjunct professor at Fordham University, New York, NY, USA. At ETS she has developed the expertise and psychometric research agenda in support of the next generation of assessments.

The animation details a new research method that can be used to measure how individuals interact in collaborative problem solving. The video explains the research by Davier to find out what are 21st century skills and how to measure them. Davier discusses how current research on collaboration and 21st century skills only focuses on what we already know, stating: “we measure very, very well what we know how to measure, but there are many things out there that we don't measure because we don't know how to measure them.” 

The US-based education nonprofit ETS works to advance quality and equity in education on a worldwide scale by creating assessments based on research as well as conducting educational research, analysis and policy studies and developing customized services and products for teacher certification, English language learning and elementary, secondary and postsecondary education.

ETS has partnered with Salzburg Global Seminar for several Salzburg Global programs, most recently of which was Untapped Talent: Can better testing and data accelerate creativity in learning and societies?in December 2015.

The research laid out in this animation aims to be applied in schools within formative assessments for English language learners and potentially summative assessments in the workplace.

The video can be viewed here.

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Experts Call for New Approaches to Measure Human Potential
Fellows discussing ideas during the Session "Untapped Talent: Can better testing and data accelerate creativity in learning and societies?"
Experts Call for New Approaches to Measure Human Potential
Patrick Wilson 
Education experts have issued a statement calling for new approaches to measure the breadth of human potential. The “Salzburg Statement on Realizing Human Potential through Better Use of Assessment and Data in Education” was issued by 41 current leaders and rising talents across policy and practice as well as leading thinkers across the education and technological landscape and those working in the fields of creativity, culture, the arts, neuroscience, predictive analytics and Big Data, from over 15 countries. According to the Statement they jointly issued: “Assessments and data often struggle to capture the essence and value of cultural differences critical to each community and country’s identity. When based on narrow concepts of achievement and performance they rely too heavily on simplistic tasks, disempower learners and teachers, and contribute little to improving pedagogy and professional development.” In their Statement, the international experts believe that: “Data can empower teachers, students and learners” and call for “more diverse indicators of creativity as well as knowledge skills of local concern.” The detailed Statement, which calls on “all key stakeholders in the integrated education system – policymakers, educators, assessment providers and information technologists” to act on a list of recommendations across three areas to promote change, was issued following the five-day program “Untapped Talent: Can better testing and data accelerate creativity in learning and societies?” held by Salzburg Global Seminar, at Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria in December.  The three areas cover elements of policy investment and the most effective areas to provide complementary funding, methods to make better use of research into education and assessment fields and how to communicate the information gathered so that it can be better understood and be more beneficial to those receiving it. Referring to the use of Big Data, Michael Nettles, Program Chair as well as senior vice president of session partner ETS, said: “A substantial amount of learning and educational activity already occurs in digital spaces like the cloud: in learning management systems; on web forums and discussions; on social media sites; in online portfolios; and so forth. “If we are going to link education to the Big Data wagon, then we will need the evidentiary tools to measure the return on our investment — tools that may not yet exist.” Participant in the session, Joe Hallgarten, director of education at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA), remarked on the considerations needed when trying to innovate within education systems: “System-level innovation cannot occur without foundational support for radical change,” he said. “In this sense, it is important to consider the more subtle factors in educational reform. Where do we want power to lie in our education systems?” He asked, “How can assessment systems support wherever we think power should be?”  The Statement promises a commitment by the Fellows to work together to “accelerate education transformation for tomorrow’s world” within their own countries and to share and collaborate across sectors and to be ambassadors for the statement. Full text of the Salzburg Statement on Realizing Human Potential through Better Use of Assessment and Data in Education is available here: http://www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558/statement Download the Statement (PDF)

The Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? was hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS)the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558.
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Untapped Talent - Day 4: Measuring Talent in 2050
Untapped Talent - Day 4: Measuring Talent in 2050
Louise Hallman & Heather Jaber 

Evidence-based policy or policy-based evidence?

The Fellows in Salzburg might have spent the last four days talking about “Untapped Talent” and forming recommendations on how best teachers, assessors and policymakers can move forward in this area, but do policymakers even care about people’s talent? What do we mean by the word talent? And how can we convince policymakers to care about “talent”? The OED (not to be confused with the OECD) defines talent as “Power or ability of mind or body viewed as something divinely entrusted to a person for use and improvement.” Although some may take umbrage with the word “talent” (it suggests innate ability, rather than a malleable and improvable skill), the talents that much of the session has focused on have been so-called “21st century skills” which the OECD posits can be broadly placed in five categories: interpersonal engagement, relationship enrichment, task completion, intellectual engagement, and emotional regulation. Data shows that students with both higher cognitive and social and emotional skills are more likely to complete college, earn a higher income and have lower instances of depression, with the social and emotional competencies proving even more important in this relationship than cognitive skills.   So if the evidence shows these skills are important for tomorrow’s (and today’s!) workforce, do policymakers care about this? Rhetorically at least, it would appear: yes. The Australian Education Act 2013 includes wording such as “confident, creative individuals,” and “active and informed citizens,” and the accompanying curriculum framework includes more than just literacy and numeracy; critical and creative thinking and ethical and intercultural understanding, for example both feature. Evidence and rhetoric, however, may prove to not be enough. Politicians are notoriously short-term-focused. At best they’re focused on the next election. At worst, they’re just chasing the next 24-hour news cycle. As one Fellow remarked: “Politicians don’t about evidence-based policy – they care about policy-based evidence!” But researchers need to play their part too, by supporting politicians and delivering sound evidence. Evidence-gathering takes time but it can have impact. In Chile, they have been gathering assessment data since 1998; the first stage of education reform passed in 2014. If you start collecting evidence, be prepared to wait years before policy is implement, warned one Fellow: “Be prepared for bureaucracy.”

Good vs. Bad Assessments

Testing the right skills at the right time for the right reasons

If the strategic design of tests is key to learning, poor strategic design is a substantial barrier to the process, Fellows heard on the fourth day of Untapped Talent. Poorly-designed tests not only waste the time of the teachers creating them, but they often do not measure the concepts that are supposedly being tested. Good assessment means balancing curriculum, giving constructive feedback, and ultimately, creating a productive learning experience. It was suggested that there needs to be a system-level challenge in the UK to enable teachers to teach and test math more effectively. Multiple choice math tests, for example, rely on elimination rather than reasoning and are a much less effective way of testing a student’s math skills than actual problem solving. Although we may know how to better design tests and have more effective assessment, there are different kinds of pressures and barriers along the education chain, from the management tensions of superintendents and principals to the lack of support for teachers.  In South Africa, barriers to an effective educational system were met with demands by students to reform curricula in schools. The apartheid system was entrenched in the South African education system, creating separate development for different nationalities and races. After 1994, students played an important role in higher education, becoming a legitimate governing structure in the education system. They continue to play an active role in pressuring the system to change – as was seen earlier this year with the “Rhodes Must Fall” movement to remove the statue of colonialist Cecil B. Rhodes from the University of Cape Town. But not all of the 12 million learners in South Africa go to university or further education colleges, leading to high rates of unemployment. To better understand the readiness of students upon exiting school, the National Benchmark Tests (NBTs) helps assess the competencies of students who wish to pursue higher education. The project then also assesses the relationship between higher education entry level requirements and school-exit outcomes and assists with curriculum development. With supplemental assistance and a view that there is a responsibility to help students not doing well in school, success rates are increasing.

Tech + content + pedagogy = success?

Media24’s Via Afrika Digital Education Project is designed to revolutionize South Africa’s 21st century classrooms. Students learn through ebooks, individualized math programs, revision quiz apps, using 21st century tools such as tablets instead of traditional text books. Such tech-based initiatives are disruptive and innovative by nature – but they are not the panacea to all education needs. Technology needs to be combined with two other important elements: content knowledge and pedagogy. Traditionally there was only pedagogy and content knowledge, however this is becoming increasingly outdated. Using only technology and content knowledge is not enough and feels disconnected.  Introducing tech solutions to these two other elements can enable better observation of and response to changes in learners’ needs.  Engagement is a key factor: how can you retain children’s attention when the outside world is so stimulating? Tech alone won’t solve this problem – we need to ensure we maintain students’ motivation regardless of the modes of teaching employed.

The Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? is being hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS)the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558.
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Varaidzo Mureriwa - STEM, in its very essence, is creativity
Varaidzo Mureriwa - STEM, in its very essence, is creativity
Heather Jaber 
What are 21st century skills? Do they vary in form and context? How can we define one of the most pressing issues for young people today? For Varaidzo Mureriwa, managing director of the P-STEM Foundation, it’s about sustainability.  Mureriwa, participant of Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies?, worked as a technology consultant before becoming a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education advocate. The P-STEM Foundation is South Africa’s only non-governmental STEM advocacy organization. “What quickly became evident to me and some my colleagues is that while South Africa has a big youth population, it’s unable to translate that youth into viable, sustainable careers,” she says. The case for youth unemployment in the region is particularly devastating—unofficial numbers put youth unemployment at about 40%. Of that percentage, says Mureriwa, 70% are between the ages of 14 and 35. Having 21st century skills is particularly relevant in the South African context, she explains.  Mureriwa quotes former US Secretary of Education Richard Riley when discussing 21st century skills and the context of the youth in South Africa in particular: “We are currently preparing students for jobs that don’t yet exist.” “[It means] having skills or teaching our students skills today that will enable them to have sustainable careers for the duration of their careers,” said the participant. “And why that’s necessary today versus 50 years ago is the rate and pace at which life is changing.” To keep up with this rapidly changing world, creativity is vital to a sustainable career, believes Mureriwa. While creativity is not often conflated with the sciences and math, it is a major component of STEM, says Mureriwa. “If you look at STEM in itself, in its very essence is creativity,” she says. “Someone had to be creative to come up with that new technology. Someone had to understand a mathematical concept and be able to translate that into modern world reality.”  To do that today, we need foun­dational knowledge, said Mureriwa. In South Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa in particular, it is important to target attitudes towards math and sciences. A lack of access to STEM resources or education centers also contributes to these attitudes. “The dialogue needs to shift in order to be more encompassing,” she says, “but at the same time the innovations need to be able to meet people where they are.”  “What’s really great about being involved in this 21st century is a lot of the traditional barriers have been removed,” she enthuses, highlighting the opportunities that now exist for closing these gaps and shifting attitudes. Connecting students with STEM role models and running STEM community days in rural communities are some of the methods P-STEM have effectively used, shifting from the idea that schools and governments are the center of education to more acknowledging the community’s role. For the STEM education advocate, the session in Salzburg is also challenging conventional thinking about creativity. “What I’m really loving is thinking about creativity from an assessment perspective and breaking down some of the assumptions I’ve had. I’ve always assumed trying to assess for creativity curbs creativity…then I started questioning my assumptions.”

Vari Mureriwa was a participant of the Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? The session was hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS)the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558.
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Untapped Talent - Day 3: “Accept disruptive technologies!”
Untapped Talent - Day 3: “Accept disruptive technologies!”
Louise Hallman 
Uber did it to the taxi industry. AirBnB is doing it to the hotel business. What sort of “disruptive” technology could have a similar impact on education? The use of big data and linking it to formal assessments is already causing shake ups in countries such as Ecuador, where its initial rankings of schools based on assessment results alone did little besides upset students, parents, teachers and policymakers alike. Linking that data to multiple other data sets, however, has proven hugely insightful. By applying bigger data sets, such as socioeconomic, demographic, type of school, etc., the National Institute of Educational Evaluation was able to start building a much fuller picture of why some students thrived while others struggled, despite attending the same sort of school, or coming from the same socioeconomic background. Considering variables as detailed as gender balance, pupil and parent satisfaction levels, school life, pupils’ distance to from school, attendance, etc., gave an even fuller picture as to why some schools were performing better than others – and offered insights into how to improve those that were struggling.  In some countries, such as the UK, school inspections are carried out to try to make similar assessments, but in countries of more limited resources and more remote communities, this data is even more valuable: “We can’t visit all the schools! That’s what we need data for,” remarked one Fellow.  Another tech solution that is promising to be “disruptive” is LRNG in the US. Recognizing that learning can, does, should continue outside of the classroom, LRNG aims to “transform learning from something [students] do to something they live.” Through predesigned and interchangeable “playlists”, students can “get lost” in a topic of their choice and interest, by accessing online and in-community resources, receiving in-person mentorship, attending “real life” events, and ultimately achieving a “digital badge” – a qualification that Collective Shift (the organization behind LRNG) hope will eventually be recognized by universities and employers. Education needs this “disruptive innovation” because “the world isn’t going to wait for our schools to improve in 10 year blocks,” and students need 21st century skills now to guarantee their success in the future. 

The Power of Data

That we now have at our finger tips more data about students than we ever had before is indisputable, but how can we actually realize the power of this data to benefit the education system as a whole and the individual student? Although repeated testing is controversial, cognitive data shows that testing can also be used for learning; students who study and answer test questions are more likely to retain information than those who only study. Testing in and of itself is a learning process, and particularly when provided with feedback to students, can be a powerful opportunity to support learning. However, we cannot forget that testing measures performance rather than learning, and performance may not always reflect learning. For example, the pressure of performing can lead to increased anxiety, which in turn reduces exam performance. Learning is better retained when links can be made between different subjects and strategies – this also encourages greater creativity. If tests can be designed to make connections across curricula, the anxiety associated with tests could be countered, improving performance and increasing learning outcomes.  We need to not only measure and assess for learning, we need to also measure and assess well. Using online testing which tracks students’ progress during the test, as well providing a score at the end, can help educators understand their students’ cognitive processes and reasoning – not just see what the student got right or wrong. This moves beyond simply using “computers to do all the work” for the teacher, and instead combines technology with pedagogy, encouraging teachers to enter into a conversation with their students after the test is done. Regardless of the data used, it is not about its size, but rather how the data are used. Different data are useful to different stakeholders; what is useful to a teacher to help their students learn better, is not the same information as is needed by policymakers or that which can be easily understood by the public.  Read more in our daily newsletter (download PDF)
The Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? is being hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS)the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558.
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Untapped Talent - Day 2: Innovations from the Regions
Untapped Talent - Day 2: Innovations from the Regions
Louise Hallman 
With Fellows attending from across the globe, examining how different countries are tackling the related issues of assessments, data gathering and nurturing creativity was a natural start to the first full day of the Untapped Talent session.

Latin America

Fellows started in Latin America, a region that has enjoyed significant economic growth in the past 25 years, coupled with rising education spending and standards. Significant improvements are being made, but this is happening at different rates in different countries. Some countries have well-established public school systems with regular testing and comparable results. Some are only just starting to do this and remain to be convinced of the benefits of regular assessments and data collection. However, even in countries that do conduct regular testing and data collection, such as Chile and Mexico, their best students’ results lag behind even the poorest students in China, according to PISA data. The lowest performing schools are making the greatest improvements, but the highest performing schools are stagnant, leaving the region’s school leavers and graduates unprepared to enter the global economy. Encouraging regular and comparable assessment, and the collection of basic data such as numbers of schools, teachers and pupils, are just two approaches the Inter-American Development Bank has taken to try to improve the region’s education outcomes. If policymakers don’t even know how many students they have living in a given area, how can they distribute adequate resources? If schools test one age group one year but a different group the next, how can they make comparisons and track progress year-on-year? More countries are starting to adopt these practices.  Another key area in need of reform in the region is teaching. Low admittance standards to training courses, and low esteem of the profession, often make it hard to attract the best students to teaching. The region is facing a stark contradiction: everyone wants to improve education but no one wants to be teachers. Raising pay is not enough. Conditions, mindsets and attitudes towards the profession must also be improved. Generating evidence of good teaching practice and learning outcomes is needed to support such changes.

North America and Europe

In North America, while teaching is held in higher regard, issues still remain, such as “math anxiety.” Of all US college students, those studying to be elementary school teachers profess to have the highest level of “math anxiety,” questioning their math skills or simply declaring that they “are not a maths person.” If teachers lack confidence in their math skills, they run the risk of passing on this math anxiety to their students, especially when this is compounded by parents’ math anxiety. Two solutions to tackle math anxiety (and untap students’ unexplored talents) were proposed by panelists speaking on North America and Europe: one – enable more STEM-learning at college level, and two – introduce more meta-cognitive and meta-creative thinking into the learning process at all levels of education. The US education system, especially at high school and college level, is already broader and less specialized than the curriculum on offer in much of Europe, where students are often made to specialize in a field or specific subjects from the age of 14. Many US colleges require the students of all majors complete math and science courses. The earlier these course requirements are taken, the greater the opportunity the student has to discover their talent in this field and switch majors. Much of the debate surrounding STEM study focuses on the take up of the field, but those leaving the field shouldn’t be seen as a failure – they can bring valuable knowledge and skills to other fields, such as education, policy and law. Instilling meta-cognitive and meta-creative skills in all students can help with their problem reasoning and enhance their critical thinking and creativity, encouraging such questions as: what is the problem about? How is the problem similar to other problems I’ve already solved? What strategies might work to solve the problem? Does this solution make sense? Could it have been done another way? Am I stuck? Why? It is such new pedagogy that will accelerate creativity and learning, not testing, argued one Fellow. [continues p2] Unlike its neighboring region, the US already collects a lot of assessment data from its students, but the use of this can be controversial. Some colleges use the “blunt instrument” of SAT scores and GPAs to calculate students’ eligibility for funding, for example. However this data often does not highlight the more “creatively disruptive” students, whereas their essays, teachers’ recommendation letters and in-person interviews will likely offer greater insight. If we persist on using quantifiable data, how can we assess and quantify creativity?

Africa and Asia

This is a question also asked in Africa, where much of the education system was inherited from former colonial masters, and there is little focus on creativity. Although access to education across the continent has improved, the quality of the education offered is poor in many countries. Approximately 250 million children worldwide cannot read, write or count even after four years of primary education – the majority of these children are in Sub Saharan Africa. Creative or critical thinking is not encouraged, with “teaching to the test” prevalent. Children are taught only to reproduce what they are to be tested on – but this could provide a window of opportunity: if children were to be tested on creativity, they would be encouraged to be more creative. However, much like other regions, there is still little understanding at this stage of exactly how to assess such creativity.  Assessment is considered important because without testing, it is not known  how well the system is functioning, schools and governments cannot be held to account, people are not empowered, and ultimately education will not be improved, one Fellow said. In India, tests and exams are also widely and regularly taken – but they are also widely and regularly cheated on. Cheating has become so widespread that it has become a “community affair”. Students cheat so they don’t have to study; parents encourage them so their children can work, teachers encourage them to meet standards and receive pay and bonuses; and politicians turn a blind eye or accept bribes to cultivate votes. Cheating is so prevalent, lamented one Fellow, that “the next generation of teachers won’t even be qualified enough to help the next generation of students cheat!”  One effort to move away from cheating and build greater trust in assessment results has been to trial a system of “non-competitive one-to-one interactive evaluation process.” Students meet with their professor for a one-on-one discussion on their understanding of a given subject. Depending on their understanding, this appointment takes between 15 to 60 minutes. This might seem time consuming but it cuts down on the professor’s time spent in setting and marking exams – and is impossible to cheat.  The need for greater trust was one of the motivations for the innovation of community-led schools in post-revolution Egypt. Poor education, high unemployment and political interference have all led to a low level of trust in the public education system in Egypt. Community-led schools are accredited by the Ministry of Education but the curriculum is set by local parents, teachers and community leaders, leading to a sense of ownership – and greater trust. The curriculum also covers more than literacy and numeracy, with greater focus on “life skills”, allowing for greater creativity.  Read more in our daily session newsletter (downloads PDF)
The Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? is being hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS)the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558.
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Joe Hallgarten - “Assessment is an act of love”
Joe Hallgarten - “Assessment is an act of love”
Heather Jaber 
Conceptions of creativity bring to mind an unbounded and imaginative process, one that is dynamic in nature. But how, if at all, do we assess that process? How do we encourage a creative learning experience while supporting wiser decision-making? Quoting Rinaldi, Joe Hallgarten reminds us that foremost, “Assessment is an act of love.” Hallgarten, a participant of Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies?, is director of education at the Royal Society of Arts (RSA) in the UK. The RSA, a prominent think tank and act tank, helps launch ideas into action, supporting human creativity for social change. Hallgarten runs the education strand of the organization, working with research, program development for teachers and learners, and other initiatives which encourage creativity and innovation. “I think the challenge is that the assessment of our creative capacities has got a long history of failure,” he said. “There is a tension there about whether you can have a generic assessment of creativity or whether it has to be domain specific. I also think it is dangerous sometimes when you are moving toward assessing creativity and you begin to conflate creativity with problem solving—they are different things.” While there are no generic or universal methods of assessing creativity, Hallgarten highlighted three purposes of assessment. “One is around supporting selection and certification,” he said. “The second is around accountability so that you know how schools and teachers are performing; and the third, and the most important to me, is supporting learning––really supporting good teaching and learning.” The creative process and outcomes rely on three things, said Hallgarten—trust, collaboration, and unpredictability. The issue with schools today, he said, lies in the constraints they face in order to be reliable, leading to a loss of unpredictability.  “We know from the cognitive and developmental science,” he said, “that it is really important to retain a level of unpredictability over the learning process and outcomes; because that is what engages young people, and that is what leads to wildly higher expectations and wildly higher performance.” A recent RSA report tackling the issue of innovation in school systems offered suggestions for schools interested in innovative approaches, including developing teachers’ skills at designed thinking, allowing innovation in the assessment of a broader set of outcomes, and building a case and powerful alliance for change. “Essentially, top-down innovation doesn’t work particularly well,” said Hallgarten. “And even when you’re scaling innovation, you do need systems to support scaling, but actually, you need to scale for adaptation rather than adaption, because teaching is ultimately about human relationships.” System-level innovation cannot occur without foundational support for radical change, he said. In this sense, it is important to consider the more subtle factors in educational reform. “Where do we want power to lie in our education systems?” he asked, “How can assessment systems support wherever we think power should be?” 
Joe Hallgarten was a participant of the Salzburg Global program Untapped Talent: Can Better Testing and Data Accelerate Creativity in Learning and Societies? which is being hosted in collaboration with the Educational Testing Service (ETS), the National Science Foundation, and the Inter-American Development Bank, and in association with the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). More information on the session can be found here: www.salzburgglobal.org/go/558.
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SALZBURG STATEMENTS

Salzburg Statement Measuring and Evaluating Social and Emotional Skills

Salzburg Statement on Realizing Human Potential through Better Use of Assessment & Data in Education

Salzburg Statement - Quality Early Childhood Development and Education for all Girls and Boys