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It is now said that the economy is knowledge based. What it
means to be a knowledge based economy is at the centre of the conversation
around the effects of globalisation on education policies and education systems.

This highlights the imperative role of knowledge and technology in promoting
global economic growth. It is important to note that the global knowledge
economy is not neutral as it promotes neo liberalist views of globalisation. Human
capital refers to the knowledge represented in technology as well as humans and
it has always been a key factor of economic growth. However, its importance in
increases as the scale of the global economy increases. As countries compete
with one another in the global knowledge economy, their economic success is
increasingly seen to be as a result of the country’s education polices which
enable the production of competent knowledge workers that are able to compete
on a global scale (Shields, 2013).

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The significant role education plays in the global knowledge
economy is seen in the focus globally on measuring international education
attainments. The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is
carried out by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development once
every four years. It is one of the tests that has received a great deal of notice
from many stakeholders within education including teachers and educator as well
as policymakers. The results of international achievement tests have allowed
policymakers to see what policies work in other countries and possibly borrow
them for their education systems. When a country is presented with poor PISA
results, there tends to be a panic amongst the policymakers as they scramble to
rectify the situation by attempting to introduce policies that would guarantee
that role in the knowledge economy. In 2010 the Secretary of State for
Education in England and Wales, Michael Gove, wrote a letter addressing the
country. He called the UK’s decrease in the 2009 PISA rankings a wake up call
for the country. He analysed the schooling system in Finland which is a country
that always seems to be at the top of the PISA ranking chart and presented the
Finnish model of education as the ideal method of education and that the UK
should model its own education policies after it. The PISA tests are often
criticized for the way that it frames educational success as a gateway to
economic growth (Shields, 2013). The influence of the knowledge economy discourse
is also apparent at the regional level as well as the national level. The
European Union in 2010, introduced the Lisbon strategy which was stated to be a
strategy paper that will allow European students to active and engaged players
in the knowledge economy (Shields, 2013),

 

In
conclusion, globalisation is a multifaceted phenomenon that has many dimension
which include cultural, social and economic. Western European Welfare states
are mostly all affected by the process of globalisation whether it be in a
positive or negative sense. This is seen in the apparent increase or decrease
social welfare spending by different welfare regimes. Education policy is also
heavily impacted by globalisation. The emergence of a global knowledge economy
has forced many Western European states to change their policy approaches to
education. Education has now become a field of competition between nations The
impacts of globalisation on social policy developments in Western European welfare
are both numerous and complicated. The increasing interconnectedness of global
markets has opened up nations to a new era of social policy developments.

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