The Jacobs Foundation commissioned Economist Impact to develop a Learning Ecosystems Framework. The framework offers a tool to understand the enabling factors of effective learning ecosystems.
Amid renewed momentum to ‘reimagine education,’ after the COVID-19 pandemic impacted 1.6 billion learners globally, the Jacobs Foundation commissioned Economist Impact to develop the first-ever Learning Ecosystems Framework. The framework offers a tool to understand the enabling factors of effective learning ecosystems that can provide new opportunities to benefit children’s learning and well-being, and has been applied to 20 countries covering almost 50% of the world’s children.
The framework aims to encourage policymakers to consider education beyond the classroom. It provides a diagnostic tool for understanding and assessing the strengths of different environments – the school, the home, and the wider community – that jointly contribute to young people’s learning and well-being.
Findings, based on a survey conducted by Economist Impact of 2,000 teachers and young people (aged 18–20), and supplemented by additional data and desk-based research, include:
- only half of the teachers polled across 20 countries feel they have adequate time to spend with each student.
- most teachers polled (70%) feel encouraged by their school to personalize instruction to the needs of individual students, but only 50% report they have adequate time to spend with each pupil.
- across the countries studied, data from UN Habitat shows that open spaces are available to approximately 60% of the population. However, only a third of young people surveyed report easy access to green spaces, play facilities, and pedestrian spaces in their communities growing up.
- one in five young people do not engage in any form of community-based or after-school activity, including extracurricular activities, summer learning programs, work-based learning, environmental protection activities, community service activities, and cultural activities.
Above all, the Learning Ecosystems Framework highlights that a lack of data is hindering education systems’ ability to evolve into education ecosystems. Therefore, countries must develop comprehensive strategies that help policymakers understand how each learning environment contributes to children’s well-being. Without this, warns the report, we will continue to measure what we can easily observe, perpetuating a system where educational success is measured one-dimensionally.