Fundació Jaume BofillUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)


We are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Debats d’Educació by giving the educational community the opportunity to air its views

Yong Zhao
Yong Zhao
Presidential Chair and Associate Dean at the College of Education, University of Oregon

Yong Zhao is Presidential Chair and Associate Dean at the College of Education, University of Oregon and author of World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students.

The three things I’ve learned

All citizens must develop the skills that enable them to live in different cultures

Global competence

In a crowded, globalized world, all citizens must develop the perspective, attitude, skills, and knowledge that enable them to live and work in different cultures successfully, to interact with people from different cultural backgrounds harmoniously and productively, and to carry out the moral responsibility to protect the only planet we have for future generations. With the “death of distance” brought about by technological advances and political changes, geographical boundaries and political institutions no longer separate societies. All societies and individuals have become interdependent and interconnected. It is thus utmost important for future citizens to think globally and have the cultural intelligence as well as linguistic competence to work across cultures.



When technology becomes increasingly sophisticated and handles increasingly complex but routine tasks and when an globally interconnected economy makes it possible for routine tasks to be outsourced to places where people are able to do the job at lower cost, developed nations will have to focus on the creativity of individuals. Schools have traditionally not been given the task to intentionally and systematically cultivating creativity, but today we must focus on developing creativity in all citizens in order to come up with innovative products, services, and solutions to meet the needs of a changed society.



The Entrepreneurial Spirit

Traditional education has aimed to prepare good employees, to equip people with the knowledge and skills to meet the demands of existing jobs, and to help individuals to find jobs. But today rapid changes in society challenges the employee mentality. Instead of finding jobs or doing existing jobs, we will need individuals to create jobs, to come up with solutions, and to invent careers as existing jobs are volatile to massive changes. Entrepreneurs do not have to be those who start businesses. They can be social entrepreneurs who wok on addressing social problems such as social injustice, poverty, or protecting the environment. As long as the individual who actively work toward identifying and solving problems, without waiting for someone else to do so, that person has the entrepreneurial spirit.


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