Introduction to Global Education

What you’ll learn to do: examine educational differences around the world

There are garlands of paper rabbits and paper flowers hanging from the ceiling of a staircase.

In today’s world, some degree of education is necessary for people in most countries. Due to population growth and the proliferation of compulsory education, UNESCO has calculated that in the next 30 years, more people will receive formal education than in any prior period of human history. In fact, illiteracy and the percentage of populations without any schooling have already decreased, from 36% in 1960 to 25% in 2000, and under 14% in 2015.[1]

Education in its broadest, most general sense is a means through which the aims and habits of a group of people are transmitted from one generation to the next. Generally, education results from any experience that affects the way in which one thinks, feels, or acts—whether that be in a classroom setting, on your couch, or at the local recreation center. In its narrowest, most technical sense, education is the formal process (e.g., instruction in schools) by which society deliberately transmits accumulated knowledge, skills, customs, and values from one generation to the next. In this section, you’ll examine the basic educational differences that exist around the world.

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  1. The World Bank. Literacy rate, adult total (% of people ages 15 and above). Retrieved from


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