Tracey Burns of OECD’s CERI Says Institution of Marriage is Changing Globally and Affecting Classroom Dynamics

CMRubinWorld’s new interview with OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation on the changes education systems must make to accommodate the modern family.

The institution of marriage itself is changing, and Tracey Burns (Project Leader, OECD’s Center for Educational Research and Innovation) believes “schools need to take these changes into account.” The high number of single parents, multi-racial and same-sex couples create special circumstances for children in those families and ultimately influence the classroom. Educators can help by “raising awareness of achievement gaps, providing hands-on support, establishing a good relationship with the student and his/her parent(s) or helping with homework and academic difficulties.”

Should schools also be responsible for discussions about non-traditional families, and what about the role of parents? Burns notes that schools are “reflections of our society, and they can and should play an important role in fighting prejudice and promoting acceptance.” But schools are not “politically neutral” and teachers need to be provided with “tools to teach diverse classrooms” so as to support “children from all backgrounds.” Burns adds that while schools should have anti-bullying and other guidelines, the role of parents is critical since “teaching tolerance and acceptance starts in the home, at the earliest ages.” 

Tracey Burns heads the Governing Complex Education Systems project in the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI). This project looks at the challenges that governments face in steering complex education systems and the role of knowledge in that process. She is responsible for the publication of “Trends Shaping Education 2016”.

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CMRubinWorld launched in 2010 to explore what kind of education would prepare students to succeed in a rapidly changing globalized world. Its award-winning series, The Global Search for Education, is a celebrated trailblazer in the renaissance of the 21st century, and occupies a special place in the pulse of key issues facing every nation and the collective future of all children. It connects today’s top thought leaders with a diverse global audience of parents, students and educators. Its highly readable platform allows for discourse…

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