Resilience: Building students to think for themselves

Whenever world class education systems are highlighted, Singapore is always vaunted as a leading light internationally. Their system reliably produces students with good discipline, a ferocious work ethic and good grades. But what if these measurements have been useful but one dimensional? Especially now the world and the workplace have changed? What if the glorification of the academic individual only goes so far and actually service to your community or nation is more useful?

Question everything

In a sensationalist world that operates at breakneck speed, many of us get caught careering between stimulus and response, rarely stopping to think critically about why we do what we do. More fundamentally, with nationalism on the rise, we ask: can philosophy enable us to think differently about our true identity? Stine Jensen is a Danish philosopher who lives in the Netherlands, a country and people that are not afraid of big or new ideas. We went there to meet her to find out about the importance philosophy has in our modern distracted world. We also wanted to know if Plato was right. Is the unexamined life really not worth living?

Poverty porn: divide, fool, rule

For many years the British tabloid press has had a monopoly on how the working class perceives themselves and their communities. But tabloid power is waning, creating an opportunity to tell a different story. One that’s more human and intricate. Not designed to divide, fool and rule. Joining us to work out if we are wiser to media manipulation or complicit in it are Aaron Reeves, associate professorial research fellow at the International inequalities Institute at the London School of Economics and Dr James Alan Anslow a writer and researcher in depth psychology, and former tabloid journalist.

Things governments can and cannot afford

In the UK, the Tories have slashed NHS funding, public housing and social care, policing, libraries, arts – even school dinners – on the grounds it was unaffordable. But it was comfortable spending £142 million per year subsidising the defence force (including the promotion of arms exports), and another £18 billion in corporate tax cuts for the private sector, and £120bn building a bloody great bridge to France.

Education and the fourth industrial revolution

The economic and social impact of rapid technological progress including artificial intelligence, automation, intelligent robots and self-driving cars will be a key theme for this week’s meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos. Graham Brown-Martin asks how our global education systems can respond to what the WEF calls the “fourth industrial revolution”.