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Tech, Tools and Trust

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These days, virality seems privileged over quality in the distribution of news with truth and fact losing currency in decision making and democratic choices. Assertions which “feel right” but have no basis in fact seem to be accepted as valid on the grounds that they challenge elites and vested interests. Algorithms that sort us into groups of like-minded individuals create echo chambers that amplify our views, leave us uninformed of opposing arguments, and polarise our societies. Those algorithms are not a design flaw. They are the heart of why social media work.

In this context, what can countries do to foster trust, as a fundamental prerequisite for social and economic well-being, for enhancing social cohesion and strengthening resilience, and for maintaining security and order in our societies? OECD’s Survey of Adult Skills (PIAAC) shows that education strengthens the cognitive and analytical capacities needed to develop, maintain, and (perhaps) restore trust in both close relationships as well as in anonymous others. It does so both directly, through building and reinforcing literacy and numeracy in individuals, and indirectly, through facilitating habits and reinforcing behaviours such as reading and writing at home and at work. Education and trust are thus fundamentally intertwined and dependent on each other.

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Tech, Tools and Trust

  1. 1. Starting strongWollongong Andreas Schleicher Tech, Tools and Trust Andreas Schleicher, OECD Parliamentary Days
  2. 2. 2 Digitalisation and education Democratizing Concentrating Particularizing Homogenizing Empowering Disempowering Environmental degradation Climate change Migration Middle class Polarisation of societies Renewable energy Loss of biodiversity Water and food shortages Natural disasters Financial crises Nationalism Democratisation Multinational companies Harmonization of values Interdependent markets Trade openness Emerging economies Poverty Ageing Radicalisation Tourism Inequality International governance Global integration
  3. 3. 30 40 50 60 70 80 90 ChineseTaipei-2 Sweden-9 France-5 Portugal Greece Singapore-2 Thailand Macao(China)-7 Brazil-2 Spain UnitedKingdom Bulgaria HongKong(China) Korea-7 Belgium-4 Denmark-4 Croatia-5 Israel-10 NewZealand-4 Netherlands-3 Uruguay Hungary4 Australia OECDaverage-3 DominicanRepublic Ireland-7 Poland-3 CostaRica3 Lithuania Japan-5 Mexico Russia-8 CzechRepublic Italy Peru Colombia4 Finland-6 Chile Latvia SlovakRepublic B-S-J-G(China)11 Switzerland Austria-3 Luxembourg Iceland Germany Estonia Slovenia % Boys Girls 15-year-olds feeling bad if not connected to the Internet (PISA) Figure III.13.6
  4. 4. Increase in time spent on line outside school on a typical school day 0 20 40 60 80 100 120 140 160 180 200 Chile39 Sweden56 Uruguay33 CostaRica31 Spain44 Italy40 Australia52 Estonia50 NewZealand51 Hungary43 Russia42 Netherlands48 Denmark55 SlovakRepublic40 CzechRepublic43 Austria42 Latvia46 Singapore45 Belgium44 Poland46 Iceland51 OECDaverage-2743 Ireland48 Croatia40 Portugal42 Finland48 Israel34 Macao(China)45 Switzerland40 Greece41 HongKong(China)39 Mexico30 Slovenia37 Japan31 Korea20 Minutes per day 2015 2012 Figure III.13.3 Percentage of High Internet Users (spending 2 to 6 hours on line per day), during weekdays
  5. 5. • Virality seems privileged over quality in the distribution of news • Truth and fact are losing currency in decision making and democratic choices • Assertions which “feel right” but have no basis in fact seem to be accepted as valid on the grounds that they challenge elites and vested interests The post-truth world where reality becomes fungible • A study by Stanford University – Over 80% of middle-schoolers couldn’t distinguish between an ad labelled “sponsored content” and a real news story on a website. – Less that 20% of high-schoolers questioned the use of a photo of deformed daisies in an article about toxic conditions near a nuclear plant in Japan, despite the absence of a source/location; in fact, nearly 40% argued the photo enhanced the article’s reliability.
  6. 6. • Algorithms that sort us into groups of like-minded individuals create echo chambers that amplify our views, leave us uninformed of opposing arguments, and polarise our societies • Those algorithms are not a design flaw, they are the heart of why social media work Scarcity of attention and abundance of information
  7. 7. Consumer protection vs. Developing transferable skills for meaningful engagement Online risks: harmful content, contact and conduct
  8. 8. 100 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 Turkey Greece Chile Lithuania Israel United States Poland Russian Federation Ireland Slovak Republic England (UK) Northern Ireland (UK) Japan OECD average Slovenia Estonia Denmark Austria Australia Canada New Zealand Germany Czech Republic Norway Flanders (Belgium) Netherlands Sweden Finland Korea Singapore Level 2 Level 3 Level 2 Level 3 Skills to navigate the digital world – digital problem-solving skills Young adults (16-24 year-olds) Older adults (55-65 year-olds)
  9. 9. Comparing skills of computers and adults 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% Level 1 and Below Level 2 Level 3 Level 4-5 Literacy Proficiency in OECD Countries (PIAAC) Near-term computer capabilities
  10. 10. Interpersonal Trust • Interpersonal trust corresponds to an “expectation that other members of the community will behave in a cooperative and honest way” • The social and economic importance of interpersonal trust is widely acknowledged. It is a associated with: • Collective problems solving • Economic development and functioning democratic institutions • Lower rates of criminality and juvenile delinquency • The literature indicates that greater diversity is associated with lower trust • What role for education systems?
  11. 11. Generalised trust across countries 0 2 4 6 Italy Greece Slovak Republic Chile Czech Republic France Slovenia Estonia Poland Ireland Germany Austria Lithuania South Korea United Kingdom United States Spain Australia Singapore Israel Belgium Canada New Zealand Netherlands Japan Norway Finland Sweden Denmark few people trust completely other take advantage
  12. 12. Trust, Education and Cognitive Abilities • Education one of the strongest correlates of interpersonal trust – but lack of clarity on what mechanisms are responsible for education gradients in interpersonal trust • Cognitive mechanism – To trust others you need to be smart (and not too trustful). Trusting anonymous others requires individuals to feel confident about being able to evaluate the quality of particular interactions with others and to adapt behaviour according to environmental stimuli (Hooge et al., 2012). • Societal stratification mechanism – Trust is a privilege of the ‘winners in society’(Newton 1997). Those who have a higher socio- economic status will find it easier to express trust in the social arrangements that have provided them with this high status. Better educated individuals are more likely to be employed, to earn higher wages, to be in better health, to live in neighbourhoods with low levels of crime. • Direct mechanism – Socialisation processes
  13. 13. The role of education: is what you learn or who you become that matters?
  14. 14. Increased likelihood of positive outcomes among adults with higher literacy skills (age 16-65) 1.0 1.5 2.0 2.5 3.0 Being Employed High wages Good to excellent health Participation in volunteer activities High levels of political efficacy High levels of trust (scoring at Level 4/5 on PIAAC compared with those scoring at Level 1 or below) Odds ratio
  15. 15. Some findings • At the individual level, education is positively associated with generalised trust both directly and indirectly through social sorting and cognitive mechanisms • The association between education and generalised trust, as well as the relative importance of direct and indirect mechanisms differ across countries
  16. 16. Some findings • The relationship that varies the most is the relationship between literacy and trust • Diversity vs. uncertainty: – The association between literacy and generalised trust is stronger in countries that are characterised by greater birthplace diversity. – The association between literacy and generalised trust is weaker in countries characterised by greater income inequality • Maintaining trust in the presence of increased social diversity arising from international requires significant investments in equipping all individuals with high levels of information processing skills
  17. 17. • The first place where children encounter the diversity of society • Provide students with opportunities to learn about global developments that affect the world and their own lives • Teach students to develop a fact-based and critical worldview • Equip students with an appreciation of other cultures and an awareness of their own cultural identities • Engage students in experiences that facilitate international and intercultural relations • Promote the value of diversity, which in turn encourages sensitivity, respect and appreciation A role for schools in building bridging social capital
  18. 18. Global competence (PISA) Effectively combining knowledge and critical reasoning in order to establish an informed opinion on a global or intercultural issue. Globally competent students can draw on and combine the disciplinary knowledge and modes of thinking acquired in schools to ask questions, analyse data and arguments, explain phenomena, and develop a position concerning a local, global or cultural issue e.g. history course about industrialisation in the developing world
  19. 19. Global competence (PISA) Willingness and capability to understand global issues, and others’ perspectives and behaviours from multiple points of view. Recognising that perspectives and behaviours – including one’s own – are inherently shaped by various influences and concepts of reality Globally competent students can retain their cultural identity but are simultaneously aware of the cultural values and beliefs of people around them, they examine the origins and implications of others’ and their own assumptions e.g. student noticing culturally-related behaviour
  20. 20. Global competence (PISA) Understanding the cultural norms of different contexts and adapting behaviour and communication accordingly The capacity to interact with others in ways that are open (i.e. with sensitivity and engagement), appropriate (i.e. respectful) and effective. Globally competent students create opportunities to take informed, reflective action and have their voices heard
  21. 21. Global competence (PISA) Readiness to respond to a given local, global or intercultural issue. Being ready and willing to take informed, reflective action and an engagement to improve living conditions in one’s own communities and beyond.
  22. 22. Global competence (PISA)
  23. 23. Global competence (PISA) Knowledge of global issues and intercultural issues Content domains: • Culture and intercultural relations (as students engage in learning about other cultures they recognise multiple, complex identities and avoid categorising people through single markers) • Socio-economic development and interdependence • Environmental sustainability • Global institutions, conflicts and human rights
  24. 24. Global competence (PISA) Global competence builds on specific cognitive and socio-emotional skills, including • Reasoning with information • Communication in intercultural contexts • Perspective-taking (the cognitive and social skills to understand how other people think and feel) • Conflict resolution • Adaptability
  25. 25. Global competence (PISA) The mind-set that students adopt towards a person, a group, an institution, an issue, a behaviour or a symbol Openness towards people from other cultural backgrounds Respect for cultural differences Global-mindedness
  26. 26. Global competence (PISA) Values go beyond attitudes as they transcend specific objects or situations People use them consciously and unconsciously as reference for judgements • Human dignity • Cultural diversity
  27. 27. • 90% of employers in 9 countries surveyed reported they value intercultural skills, and 47% screen for intercultural skills • More than two thirds of employers report that their employees engage frequently with colleagues outside of their country, and over half say that their employees engage frequently with partners and clients outside of their country. • By far the most highly valued skill is “demonstrating respect for others”, followed by “working effectively in diverse teams”. These skills outranked having “qualifications related to the job” and “expertise in the field”. • More than one quarter of employers globally see the education provision in their country as inadequate in producing graduates that meet the intercultural skills needs of their organisation • Source: British Council (2013) “Culture at work: The value of intercultural skills in the workplace” Global competence
  28. 28. Find out more about our work at www.oecd.org/pisa – All publications – The complete micro-level database Email: Andreas.Schleicher@OECD.org Twitter: SchleicherOECD Wechat: AndreasSchleicher Thank you

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