Education a source of wealth for nations

– What to teach?
– How to teach?

The fact that the source of economic strength of societies – the title wealth of nations – is knowledge and techno-logy does not need to be explained to anyone in Poland. But how to reach it is already worth discussing.

Teaching paradigm – what to teach in a dynamically changing world.

I. Reality is changing at a rapid pace. New technologies are forcing us, people and the institutions we create to constantly adapt. Education and the teaching paradigm itself must also keep up with these changes. As recently as the last decade of the 20th century, teaching was oriented toward the transmission of knowledge and its sources, i.e. places where information could be obtained. Nowadays, the basic problem is not where to find information, but how to distinguish between information based on facts and truth and fake news, i.e. information that is partially or completely untrue. How to extract synthetic answers to our questions from the flood of information. The former trust in the written word is being replaced by doubt and uncertainty in those with a higher degree of cognitive criticism, or blind faith in propaganda and conspiracy theories in the less critical. Many times agreement on the facts themselves is impossible to achieve. These problems result in increasing social unrest and conflict. How education should deal with these problems, how to prepare the next generation for life in such an information-dynamized world will be discussed in the first part of this panel.

On ways of teaching – how to teach economics.

II. In the second part, we would focus on discussing how to teach economics and digital technology (IT). Two seemingly distant areas of knowledge. What unites them in this context, however, is both the dynamics of the changing environment and the indispensability of these fields and the skills they generate for life success. How to teach economics in a way that is friendly, understandable and at the same time as close as possible to practical applications? How to serve knowledge about the modern world in which economic processes are embedded? The recently published textbook for the subject of HiT will long remain an infamous example of how not to do it. But there are also positive examples. “Economics for the Curious” by Professor Witold Orlowski is already the basis of classes within the framework of the “Kidnapped by Economics” program in more than 1,000 classes of elementary and secondary schools. Another way of teaching about economics and the modern world can be the Harvard case-study method. Created on the fly, touching on the most relevant issues and showing various possibilities for solving complex problems, and most importantly, forcing teamwork and open discussion in the classroom, they can introduce a completely new quality to Polish schools. Research conducted at Harvard University showed that once this method was disseminated to teachers in American schools, their graduates had statistically significantly higher levels of social engagement in later life. This involvement included participation in various institutions and bodies of local government, religion, collegiate bodies in companies and other economic entities.

On ways to teach – how to teach technology.

III. Teaching modern technologies is an equally interesting issue. In the school of the 21st century, students are often more proficient in the use of technology than the teachers themselves. Remote learning during the pandemic has painfully exposed significant underinvestment in the education system in terms of access to hardware, software and the digitization of teachers themselves. And yet, IT education should start as early as elementary schools. The ability to use the benefits of artificial intelligence in a smart way will become equal to today’s computer skills in a relatively short time. And this is what we should universally teach the youngest children – how to use the mechanisms of fantastically fast information retrieval to be a solid basis for drawing conclusions and logical thinking. The education system should also ensure the closest possible cooperation between education and the business world. A system of apprenticeships conducted in accordance with the curriculum would allow the system to support faster release of highly qualified and at the same time practically prepared talents into the labor market.

Stationary, remote or hybrid – in search of the golden mean.

IV. On top of the above issues should still be superimposed the question of teaching system: stationary, remote or hybrid. The advantages of stationary teaching need not be presented. This system addresses not only the transfer of knowledge, but also social education, which is difficult to overestimate. No less, remote teaching can address the particular needs of young people with special talents or interests. It can also be a window to the world for young people from smaller towns far from major academic centers. How to organize good hybrid teaching in the areas of economics and technology will be the last topic discussed in this panel.

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European Financial Congress2-4 June 2025


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