Chapter 4: Global education funders' perspectives on the potential of systems thinking to change education practices and achieve mass learning gains
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Advocates of systems thinking in education can lament that there is insufficient funding for truly bold systems thinking within the global education aid architecture, and limited understanding of systems thinking theory and practice. This chapter challenges this view, presenting efforts to apply systems thinking in education by five major actors within major global education agencies: the Global Partnership for Education (GPE), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the United Kingdom Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO), the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and the World Bank. The chapter has an unusual format in that it documents a discussion among these five individuals on a panel at the 2019 Comparative and International Education Conference (2019). The chapter highlights that there is not only enthusiasm for systems thinking in education within these large global agencies, but expertise and hope for the potential of systems thinking to help in efforts to improve foundational learning for all.