Chapter 1 - The Future

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The Future

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UNLIMITED Learning - the new learning revolution and the seven keys to unlock it.

we want to hold on to our roots and our culture. Even as Europe comes together economically, I think the Germans will become more German and the French more French."
  The downside of this is obvious: the "ethnic cleansing" and horror of the civil war in the former Balkan country of Yugoslavia; the Middle East wars, often with religious overtones; rebellion in parts of the former Soviet Union; the racial bigotry in many countries.
  But the positive challenges for education are equally obvious. The more technology thrives, the more the striving to capture our cultural heritage, in music, dance, language, art and history. Where individual communities are inspiring new directions in education, particularly among so-called minority groups, we're seeing a flowering of cultural initiatives - and a tremendous rise in self-esteem.

12. The growing underclass

   You don't have to move too far from the centre of the city in places like New York, Chicago, Philadelphia and Los Angeles to see the grim signs of a soaring underclass - predominantly associated with colour and educational failure, and overwhelmingly among unemployed youth.
  Statistic after statistic shows that members of this underclass are often trapped in a self-perpetuating cycle. Back in 1970 Alvin Toffler predicted in Future Shock the era of the fractured family: more divorces, changing lifestyles, the breakdown of the nuclear family. Most of his predictions have come true. And where the fractured family has coincided with unemployment, the ingredients have formed the recipe for social disaster.
  Education is a vital key to unlock an alternative future. In America's ten largest cities, the number of jobs requiring less than a high-school education has dropped by half since 1970. Two thirds of new jobs created in America since 1989 have been professional and managerial.
38 In Germany, by 2010 only 10 percent of jobs will be appropriate for unskilled workers, compared with 35 percent in 1976.39
  But this is not only an unemployment problem. Unemployed young men tend to commit more violent crimes and not take on the responsibility of parenthood.  "Adolescent boys are the most volatile and violent of all. Those under 24 are responsible for half of America's violent crime; those under 18 commit a quarter. The figures for most western countries are comparable."
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