You might intuitively know that education affects a nation’s economy, but have you ever thought about how? Or what we can learn from other thriving economies and educational systems, to improve our own?
Better educating ourselves about the inner workings of economic development gives us a greater understanding as to why some economies thrive, while others barely survive. We can then give our young people the wisdom and tools to keep improving and build upon the foundation that our nation's founders, and we, have laid beforehand.
As parents, teachers, and leaders, we want the next generation to have and do more than we did. It’s part of the legacy we want to leave them. Those who pour themselves into the greater good don’t want to provide seeds of knowledge that land on infertile soil. We want to teach discernment—as well as the best ways to implement and use that know-how—to improve the world.
The Relationship Between Education and the Economy
A nation’s economy is directly impacted by the education and training of the country's workers. The more training and education, the better the economy.
Let’s look at a few ways they relate…
- Nations compete with each other in the international trading marketplace. However, it’s important to remember that countries rarely specialize in a single industry—therefore, the more “well rounded” the economy, the more marketable it is in global trading.
How do you have a “well-rounded” economy? By having a “well-rounded” educational system.
For example, various industries have different advantages. When an individual has adequate training in varying levels of technology and engineering, and another is excelling in farming and agriculture, the country has more assets.
What this means is that not everyone has to be trained in the same way in the same area; however, providing excellent training at any level in an industry only boosts the value brought to the trading table.
- The industries can work together to improve. When the workers in an industry are taught the intricacies of their field, and they take their knowledge and marry it with another trade, innovation and growth happen.
When the agricultural industry works with engineers to find better ways to conserve water, for example, both fields of knowledge grow and benefit the other. This relationship between sectors creates more jobs, further research efforts, and an economic boost.
- There are obvious external factors influencing the economy and education that are beyond human control. Factors such as:
- Available natural resources
With that said, training levels within the available industries is a significant factor that separates developed from developing countries.
How Does Education Play Into All of This?
We don’t live in a perfect world, and while there are intelligible theories related to structured education, we won’t know the long-term effects until we go through the process. But we must have a plan in order to grow.
We know that education empowers, equips, and encourages. How would these factors multiply if we took a long, hard look at our weaker areas and learned from another’s strengths—uniting with a mind focused on overcoming the elements that push down economies?
How Does Israel’s Thriving Economy Educate Their Workforce?
Last year, the Wall Street Journal[i] published an article about Israel’s thriving economy and what they contribute their success to. It may not be the traditional methods of education that we think. Israel’s minister of education, Naftali Bennet, explains that their educational process is about a mindset:
“During my two years as minister of education, I have come to understand that… our secret weapon is a parallel education system that operates alongside the formal one. This is where our children learn to become entrepreneurs,” says Bennet.
Israel’s 3 Unconventional Approaches to Education:
- Debate is not viewed as an argument, but rather as a thought-provoking discovery.
Bennet explains that debating is not about disagreements but about finding different solutions:
“Students engage in debate for the sake of debate. They analyze issues from all directions, finding different solutions. Multiple answers to a single question are common… the learning process, not the result, is valued.”
Consider disagreements as a way to grow, rather than emotionally charged events to prove something.
- Responsibility is respected.
Bennet explains that responsibility is encouraged at a young age:
“The second component of our shadow education system is the peer-teaches-peer model of Jewish youth organizations, membership-based groups that we call ‘movements.’ Teenagers work closely with younger children; they lead groups on excursions and hikes, develop informal curricula, and are responsible for those in their care. As an 11th-grade student, I took fifth-graders on an overnight hike in the mountains. Being given responsibilities at a young age helped shape me into who I am today.”
Never underestimate the power of empowerment. Encouraging young people to mentor others, specifically those who are younger than them, can benefit both ages of children.
- Life lessons are taught early.
Bennet explains that the Israeli Defense Forces have a significant role in their educational system:
“The third component is the army. Because we are constantly defending ourselves from Islamic terror, 18-year-old boys and girls are drafted into the military for stints of two or three years. Young Israeli adults must literally make life-or-death decisions every day.”
It’s not about forcing someone to serve but encouraging life lessons early. Israel can’t afford to protect their youth from every possible threat or challenge. Instead, they prepare them for navigating the turbulent waters of life.
The United States and Israel Unite
The United States and Israel have a multitude of similarities.
- Both gained independents through war
- Both have a capitalistic economy
- Both have multicultural influences
- Both are made up of innovative, determined, and entrepreneurial people
When we compare the similarities, it shouldn’t surprise us why the nations support one another. The unity between the 2 countries multiplies each one’s effort, that then spills over into the world around us.
The impact of joint efforts is great, and the need for unity is even greater. Standing with Israel is more than saying, “This nation is a powerful ally.” While this is true, it also means that you recognize the generational influence the unification can have on our children and grandchildren in the future. It says that you personally want to make a difference in someone's life in Israel because you know the difference Israel has made in yours—spiritually, politically, and economically.
Has your life been changed by:
- Innovative medical technologies?
- Access to nutritious food during times of drought?
- Military technology that is designed to predict and protect?
Israel’s research and development has influenced all of these areas. Click on each to find out more.
How do you want to show support to a nation that has shown theirs? Consider learning more about how investing in Israel changes lives—both yours and those who live across the globe! Check out our FREE resource to find out more!