Over the past quarter century an effort to prioritize child learning outcomes and in particular literacy and numeracy—what we term the ‘foundational learning agenda’—has gradually gained traction in the global education field. Although seemingly uncontroversial, the foundational learning agenda has attracted criticism as being reductionist and insufficiently attentive to crossnational differences.
This study analyzes factors that have shaped priority for foundational learning among organizations involved in the global governance of education, with reference specifically to low and middle-income settings. We find that historically six factors have been especially influential.
Three have facilitated attention:
Three have inhibited attention: