Trends Shaping Education 2022

Reflecting on the future of education does not mean simply pushing problems into the future. Rather, responsible policy-making pulls future developments into the present to learn and prepare. A new book from OECD is meant to challenge, to inspire, and, most of all, to encourage readers to ask themselves: “What do global trends mean for the future of my education system? And what can we do?”

Trends Shaping Education 2022 explores megatrends affecting the future of education, from early childhood through to lifelong learning. Each chapter starts by examining the impact of COVID-19 before turning to the trends and their implications for education.

  • Chapter 1, Growth. Education has traditionally benefited economic growth by enabling social mobility and cultivating the competencies necessary for individuals to participate in the economy. The provision of high-quality education, lifelong and life-wide, is key to the upskilling and reskilling needed for all citizens to contribute to society, no matter their age. It is also important in raising environmental awareness and developing the technical and critical thinking skills necessary for a sustainable future, both here on Earth and beyond.
  • Chapter 2, Living and working. Education can help forge communities where all members are cared for, providing support that might not be found elsewhere. Robust lifelong learning systems can build the adaptability and resilience required for the future of work. But these trends also raise questions: What is the role of education in preparing for life outside of work? For continuous learning beyond the context of formal education? How can education systems better recognise and build on what is learned outside of school?
  • Chapter 3, Knowledge and power. Promoting relevant research and scaling up effective innovations is key to enhancing education’s quality. But this readily accessible universe of information triggers essential questions just as powerful algorithms raise issues of ethics, transparency, and accountability. How do we support all individuals to not only access information, but know what to do with it when they have it? Can we develop more inclusive governance, enhance evidence use and quality, and increase public trust?
  • Chapter 4, Identity and belonging. Education must meet the needs of diverse learners while simultaneously cultivating global competencies for the 21st century. Education can help socialize students into common norms and values while supporting the positive identities and agency needed to pursue learning and well-being. Identifying and reducing discrimination and disadvantage is a key first step to ensuring accessible, adaptable, and affordable education for all.
  • Chapter 5, Our changing nature. Education can help foster thriving relationships with our minds and bodies, with others and with the natural world. It is key to helping us think through emerging social and ethical challenges, taking into account individual as well as collective and planetary well-being.

This volume concludes by connecting the trends to the OECD Scenarios for the Future of Schooling, presenting alternate futures to push the reader to be prepared for the unexpected.

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