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What will education look like in the future?

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Looking ahead and beyond the current pandemic, how do we envisage education changing? The events of the past year have accelerated our increasing familiarity and use of technology and online learning, making us wonder whether our education systems are keeping pace. What new possibilities does this present? And what are the challenges to some of the structures we have in place now, for example in higher education?

And crucially, how do we best prepare our young people for the future, while at the same time ensuring that we have the workforce we need?

This presentation was part of an interactive webinar, hosted by the OECD and Education and Employers, where we outlined four different scenarios describing what education might look like in the future, and then discussed what each might mean for students.

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What will education look like in the future?

  1. 1. Back to the Future of Education Four OECD Schooling Scenarios Andreas Schleicher 28 January 2021
  2. 2. • 1.5bn students were locked out from school • Remote learning has become the lifeline for learning but doesn’t address the social functions of schools • Access, use and quality of online resources amplify inequality • Accreditation at stake • Huge needs for just-in-time professional development • Re-prioritisation of curricula to embrace wider range of cognitive, social and emotional skills • But lots of highly innovative learning environments emerging !
  3. 3. Natural disasters Pandemics Artificial Intelligence Economic shocks (cyber) war Energy cuts Internet disrupted Ageing Data breaches Climate change Impact Uncertainty The future will continue to surprise us!
  4. 4. Global issues covered in the curriculum (PISA, OECD average) Fig VI.7.8 Based on principals' reports
  5. 5. Students taking action (PISA, OECD average) Fig VI.5.4
  6. 6. Students’ agency regarding global issues (PISA, OECD average) Fig VI.5.1a
  7. 7. Resilience to change among 15-year-olds (PISA) Fig VI.3.7 Higher values in the index indicate higher cognitive resilience
  8. 8. Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling Four OECD Scenarios for the Future of Schooling EDUCATION OUTSOURCED SCHOOLING EXTENDED LEARN-AS-YOU-GO SCHOOLS AS LEARNING HUBS
  9. 9. Scenario 1: Schooling Extended Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling Participation in formal education continues to expand. International collaboration and technological advances support more individualised learning. The structures and processes of schooling remain. Educational monopolies remain: Schools are key actors in socialisation, qualification, care and credentialing. International collaboration and digital technologies power more personalised teaching and learning practices. Distinct teacher corps remain, although with new divisions of tasks and greater economies of scale. Goals and functions Organisation and structures The teaching workforce Governance and geopolitics
  10. 10. Changing education can be like moving graveyards • The status quo has many protectors – Everyone supports reform – except for their own children – Even those who promote reforms often change their mind when they understand what change entails for them – The slow-building crisis • The frogs rarely clear the swamp – The loss of privilege is pervasive because of the extent of vested interests – Teachers can easily undermine reforms during implementation, while blaming policy makers for having attempted misguided reforms – Even when parents have a poor opinion of the education system, they will generally view the school of their children and its teachers positively • Asymmetry of costs and benefits of educational reform – Costs are certain and immediate, benefits are uncertain and long-term
  11. 11. Changing education can be like moving graveyards • Complex governance – Many layers, many stakeholders – Changes in the demands in our societies have vastly outpaced the structural capacity of our current governance systems to respond • Lack of supportive ecosystems – Lack of an ‘education industry’ that pushes innovation and absorbs risks – A research sector that is often disengaged from the real needs of real classrooms • You can lose an election but you don’t win one over education – Complexity and length of reform trajectory that extend electoral cycles – A substantial gap between the time when the cost of reform is incurred, and the time when benefits materialise
  12. 12. 12 Digitalisation Democratizing Concentrating Particularizing Homogenizing Empowering Disempowering The post-truth world where reality becomes fungible • Virality seems privileged over quality in the distribution of information • Truth and fact are losing currency Scarcity of attention and abundance of information • Algorithms sort us into groups of like-minded individuals create echo chambers that amplify our views, leave us uninformed of opposing arguments, and polarise our societies 9%
  13. 13. Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling Traditional schooling systems break down as society becomes more directly involved in educating its citizens. Learning takes place through more diverse, privatised and flexible arrangements, with digital technology a key driver. Fragmentation of demand with self-reliant “clients” looking for flexible services. Schooling systems as players in a wider (local, national, global) education market. Diversification of structures: multiple organisational forms available to individuals. Diversity of instructional roles and teaching status operating within and outside of schools. Scenario 2: Education Outsourced Goals and functions Organisation and structures The teaching workforce Governance and geopolitics
  14. 14. Schooling beyond the pandemic (Averages across 36 countries, May 2020) Table 17 %
  15. 15. Capital flows and digitalisation of education Global vs Education Capital Flows <3% of global education expenditure on technology Education is still at an early technology adoption stage, with comparatively low market capitalisation Sources: HolonIQ, World Health Organization, Goldman Sachs, Standard & Poors. All figures are rounded estimates based on source research. 0.15 !
  16. 16. Global education venture capital Source: HolonIQ, January 2019 Venture capitalists have invested USD 7B in 2019, up from USD 2B in 2014 – mainly from China
  17. 17. EdTech expenditure Advanced Education Technology Expenditure, 2018 and 2025 estimate, USD Billions Source: HolonIQ, January 2019
  18. 18. Technology is only as good as its use (TALIS 2018) Percentage of teachers who “frequently” or “always” let students use ICT for projects or class work %
  19. 19. Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling Schools remain, but diversity and experimentation have become the norm. Opening the “school walls” connects schools to their communities, favouring ever-changing forms of learning, civic engagement and social innovation. Strong focus on local decisions; self-organising units in diverse partnerships. Schools as hubs function to organise multiple configurations of local-global resources. Flexible schooling arrangements permit greater personalisation and community involvement. Professional teachers as nodes of wider networks of flexible expertise. Scenario 3: Schools as Learning Hubs Goals and functions Organisation and structures The teaching workforce Governance and geopolitics
  20. 20. Prevalence of pedagogical strategies (TALIS 2018) Percentage of teachers who frequently or always use the following practices in their class (OECD average-31) Classroom management Clarity of instruction Cognitive activation Enhanced activities %
  21. 21. Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling Education takes place everywhere, anytime. Distinctions between formal and informal learning are no longer valid as society turns itself entirely to the power of the machine. Traditional goals and functions of schooling are overwritten by technology. Dismantling of schooling as a social institution. Open market of “prosumers” with a central role for communities of practice (local, national, global). (Global) governance of data and digital technologies becomes key. Scenario 4: Learn-as-you-go Goals and functions Organisation and structures The teaching workforce Governance and geopolitics
  22. 22. • Many online and distance learning and other innovative approaches such as AR, VR and AI were created, adapted and expanded. New learning experiences Image sources: Electude Classroom and Labster Labs’ virtual labs; Oxford University’s LIFE project, a smartphone-based virtual learning platform
  23. 23. Assessments and exams New types of assessments through simulations and games Adaptive assessments Hands-on assessment in vocational settings Increasing reliability of machine rating for essays Predictive models may disrupt the exam model
  24. 24. Learning analytics • Learning analytics helps educators personalise learning • in real time • as a reflective tool • Data come from sensors, learning management systems and digital activities of learners • When should you shift to a new activity? • Are you losing the attention of learners? • How do you struture instruction time (lecture, small group, discussion, assessment, practice, etc.)? • Which students do you talk to and support the most?
  25. 25. OECD Scenarios for the Future of Schooling Goals and functions Organisation and structures The teaching workforce Governance and geopolitics Challenges for public authorities Scenario 1 Schooling extended Schools are key actors in socialisation, qualification, care and credentialing. Educational monopolies retain all traditional functions of schooling systems. Teachers in monopolies, with potential new economies of scale and division of tasks. Strong role for traditional administration and emphasis on international collaboration. Accommodating diversity and ensuring quality across a common system. Potential trade-off between consensus and innovation. Scenario 2 Education outsourced Fragmentation of demand with self-reliant “clients” looking for flexible services. Diversification of structures: multiple organisational forms available to individuals. Diversity of roles and status operating within and outside of schools. Schooling systems as players in a wider (local, national, global) education market. Supporting access and quality, fixing “market failures”. Competing with other providers and ensuring information flows. Scenario 3 Schools as learning hubs Flexible schooling arrangements permit greater personalisation and community involvement. Schools as hubs function to organise multiple configurations of local-global resources. Professional teachers as nodes of wider networks of flexible expertise. Strong focus on local decisions. Self- organising units in diverse partnerships. Diverse interests and power dynamics; potential conflict between local and systemic goals. Large variation in local capacity. Scenario 4 Learn-as-you-go Traditional goals and functions of schooling are overwritten by technology. Dismantling of schooling as a social institution. Open market of “prosumers” with a central role for communities of practice (local, national, global). (Global) governance of data and digital technologies becomes key. Potential for high interventionism (state, corporate) impacts democratic control and individual rights. Risk of high social fragmentation.
  26. 26. NEW GOALS MODERNISING INNOVATION GLOBAL POTENTIAL VIRTUAL LEARNING OLD STRUCTURES DISRUPTING RISK AVOIDANCE LOCAL REALITY FACE-TO-FACE EDUCATION Trends Shaping Education 2020 Assessing risks, leveraging opportunities Tensions and paradoxes require smart responses
  27. 27. Thank you! Trends Shaping Education 2020 Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling For more information: OECD (2020), Back to the Future of Education: Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling, Educational Research and Innovation, OECD Publishing, Paris, https://doi.org/10.1787/178ef527-en. www.oecd.org/education/ceri/trends-shaping-education

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