As the world set out to fulfill UNESCO’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, OECD has launched discussions on the OECD Learning Compass 2030. The discussions take place within the OECD “Future of Education and Skills: Education2030” project which aims to develop a new Learning framework describing what competencies we need to shape the future, as well as providing policy makers with a clearer agenda for successful school reforms.
As one of the social partners, EWC took part in the discussions at the Meeting of the Working group on 23-25 October. We are gladly sharing key discussion points and ideas here:
- Digitalization has largely impacted the role of teachers. More and more teachers assume a facilitator or mentor role, using technology to amplify their teaching. In the global digital age when knowledge is everywhere, education needs an innovative co-creative approach, when teachers and students both shape the learning agenda. Future schools will more and more need to embrace diversity of students, build a more learner centered society, give students back control of their learning. At the same time, 72% of teachers believe their schools are not innovative (recent TALIS study). Governments have to create enabling conditions for innovation at schools (Finnish example: educational system has turned into an educational “ecosystem”, a constant experiment on what works and what not, laboratory of innovations, a system that breathes in and out).
Giving more autonomy to schools may also help decrease the time lag between curriculum and real life needs in the rapidly changing world. Decentralization of curriculum development, however, sets higher requirements for professional development of teachers.
- Key concept of the Education2030 Learning Framework Draft is Student Agency. To acquire the new competences that will be needed in the future, students have to become responsible agents of own learning. Schools and (teachers) need to create enabling environments in classrooms to develop agency, facilitate active student participation and students’ ability to be active learners. The new pedagogic approach requires Teacher agency as well, competent teachers that are prepared and given the opportunity to cooperate with students as partners. Furthermore, students, their peers, parents and teachers need to “reciprocally co-regulate their development (and their action)” (“co-agency”).
- Globalization, technological innovations, climate and demographic changes demand that schools prepare students for living in a “VUCA-world”: a world marked by volatility, un-certainty, complexity and ambiguity. To link the learning with the real life, to make the world a better place, we need to incorporate values into educational systems, moving from their implicit understanding to clearly formulating them (Singapore example: Schooling that focuses on how to educate a confident person, a self-directed learner, an active contributor and a concerned citizen)
- New challenges and opportunities call for new skills, e.g. creating new value, taking responsibility and reconciling tensions, dilemmas, trade-offs, and contradictions (the Education2030 Working Group calls them “transformative competencies). A range of new literacies are increasingly recognised in curricula (e.g. Global Citizenship; Sustainable Development; Innovation; Well-being; Computational thinking/ Programming/ Coding; Financial Literacy; Media Literacy; Health Literacy; etc.).
That is, future education “…is about acting rather than to be acted upon, shaping rather than to be shaped and choosing rather than to accept choices decided by others” (Education2030 Learning Framework Draft). Education is no longer only about jobs and skills, it is about educating a whole person, and its broader goal is human well-being.
The OECD’s Better Life Initiative: Measuring Well-Being and Progress presents 11 dimensions of individual well-being. The individual well-being will contribute to societal well-being, and vice versa.
- Accordingly, the world is now rethinking what the “student success” actually is, moving emphasis from student outcomes to learning experience or processes that are equally important as student outcomes. Children and students should be able to enjoy attaining their academic objectives, but also enjoy childhood, enjoy their school life, build friendship with peers, and be happy in life. For example, the PISA 2015 research has shown that students who experience a greater sense of belonging at school, are in schools with a positive climate and receive parental support are not only more likely to perform better academically but also to report higher levels of satisfaction with life compared to other students.