All OECD countries now face a demanding new situation for schools. They are seeking to raise standards for all students, quantitatively and qualitatively. The broad aim of "lifelong learning for all" has moved from rhetoric to necessity, implying major shifts of thinking and practice for schools. Longer-term thinking needs to be injected into decision-making that in education too often is determined by the short-term. Powerful geo-political forces are at work, with globalisation in many spheres and yet also greater local action and participation. New forms of governance are called for, based more on professionalism and dialogue and less on bureaucracy and control.
This "operational toolbox" is a response to these major changes, as part of change management in policy and practice and the active involvement of the relevant stakeholders. It seeks to introduce into that process an explicit forward-looking and international dimension. It will produce results with significance for public sector policy making in general.
The Forward-looking "Tools"
There are different types of "tools", consisting of those already available through OECD in CERI and the IFP ( The Existing OECD Tools), and those that will be developed to promote innovation, forward-thinking and system change in school policy making ( New Operational "Tools" )
There are two existing OECD "tools"
- The CERI Schooling Scenarios themselves represent an innovative tool for forward thinking.
- The IFP's systematic vision of the potential for, and obstacles against, broad societal change in the 21st century-the output of a series of six conferences over recent years.
Building and Completing the Toolbox
There will be four phases to build and complete the "Toolbox".
New Operational Tools
The outcome of this activity will be a new set of operational "tools".