OECD Learning Compass 2030 frequently asked questions

See below for the frequently asked questions about this part of the OECD Future of Education and Skills project.


Note that further faq's can be found on the About page for the project.

What is the OECD 2030 Learning Framework?

The OECD 2030 Learning Framework offers a vision and a set of underpinning principles for the future of education systems. OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 stakeholders have co-developed a “learning compass” as a metaphor for the framework. The OECD Learning Compass 2030 aims to help students orient themselves and navigate through uncertainty towards well-being for themselves, their community and the planet (see concept note on the Learning Compass).

What is a competency?

A competency is a holistic concept that includes knowledge, skills, attitudes and values. In other words, the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project defines a competency as more than “skills”. Skills are a prerequisite for exercising a competency. To be ready and competent for 2030, students need to be able to use their knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to act in coherent and responsible ways that can change the future for the better.

Competency and disciplinary knowledge are neither competing nor mutually exclusive concepts. Students need core knowledge as a fundamental building block of understanding; they can also exhibit competencies based on knowledge, and use their growing competency to update and apply their knowledge, and deepen their understanding. Thus, the concept of competency implies more than just the acquisition of knowledge and skills; it involves the mobilisation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to meet the complex demands of situations of uncertainty.

How can the OECD Learning Compass 2030 help orient students towards well-being?

Students who are best prepared for the future are change agents. They can have a positive impact on their surroundings and on their own well-being, influence the future, understand others’ intentions, actions and feelings, and anticipate the short- and long-term consequences of what they do. Future-ready students need to exercise agency in their own education and throughout life. Agency implies a sense of responsibility to participate in the world and, in so doing, to influence people, events and circumstances for the better. Agency requires the ability to frame a guiding purpose and identify actions to achieve a goal.

Each individual student should “hold” his or her own learning compass. Where the student stands – his or her prior knowledge, learning experiences and dispositions, family background – will differ from person to person; therefore the student’s learning path and the speed with which he or she moves towards well-being will differ from those of his/her peers. Yet, even though there may be many visions of the future we want, the well-being of society is a shared “destination”.

Will the OECD 2030 Learning Framework be used as an assessment framework?

No, the intention of the OECD 2030 Learning Framework is not to develop an assessment framework. Its intention is to value student outcomes that are not currently measured by test instruments, such as exercising agency, taking responsibility and showing empathy. The project’s working group members are aiming to expand the notion of “what gets measured gets treasured” to “what does not get measured also gets treasured”.

Differences:2030 Learning Framework & the PISA assessment & analytical framework

There are three differences. First, the former focuses on “learning” while the latter focuses on “assessment”. In other words, the former aims to answer questions such as “what kind of competencies do students need in order to be able to shape a better future?”, while the latter aims to clarify the knowledge and skills that can be measured through PISA. The assessed competencies are decided by the PISA Governing Board members based on PISA’s priorities of what should be measured and experts’ input on what can be measured.

Second, the scope covered by the learning framework is much broader than the scope of the PISA framework. While the OECD 2030 Learning Framework takes a holistic view of what students need to learn, the PISA assessment and analytical framework focuses on specific knowledge and skills that are important, and can be reliably and soundly assessed. The OECD 2030 Learning Framework provides a map for where students should head towards; PISA provides information on how near or far today’s students are from some of those goals in specific domains.

Third, the relationship or positioning of the frameworks relative to “curriculum” is different. The OECD 2030 Learning Framework aims to help countries reflect on their own curriculum by comparing it with those of other countries, using the framework as common language. While PISA is not a curriculum-based assessment, it is based on expectations about what students should be learning, and thus takes into account what students have the opportunity to learn through the curriculum.

Connection between this framework & the PISA global competence framework?

The OECD 2030 Learning Framework and the PISA global competence framework are connected but not identical; more important, they do not serve the same purpose. The OECD 2030 Learning Framework provides a vision and a set of underpinning principles for the future of education systems. It focuses on well-being for 2030 at the individual and societal levels, and provides a holistic vision of learning. It is designed to show what knowledge, skills, attitudes and values students need to shape the future, and allows policy makers to take stock of how these competencies could be embedded in existing curricula rather than by creating new subject areas.

The PISA global competence framework is an assessment framework that clarifies the rationale for focusing on the domain, defines the domain and provides direction on how the domain is assessed. For PISA 2018, global competence is defined as a multidimensional capacity that encompasses the ability to examine global and intercultural issues; understand and appreciate different perspectives and viewpoints; interact successfully and respectfully with others; and take action towards sustainability and collective well-being. These dimensions overlap with those constructs included in the OECD 2030 Learning Framework, such as perspective taking, openness, and taking responsibility, but the OECD 2030 Learning Framework has a broader outlook.