Back to the Future of Education

Four OECD Scenarios for Schooling

Close your eyes for a second and think of something that happened over the last 20 years and you would have never expected to occur. Be it the pandemic, smart phones or something else, the truth is that the future likes to surprise us. Our world is in a perpetual state of change. There are always multiple versions of the future—some are assumptions, others hopes and fears. To prepare, we have to consider not only the changes that appear most probable, but also the ones that we aren’t expecting. Inspired by the ground-breaking 2001 Schooling for Tomorrow scenarios, this book provides a set of scenarios on the future of schooling, showing not a single path into the future, but many. Using these scenarios can help us identify the opportunities and challenges that these futures could hold for schooling and education more broadly. We can then use those ideas to help us better prepare and act now. Whether parents or students, teachers or educational leaders, researchers or policy makers, this book has been written for all those who want to think about futures that haven’t occurred to play their part in shaping the future that will.

Published on September 15, 2020Also available in: German

In series:Educational Research and Innovationview more titles


Executive Summary
Back to the future of education: Four OECD scenarios for schooling
Scenarios: A user guide
Taking stock of the present: Trends in education and schooling
The OECD Scenarios for the Future of Schooling
Back from the future(s): Outcomes, implications and paradoxes
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