The OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation

Update No. 10 –  February 2009


University Futures
Innovative Environments
Teacher education for   diversity
Innovation strategy: education and training
ICT in initial teacher training
Global linguistic competences
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Previous CERI Updates
University Futures:
Higher education to 2030

The international CERI/France conference Higher Education to 2030 took place on 8 and 9 December 2008 in Paris. The first volume Demographyof the new OECD book series entitled Higher Education to 2030 was launched at the conference. Two further volumes, Technology and Globalisation, will be published in 2009. A fourth volume presenting scenarios for the future of higher education systems is to come out in 2010.

The event drew on analytical findings and stakeholder consultations carried out in the framework of the CERI University Futures project. Wide geographic range of policy-makers, international experts and other stakeholders discussed possible and desirable futures for higher education on this occasion. The participants explored future challenges and opportunities related to globalisation, demographic change and use of new technologies – and found many of the key issues to be common in different parts of the world. The conference put a particular focus on higher education participation, access and expansion, while exploring also the matters of social inequity and financing. Several high-level representatives, such as OECD Deputy Secretary- General Mario Amano, European Commissioner Ján Figel and UNESCO Assistant Director-General Nicholas Burnett, spoke at this event which also marked CERI’s 40th Anniversary.

To find out more

Consult  the conference website

Innovative Learning Environments
The aim of the Innovative Learning Environments project is to help shape the policy reform agenda by generating authoritative understanding of the lessons of learning research and by providing inspiring examples of genuine innovations in how teaching and learning for school-age young people is organised at the micro level.

A first project publication Innovating to Learn, Learning to Innovate,OECD (2008)  makes valuable reading for academics and educators alike. This publication covers the three main elements of the project – reviews of learning science research (Analytical Strand), analyses of inspiring innovations (Empirical Strand), and discussion of the policy challenges in implementing innovative learning environments on a wider scale (Policy Strand).  These different components are now being treated in greater depth, with the current work focusing particularly on the Analytical and Empirical strands.

So far 15 countries and regions have officially joined the project, and we are looking for more cases of innovative learning environments, whether proposed by a participating country or region, or by an organisation or network, or indeed by the individual cases themselves.

To find out more


Teacher education for diversity

The CERI Teacher Education for Diversity project ran an online consultation exercise with teachers, student teachers and teacher educators for a month at the end of last year. This consultation aimed to capture the voice of practitioners about their preparation and day to day experience with diversity in the classrooms, key challenges, and best solutions.


Over 3 100 responses were received from teachers (53%) student teachers (23%) and educators of teachers (23%) in over 35 countries. Interestingly, 96% of student teachers, 70% of teachers, and 96% of teacher trainer respondents rated sensitivity to diversity issues as ‘extremely important’ or ‘moderately important’ in effective teaching. Yet, only 53% of student teachers, 34% of teachers and 49% of teacher educators judged that teacher-education is training teachers to be ‘extremely well-prepared’ or ‘moderately well-prepared’ to effectively handle diversity issues.


Stay tuned to find out more about how they account for this in practical terms the results will be incorporated into a research analysis published later this year. We extend our sincere thanks to all who participated!

Innovation strategy: education and training
Innovation is a driver of growth and well being. New technologies, products, services and organizations create jobs and rejuvenate industries. But to reap those gains, policy makers need to understand how the way we innovate is changing. This has implications for human resources and education if they are to feed this innovation society. This also has implication for innovation and improvement in education systems. A major policy research project underway at the OECD, the Innovation Strategy, develops new policy approaches to support innovation in a networked, global economy. CERI co-leads to its human capital dimension. Work underway focuses on two strands: 1) education for innovation and 2) innovation in education.

A first workshop on “Advancing innovation: human resources, education and training” was hosted by Germany to discuss these issues.

To find out more

Consult the workshop summary report, presentations and background documentation

ICT in initial teacher training
The New Millennium Learners project is working on a study on ICT in initial teacher training. It will cover all levels from governmental policies to student teachers’ experiences. You can read about the activities so far; research reviews, expert meeting, country questionnaires etc, and also coming activities on our web page. Case studies will be carried out before summer and a final report can be expected at the end of this year.

Global linguistic competences

“Why are some individuals successful in learning non-native languages and others not?” and, “why do certain education systems seem to be more successful than others at teaching non native languagues?”, these are two interesting questions that the CERI Globalization and Linguistic Competences (GLC) project is currently examining. 


Consultation in the form of a questionnaire has been administered to member countries. Except for a few cases, this exercise has shown how limited the available data is, highlighting the gap of knowledge in this area. Some specific qualitative work has been undertaken (partly in co-operation with the Harvard Graduate School of Education) on some key aspects of non-native language learning (NNLL). Two major working hypotheses (provisionally entitled “the motivation vortex hypothesis” and “the cultural tesseract”) are currently being developed; both should boost future research and lead to exploring unchartered territories.


A publication which aims to outline global linguistic competences before and around learning; during the learning process,and after the learning process is due in early


To find out more

Consult the website for the GLC-focused 2008 Japan-OECD seminar

Published recently

Higher education to 2030

Demographic changes increasingly shape social policies as most OECD populations are ageing and include more migrants and “minorities”. Japan and Korea have already started to see their enrolments in tertiary education decline, but other countries like Turkey and Mexico can still expect a boom. What might be the future impact of demographic changes on tertiary education systems and institutions? How can and do countries address these changes? What opportunities and challenges do they bring?

Drawing on trend data and projections, this book takes an in-depth look at these important questions from both a qualitative and quantitative standpoint. Issues covered include the impact of demographic changes on student enrolment, educational attainment, academic staff and policy choices. Particular attention is given to how access policies determine the demographics of tertiary education, notably by examining access to higher education for disabled and migrant students. The book covers most OECD countries, illustrating the analysis with specific examples from France, Japan, Korea and the United States.

To find out more

Download the executive summary

Innovating to Learn, Learning to Innovate

This book summarises and discusses key findings from the learning sciences, shedding light on the cognitive and social processes that can be used to redesign classrooms to make them highly effective learning environments. It explores concrete examples in OECD countries, from alternative schools to specific cases in Mexico, in which the actors are seeking to break the mould and realise the principles emerging from learning science research.

This book will be of particular interest to policy makers, researchers, teachers, students and families.


To find out more

Download the executive summary


March 2009


Meeting of the Group of National Experts on Vocational Education and Training

Berne/Zollikofen, Switzerland

May 2009


International dissemination conference on New Millennium Learners



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