How governments and universities can support 21st-century skill development
Blog post with the following key points:
- Creativity and critical thinking are key skills sought by employers in a wide range of professions.
- Action is needed at institutional level to bring change to teaching and learning in higher education, but institutional autonomy and support from policy makers are necessary to make this happen.
- An OECD project has identified three possible ways policy makers and institution leaders can support pedagogical innovations.
How Learning Continued during the COVID-19 Pandemic. Global Lessons from Initiatives to Support Learners and Teachers
This report brings together 45 of the education continuity stories that were jointly documented by the OECD, the World Bank, Harvard’s Global Education Innovation Initiative and HundrED during the first wave of school closures related to the COVID-19 pandemic. It covers a variety of different examples on how governments and non-governmental organisations quickly responded to school closures to implement a strategy for learners around the world to continue to study. While often based on the use of digital solutions, those solutions target specific solutions aimed at academic learning, socio-emotional support, teacher professional development, etc. The book covers examples from low, middle and high income countries on all continents and draws some lessons of these fast-paced responses to reimagine a post-pandemic education across the world.
Schooling During a Pandemic The Experience and Outcomes of Schoolchildren During the First Round of COVID-19 Lockdowns
This report offers an initial overview of the available information regarding the circumstances, nature and outcomes of the education of schoolchildren during the first wave of COVID-19 lockdowns of March-April 2020. Its purpose is primarily descriptive: it presents information from high quality quantitative studies on the experience of learning during this period in order to ground the examination and discussion of these issues in empirical examples. Information is presented on three interrelated topics: the nature of the educational experience during the period of lockdowns and school closures; the home environment in which education took place for the vast majority of schoolchildren; the effects on the mental health and learning outcomes for children during this period. The data come primarily from 5 countries (France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom and the United States) with additional information on some aspects for 6 additional countries (Australia, Belgium (Flanders), Canada, Finland, Italy and the Netherlands).
OECD Digital Education Outlook 2021. Pushing the Frontiers with Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain and Robots
How might digital technology and notably smart technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI), learning analytics, robotics, and others transform education? This book explores such question. It focuses on how smart technologies currently change education in the classroom and the management of educational organisations and systems. The book delves into beneficial uses of smart technologies such as learning personalisation, supporting students with special learning needs, and blockchain diploma credentialing. It also considers challenges and areas for further research. The findings offer pathways for teachers, policy makers, and educational institutions to digitalise education while optimising equity and inclusivity.
Coronavirus took school on line, but how digital is the future of education?
Digital learning was once the field of the imagination. While digital technologies swiftly found their way into our economies, the education sector has been more reluctant to open itself to the digital world. But that is changing. Over the past decade, the industry for education technology – commonly known under its portmanteau ‘EdTech industry’ – has grown steadily. Global expenditure in the EdTech industry is predicted to grow from USD 163 billion in 2019 to USD 404 billion in 2025. A recent market review also suggests that the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic is having a positive impact on EdTech, even though overall spending on education and training has taken a hit during the crisis.
Digital strategies in education across OECD countries - Exploring education policies on digital technologies
This working paper identifies OECD countries’ interests in digital innovation in education by analysing their policy papers on digital education. Many OECD countries have adopted a specific strategy on digital education, or integrated the topic in a generic strategy on digital innovation as such. The ideas that are expressed in the strategies differ greatly; some are work in progress, others contain bold envisions of the future. There is a high awareness among OECD countries of the benefits of digitalisation, and the role of government to support digital innovation in education. This paper covers and documents countries’ policy focus before the 2020 coronavirus crisis.
Rethinking examinations in higher education following the coronavirus outbreak
For decades, higher education institutions have relied on end-of-semester examinations to certify students’ learning after they took their courses. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, which led most institutions around the world to close their campuses and shift examinations on line, has raised a number of challenges for conducting such exams. Our new policy brief on remote examinations on line points out those challenges, but also to short-term and medium-term solutions to address them. The surveillance of test-takers has been a particularly debated issue: how do we reliably certify students’ learning when everyone is taking examinations from home and have more opportunities to cheat as compared to on-site supervised examining? While still central in the current concerns, other ways of thinking about assessment and examination may also emerge from the ongoing crisis.
Remote online exams in higher education during the COVID-19 crisis
Because of the COVID-19 outbreak, most higher education institutions across the OECD decided to close their campuses. As a result, teaching and assessment activities have been conducted from a distance, generally online. Based on the literature and on the experiences of the international network of higher education institutions participating in the project on Fostering and Assessing Creativity and Critical Thinking of the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI), this brief outlines possible short-term and long-term solutions for organising student examinations on line in the context of campus closures and social distancing measures. This policy brief explores the following questions: i) What are the challenges and solutions to designing and conducting end-of-term examinations on line following campus closures? ii) What new forms of examinations could replace or supplement the mainstream methods in the future?
Coronavirus and the future of learning: What AI could have made possible
Blog post with the following key questions being addressed:
- How could AI have supported learning during the coronavirus crisis?
- Do these systems actually improve learning?
- A new digital divide?
Coronavirus and the future of learning: Towards a new EdTech industry?
Blog post with the following key questions being addressed:
- How much is being invested in EdTech?
- Who is investing the most?
- What’s behind these trends?
- What role for EdTech post-COVID?
Trustworthy artificial intelligence (AI) in education. Promises and challenges
This paper was written to support the G20 artificial intelligence (AI) dialogue. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI), education faces two challenges: reaping the benefits of AI to improve education processes, both in the classroom and at the system level; and preparing students for new skillsets for increasingly automated economies and societies. AI applications are often still nascent, but there are many examples of promising uses that foreshadow how AI might transform education. With regard to the classroom, this paper highlights how AI can accelerate personalised learning, the support of students with special needs. At the system level, promising uses include predictive analysis to reduce dropout, and assessing new skillsets. A new demand for complex skills that are less easy to automate (e.g. higher cognitive skills like creativity and critical thinking) is also the consequence of AI and digitalisation. Reaching the full potential of AI requires that stakeholders trust not only the technology, but also its use by humans. This raises new policy challenges around “trustworthy AI”, encompassing the privacy and security of data, but also possible wrongful uses of data leading to biases against individuals or groups.
Fostering Students' Creativity and Critical Thinking. What it means in school
Creativity and critical thinking are key skills for complex, globalised and increasingly digitalised economies and societies. While teachers and education policy makers consider creativity and critical thinking as important learning goals, it is still unclear to many what it means to develop these skills in a school setting. To make it more visible and tangible to practitioners, the OECD worked with networks of schools and teachers in 11 countries to develop and trial a set of pedagogical resources that exemplify what it means to teach, learn and make progress in creativity and critical thinking in primary and secondary education. Through a portfolio of rubrics and examples of lesson plans, teachers in the field gave feedback, implemented the proposed teaching strategies and documented their work. Instruments to monitor the effectiveness of the intervention in a validation study were also developed and tested, supplementing the insights on the effects of the intervention in the field provided by the team co-ordinators. What are the key elements of creativity and critical thinking? What pedagogical strategies and approaches can teachers adopt to foster them? How can school leaders support teachers' professional learning? To what extent did teachers participating in the project change their teaching methods? How can we know whether it works and for whom? These are some of the questions addressed in this book, which reports on the outputs and lessons of this international project.
Measuring Innovation in Education 2019 - What has changed in the classroom?
This new edition of Measuring Innovation in Education examines what has (or has not) changed for students over the past decade in OECD education systems. It reviews no fewer than 150 educational practices. The report casts light on systemic innovation in primary and secondary education, with a focus on pedagogical innovation. Has the use of technology spread? Have assessments become more important in pedagogical practices? Are students given more agency in their learning? Are they still asked to memorise facts and procedures? Do teachers increasingly engage students in peer learning activities? These are some of the questions this book seeks to answer. This report also presents some preliminary findings about the links between innovation and educational performance. This book will offer precious insights to policy makers, the education community and all those who seek to understand how educational practices are evolving.
Measuring Innovation in Education - A journey to the future
The ability to measure innovation is essential to the improvement of education. Monitoring systematically whether, and how, practices are changing within classrooms and educational organisations, how teachers develop and use their pedagogical resources, and to what extent change and innovation are linked to better educational outcomes would provide a substantial increase in the international education knowledge base. Policy makers would be able to better target interventions and resources, get quick feedback on whether reforms changed educational practices as expected, and we would better understand the conditions for and impact of innovation in education. As part of the OECD Innovation Strategy for Education and Training, the project on Measuring Innovation in Education uses three perspectives for addressing these issues: 1) comparing innovation in education to innovation in other sectors; 2) identifying meaningful innovations across educational systems; and 3) constructing metrics in order to examine the relationship between educational innovation and changes in educational outcomes. With support from the European Commission, the OECD Centre for Educational Research and Innovation seeks to address this important measurement gap for policy making. This publication provides a brief overview of past and forthcoming work.
Critical Maths for Innovative Societies
How can mathematics education foster that are appropriate for innovative societies – that is, technical skills, creative and critical skills as well as social and behavioural skills related to maths? Critical Maths for Innovative Societies explores how to achieve these goals. Based on a review of state-of-the-art experimental and quasi-experimental research, it argues that new types of problems should be featured in mathematics curricula, namely complex, unfamiliar and non-routine (CUN) problems. It also shows that pedagogies that emphasise metacognition, that is an explicit thinking about one’s learning, have an impact on mathematics outcomes, including mathematical reasoning, communication and math anxiety, from kindergarten to university level.
Measuring Innovation in Education
Do teachers innovate? Do they try different pedagogical approaches? Are practices within classrooms and educational organisations changing? And to what extent can change be linked to improvements? A measurement agenda is essential to an innovation and improvement strategy in education. Measuring Innovation in Education offers new perspectives on addressing the need for such measurement.
Promoting Skills for Innovation in Higher Education
Higher education plays an important role in providing people with skills for innovation, but a number of important questions remain as to what kind of higher education teaching can be conducive to the strengthening of skills for innovation. This report aims to shed light on this issue by reviewing the current evidence on the effectiveness of problem-based learning compared with more traditional approaches in higher education teaching. It explores the extent to which problem-based learning can be an effective way to develop different discipline-specific and transferable skills for innovation.
Educating Higher Education Students for Innovative Economies
Using two international surveys of tertiary education graduates five years after their graduation, this article published in the Tuning Journal for Higher Education shows that the innovative, tertiary-educated workforce comprises a mix of graduates holding degrees from all disciplines. The contribution to innovation of different graduates varies by type of innovation.
Art for Art's Sake? The Impact of Arts Education
This report examines the state of empirical knowledge about the impact of arts education on these kinds of outcomes. The kinds of arts education examined include arts classes in school (classes in music, visual arts, theatre, and dance), arts-integrated classes (where the arts are taught as a support for an academic subject), and arts study undertaken outside of school (e.g. private music lessons; out-of-school classes in theatre, visual arts, and dance). The report does not deal with education about the arts or cultural education, which may be included in all kinds of subjects.
Sparking Innovation in STEM Education with Technology and Collaboration
This report highlights innovative technology-supported pedagogic models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education, explores what to expect from collaboration in a designed network, and, thereafter, sketches lessons for promoting educational innovation through collaboration.
Review of the Italian Strategy for Digital Schools
The Italian Ministry of Education launched in 2007 a National Plan for Digital Schools (Piano Nazionale Scuola Digitale) to mainstream Information Communication Technology (ICT) in Italian classrooms and use technology as a catalyser of innovation in Italian education, hopefully conducing to new teaching practices, new models of school organisation, new products and tools to support quality teaching. The Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research asked the OECD to review its Plan from an international perspective and to suggest improvements.
Learning from International Experiences with Interactive Whiteboards
This paper describes teacher strategies and experiences with interactive whiteboards (IWBs) and draws on the published research in this area to understand how a systemic approach to technology-based innovations in schools can contribute to quality education for all. It explores ways to support the cultural shift in teacher and learner roles that helps to integrate the technology effectively into classroom teaching.
Progression in Student Creativity in School: First Steps Towards New Forms of Formative Assessments
Creativity is widely accepted as being an important outcome of schooling. Yet there are many different views about what it is, how best it can be cultivated in young people and whether or how it should be assessed. And in many national curricula creativity is only implicitly acknowledged and seldom precisely defined. This paper offers a five dimensional definition of creativity which has been trialled by teachers in two field trials in schools in England.
Business-Driven Innovation: Is it Making a Difference in Education?
In most sectors, innovation comes also from tools and products developed by a highly innovative industry. This report shows that a new specialised industry which is developing innovative tools is emerging in the education sector, even though the phenomenon remains modest.
Bringing About Curriculum Innovation
Curriculum is essential when seeking to promote innovation in education, as it reflects the vision for education by indicating knowledge, skills and values to be taught to students.
Workforce Skills and Innovation: an Overview of Major Themes in the Literature
What workforce skills are needed in an innovation-driven economy? This report provides an account of the main approaches, debates and evidence in the research literature on the role of workforce skills in the innovation process in developed economies.
Innovative Workplaces: Making Better Use of Skills within Organisations
This book shows how interaction within organisations, as well as individual and organisational learning and training, are important for innovation. It will interest policy makers in education, employment and innovation as well as business leaders and academics.
The OECD Innovation Strategy: Getting a Head Start on Tomorrow
This publication presents the OECD Innovation Strategy. It provides analysis and policy guidance on issues relating to education and training policies, policies that support business environments and infrastructure for innovation, and policies that foster the creation and diffusion of knowledge. The report advocates an approach that accounts for overlapping policy domains and integrates the domains through mechanisms at the local, regional, national and international levels.
Measuring Innovation: A New Perspective -book or online version
This volume builds on 50 years of indicator development by OECD and goes beyond R&D to describe the broader context in which innovation occurs. It includes experimental indicators that provide insight into new areas of policy interest, and highlights measurement gaps to propose directions for advancing the measurement agenda.
Do Quasi-markets Foster Innovation in Education?
Does the rate of innovation increase when educators are spurred on by competitive incentives? What types of innovations then appear, and in what levels of the educational organisation? This report reviews the evidence, drawing on information from over 20 countries.
Assessment and Innovation in Education
This study proposes three main ways of combining assessment and innovation:
1) developing a wide range of performance measurements for both students and schools;
2) rethinking the alignment of standards and assessment;
3) measuring the impact of assessments on teaching and learning.