Research and knowledge management

International OECD/Japan Seminar on “Futures Thinking for Education: Policy, Leadership and the Teaching Profession” (Hiroshima, Japan, 6-7 November 2006)


The seminar

An International Japan/OECD Seminar on “Futures Thinking for Education: Policy, Leadership and the Teaching Profession” was held in Hiroshima on 6 and 7 November, 2006 (with an optional day on 8 November). The Seminar was organised jointly by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology in Japan (MEXT), Hiroshima University, and the OECD’s Centre for Educational Research and Innovation (CERI).

This Seminar formed part of the core CERI work on futures thinking and the Schooling for Tomorrow project. The Seminar explored and developed as the over-arching seminar theme the connections between futures thinking, on the one hand, and governance, policy formulation and decision-making in education, on the other. It set this in the new context of complex governance in which all OECD education systems are now operating. The increasing complexity of governance makes it essential to promote long-term thinking.

The Seminar explored these connections through three main themes: i) improving strategic policy-making; ii) building leadership capacity at school and other levels; iii) rethinking the teaching profession and reform of the educational workforce.It explored different roles for futures thinking - as a form of leadership and governance and as an approach to analysis and clarification of options through which to inform decision-making.

The main objectives of the Seminar were to:

  • Develop understanding of the conceptual and operational relationships between policy issues and futures thinking.
  • Help to strengthen these relationships in country-based initiatives for reform and innovation, through identification of concrete ways in which this can be done.
  • Provide opportunities for dialogue and networking across country initiatives and expertise, with the view of strengthening cross-country support and synergy.
  • An additional aim is to bring Asia-Pacific experience more fully into the Schooling for Tomorrow reflections.


Conference ProgrammeDraft Agenda [PDF 178 KB]
The Schooling for Tomorrow Starter Pack [430 KB]
Practical Information [PDF 92 KB]
OECD Secretariat Discussion Paper [74 KB]
OECD Summaries of the Country Notes [87 KB]
Conference PowerPoint Presentations


The Schooling for Tomorrow project

Schooling for Tomorrow (SfT), is a key part of CERI futures work. It is an international project whose origins go back to 1996 with an invitation to OECD by ministers of education to work on the future of schooling. Its operational launch was also in Hiroshima in November 1997. Hence, the OECD/Japan Seminar this year comes full circle to mark a decade of very fruitful work in this field. Now the project is in an ambitious third phase, widening the international participation, systematising the knowledge base, and developing user-friendly materials. SfT has also engaged in new work on models of learning and innovation and will revisit trends and scenarios. Since SfT was launched, CERI has strengthened its futures focus across all levels of education. It is now looking at ways at bringing all this together periodically as the OECD “Educational Horizon” beginning in 2008.

The attendance of countries which have joined Phase 3 of the Schooling for Tomorrow Programme will be of great benefit to the seminar as whole. Through the workshops they will be able to informally share both with those involved and those not involved in Schooling for Tomorrow their experiences with futures thinking in education, taking the seminar beyond abstractions to actual practice with futures thinking in action.

Reports on the projects in phase 3 countries.


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