Competencies to shape the future:
It is about acting rather than to be acted upon, shaping rather than to be shaped
and choosing rather than to accept choices decided by others.
As we begin the academic year and await the finings of the Academy’s full Curriculum Review it is worth looking outward and forward. However individuals may view them as a harbinger of change, the OECD and PISA organisations have an undeniable sway over the education change at the global level. Their ability to pool expertise, identify need and trends and to build structures for change through recognising and advancing tangible skills is always something to take note of. As such it is worth considering the latest PISA activity concerning assessment practices through TALIS (now recognising Collaborative Problem Solving and Global Competency) as well as their drive for Global change, especially that being drafted as part of their ‘Education 2030’ agenda.
Below is a short summary of this new agenda, all of which paints a positive picture and a useful reminder of the purpose of the education we seek to offer here at UCL Academy.
Future of Education and Skills: Education2030
Globalisation, technological innovations, climate and demographic changes and other major trends are creating both new demands and opportunities that individuals and societies need to effectively respond to.
There are increasing demands on schools to prepare students for more rapid economic and social change, for jobs that have not yet been created, for technologies that have not yet been invented, and to solve social problems that have not been anticipated in the past.
One may argue it is still some time away to think of 2030 but this is the world in which those who are beginning primary school today will start their professional careers and
those who are in secondary school today will become the core group of the prime working age.
A Brief Introduction to Education2030
Policy makers at all levels are facing challenges to make school reform a success, keeping abreast of changes outside school towards the future. The project has two main strands of activities which we at UCL Academy should be mindful of and where possible responsive to.
Strand 1: Development of a conceptual learning framework relevant for 2030.
Concepts, taxonomies, definitions and technical language used for different dimensions of competencies vary significantly. Thus, international discussions and clarifications on the types of competencies required for the world in 2030 will help support countries to have clearer visions and goals of education systems. Establishing a multidimensional learning framework with a common language could also enable countries, both individually and collectively, to explore recognising student outcomes that are not yet measured but are critical in navigating in time and social space and shaping their own future. Like the OECD Definition and Selection of Key Competencies (DeSeCo), it is also expected that the project will pave the way for the longer-term conceptual development of OECD’s large-scale surveys (most notably PISA).
Being able to navigate in time and social space to manage their lives in meaningful
and responsible ways by influencing their living and working conditions.
Strand 2: International curriculum analysis.
Countries are confronted by an array of new needs and requests, which often leads to “curriculum overload”. Furthermore, educational transformation is often disrupted by political cycles or competing objectives, which hinders the sequencing of reforms. Changing one element, e.g. curriculum, assessment, pedagogy, etc., may only be useful if other related elements are changed as well. The project will conduct an international comparative analysis on curriculum so as to build a knowledge base that should contribute to making the process of curriculum design and development evidence-based and systematic (e.g. ensuring focus, rigor and coherence on the curriculum contents).
In a subsequent stage (2019 and beyond), the project could also support countries to explore the kind of learning environments that support the development of these competencies most effectively.
We at UCL Academy will enagage across this academic year in a renewed discussion around
1: Future-ready Competencies (attributes, capacities, skills);
2: Curriculum & Pedagogy;
3: Leanring Spaces & Environments; and
to facilitate this process the UCL academy research and Innovation centre will this year make its focus for activities ‘ A Future-Ready Curriuclum’.
Written by the Director of the UCL Academy RIC on behalf of UCL Academy.