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The Future of Education

**International Commission on the Futures of Education. (2021). Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education. UNESCO.

For the purposes of Session I, we ask that you read the Executive Summary of this report on pages 1–5. The authors of this piece call for a new social contract for education (i.e., a renewed set of promises society makes to its young people about what education will offer). The urgency to do so is driven by three major shifts: advancing technology that change the skills and dispositions needed in the workplace, increasing political polarization that weakens our ability to work together as a global community, and climate change that threatens the existence of our planet. The authors summarize their proposed ideas for what this new social contract could look like in multiple areas (e.g., curriculum, research), but affirm that the report is meant to be a starting, not an ending, point. The readings in “Leaders & Teachers for an Uncertain Future” include Chapter 5 of this report.

Luksha, P., Cubista, J., Laszlo, A., Popovich, M., & Ninenko, I. (2018). Educational ecosystems for societal transformation. Global Education Futures.

For the purposes of Session I, we ask that you read Sections 2.1 and 2.2 in Chapter 2 on pages 22–38. This reading summarizes why technology has failed to dramatically improve education and how education systems need to change in order to leverage the latest and upcoming disruptive technologies. The necessary changes include students having greater agency over their own learning, collaborative experiences with others beyond their fellow classmates (locally and globally), and revised metrics of “successful” learning.

Labaree, D. F. (2021, September 27). The dynamic tension at the core of the grammar of schooling. Kappan.

The grammar of schooling refers to core aspects of school that have traditionally been hard to change (e.g., students organized by age, boundaries between academic disciplines). Scholars have produced many works related to the grammar of schooling, but this piece offers one framework for thinking about what makes a reform last. Specifically, the author argues that a sustainable change must be doable (i.e., our current infrastructure has the capacity to implement the change) and worth doing (i.e., the change provides a meaningful enough difference in outcomes compared to “business as usual”).

World Economic Forum. (2023). Defining education 4.0: A taxonomy for the future of learning [White paper].

This framework proposes a set of skills that today’s students need to succeed in an uncertain and unprecedented future. The taxonomy the authors offer attempts to bridge the gap between the skills education offers currently and the skills expected to become necessary in the workforce in the coming decades. The taxonomy is organized in a tree structure, where different types of learning are broken down into smaller parts and then meant to be applied through developing specific competencies.

**This document is a priority reading.