April 18-22, 2022 - Minneapolis

Provocations: The Future of Education

Thursday, April 21, 2022 (1:30-2:45 PM)

What kind of futures do we want – and what role can education play in helping us make them?  These are the questions behind UNESCO’s new flagship Futures of Education initiative which continues the once-a-generation visioning and foresight exercises that began with the 1972 Faure Commission Learning to be report and continued with the 1996 Delors Commission’s Learning the treasure within report.  The result of two years of work and building on the inputs of over a million people, an independent International Commission headed by the President of Ethiopia, Sahle-Work Zewde recently released a new report Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education.  It makes the case for rethinking how, what and why we learn in order to build a new social contract for education that can both repair past injustices and transform the future.  

This Provocations session will begin with a discussion of the report from some key players involved in its creation as well as some outside respondents. Then, participants in the session will be asked to engage with key questions raised in the report: (1) What do we currently do in education should be continued, safeguarded, or strengthened? (2) What do we do now that needs to abandoned or unlearned? And (3) What needs to be creatively reimagined afresh? as a step forward in the shared dialogue and action needed to change course.

Roundtable Participants

Chair/Moderator: Noah W. Sobe,  is Senior Project Officer at UNESCO, on leave from his faculty position as Professor at Loyola University Chicago.  He worked on the team that served as Secretariat to the International Commission on the Futures of Education and helped to lead the expert and broad public engagement workstreams that informed it.  A past-President of CIES, Noah is also co-Editor of the journal European Education.

Sobhi Tawil is Director of the Future of Learning and Innovation team at UNESCO and led the preparation of both the 2015 Rethinking education report and the 2021 Reimagining our futures together report.

Karen Mundy is currently Director of UNESCO’s International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and was a member of the International Commission on the Futures of Education

Keita Takayama is professor at Kyoto University in Japan and a scholar who works on global governance and the decolonization of education.

Gita Steiner-Khamsi is a professor at Teachers College, Columbia University, and academic director of NORRAG.