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Rapid technological change may not help pressing social needs, and despite rising connectivity, many feel lonely and voiceless. Better education is often proposed as the solution to these diverse challenges. The study from OECD, Trends Shaping Education 2022 explores megatrends affecting the future of education, from early childhood through to lifelong learning.

Examining the future of education in the context of major economic, political social and technological trends is necessary for education to support individuals to develop as persons, citizens and professionals. In a complex and quickly changing world, this might require rethinking the relationship between formal and informal learning and reimagining education content and delivery. In an increasingly digitalised world, these intertwined and evolving trends could affect the very nature of knowledge and learning itself.

The report examines the impact of COVID-19 before turning to the trends and their implications for education and it is divided into five chapters:

Chapter 1 - Growth. It shows how economic growth has lifted millions out of poverty and raised living standards worldwide. Yet despite increasing affluence, socio-economic inequalities are widening, and the unsustainable use of resources is straining our environment. 

Chapter 2 - Living and working. It highlights the steady reduction in working hours from a century ago, and the rise of flexible work, such as part-time or telework. Digital technologies increasingly help us manage our private life, from tracking our daily steps to organising our dating. At home, family structures continue evolving, with slow but steady steps towards gender equality. 

Chapter 3 Knowledge and power. Digital technologies enable almost endless data and information, providing new, powerful means to make decisions and solve problems. Yet, new issues have emerged, such as how to deal with abundant, sometimes fake or misleading information in a rapidly changing context, and how best to successfully mobilise our collective intelligence. 

Chapter 4Identity and belonging. In a global and digital world, individualisation and choice increasingly define our lives and traditional binding powers like religion and nationhood are declining in many countries. The virtual world facilitates the exploration of identities in entirely new ways, giving individuals and groups greater voice and allowing new forms of belonging. Yet still, societies are becoming more fragmented and many forms of disadvantage and discrimination remain unchallenged.

Chapter 5Our changing nature. It highlights the intertwined societal and environmental processes that shape human well-being, from food production and eating to digital communications and face-to-face relations. We must find a new relationship between innovation and progress, what is technologically possible and our societal and planetary needs. 

Skills intelligence publication details

Target audience
Digital skills in education.
Digital skills for all
Digital technology / specialisation
Digital skill level
Geographic scope - Country
Industry - field of education and training
Personal skills and development
Education not further defined
Education science
Geographical sphere
International initiative
Publication type