Future scenarios for schools
Report on 4 scenarios for 21st century schooling
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1 April 2009
This report outlines 4 potential scenarios for the future of schooling. Extract from the introduction:
However, as we argue in this publication, there is good reason to think that the first part of the
21st century could see radical changes in the socio-economic landscape. If this is the case, can schools
retain such a central, durable, institutional role? Should they? Under what conditions could today’s
schools play the same roles as in the past? Can the school evolve along with the changing socio-
economic context, and if so, how? Would schools act as a brake or an accelerator of desired changes?
In this publication, we address these questions and set out a number of possible futures for schools
and schooling systems. Our goal is not to generate a single ‘preferred future’, or to offer any kind of
prediction, but to contribute to the ongoing debate about future schools by helping to extend the time
horizons within which that debate occurs, and by identifying the possible implications of strategic
choices that school leaders, policy-makers and others could make in the coming decade.