The OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project highlight three foundations as particularly important:
- cognitive foundations, which include literacy and numeracy, upon which digital literacy and data literacy can be built
- health foundations, including physical and mental health, and well-being
- social and emotional foundations, including moral and ethics
Learners need to develop a sense of themselves in the world. In order to adapt to complexity and uncertainty, and be able to help shape a better future, every learner needs to be equipped with certain transformative competencies. These specific competencies are transformative both because they enable learners to develop and reflect on their own perspective, and because they are necessary for learning how to shape and contribute to a changing world. Creating new value, taking responsibility, and reconciling conflicts, tensions and dilemmas are essential for thriving in and helping shape the future.
Key constructs associated with “creating new value”
In order to create new value, learners need to have a sense of purpose, curiosity and an open mindset towards new ideas, perspectives and experiences.
Creating new value requires critical thinking and creativity in finding different approaches to solving problems, and collaboration with others to find solutions to complex problems. In evaluating whether their solutions work or not, learners may need agility in trying out new ideas and may need to be able to manage risks associated with these new ideas.
Learners also need adaptability as they change their approaches based on new and emerging insights and findings.
Key constructs associated with “reconciling tensions and dilemmas”
To reconcile tensions and dilemmas, learners need first to have cognitive flexibility and perspective-taking skills so that they can see an issue from different points of view and understand how these differing views result in tensions and dilemmas.
Learners also need to show both empathy and respect towards others who hold views different from their own.
They may also need both creativity and problem-solving skills to devise new and different solutions to seemingly intractable problems, particularly skills in conflict resolution.
Reconciling tensions and dilemmas can involve making complex and sometimes difficult decisions; therefore learners need to develop a sense of resilience, tolerance for complexity and ambiguity, and a sense of responsibility towards others.
Key constructs associated with “taking responsibility”
Taking responsibility requires having a strong moral compass, locus of control and sense of integrity, whereby decisions are made based on whether the resulting action will be for the broader benefit of others.
Compassion and respect for others are also important for this competency.
Critical thinking can be used as one reflects on one’s actions and the actions of others. For this competency, having a sense of self-awareness, self-regulation and reflective thinking is of particular importance. It is also important to build trust before taking responsibility.
When learners are trusted by their peers, teachers and people, they are more likely to take responsibility for their actions.
ADULT AGENCY AS
ACTING IN THE PRESENT IN A CONSCIOUS, CREATIVE, ETHICAL AND SOCIAL WAY,
ORIENTED TO A FUTURE, DESIGNED ON THE WELL-BEING OF INDIVIDUALS AND THE COMMUNITY
Adult learners agency
relates to the development of an identity and a sense of belonging. When learners develop agency they rely on motivation, hope, self-efficacy and a growth mindset (the understanding that abilities and intelligence can be developed) to navigate towards well-being.
This enables them to act with a sense of purpose, which guides them to flourish and thrive in society. Agency can be exercised in nearly every context: moral, social, economic, creative. i.e. Creative agency allows learners to add new value to the world by using their imagination and ability to innovate, whether for artistic, practical or scientific purposes (Leadbeater, 2017)