‘Megatrends’ affecting the future of education – 10 questions to ponder

How can you and your colleagues help students better prepare for the challenges and opportunities they’ll face in the future? A major new report looks at the global ‘megatrends’ shaping education. We’ve picked out 10 discussion points and suggestions for possible learning activities to inspire you and your colleagues, and get the conversation started.

As a teacher or school leader, what are the challenges and opportunities faced by your students in their daily lives? What about in 20 years’ time, when the world is likely to be a very different place? How can schools help students better prepare for those challenges and opportunities?

A major new report from the OECD has just been released that looks at global ‘megatrends’ affecting the future of education. Trends Shaping Education 2022 offers up possible scenarios and poses a series of questions for teachers, school leaders, students, parents and policymakers to reflect on.

There are five themes explored in the report: growth; living and working; knowledge and power; identity and belonging; and our changing nature. There are lots of discussion points and some suggestions for possible classroom learning activities – we’ve picked out 10 (two from each of the themes) to inspire you and your colleagues, and get the conversation started.


Space science is a fascinating and inspiring subject and can spark interest in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects. Can it foster greater interdisciplinary learning? For instance, could students design a constitution for human life on Mars (considering the many constraints this may be under)?

How can education develop students’ environmental awareness as well as encourage them to translate such knowledge into sustainable attitudes and behaviours (individual and collective)?

Living and working

Despite an average fall in working hours, many parents across the OECD flag inconvenient timing and conflicting work hours as the main impediments for participating in school-related activities. What can schools and education systems more generally do to facilitate their participation?

Increasing quantification of life is linked to a growing expectation of perfection – in education, appearance, relationships, and life more generally. What is the best way to empower learners to resist this pressure? How can education help not only address but also prevent potential negative consequences (e.g., increasing stress and anxiety; and reduction in risk-taking due to fear of making mistakes)?

Knowledge and power

What is the role of teachers in helping students understand the advantages, risks, threats and opportunities of AI? How should this topic be integrated in teacher education and professional development?

Does a classroom culture that promotes respectful dissent and debate support better learning? If so, are learners given the time and space to form and articulate their own opinions?

Identity and belonging

As social diversity rises, connecting to others through open and appropriate multi-cultural interactions is increasingly relevant. How can education foster understanding, tolerance and appreciation of different cultural perspectives and world views within society?

How are decisions regarding technology purchases and platforms made in your system? How can teacher (and other school-level) voice and choice be incorporated?

Our changing nature

Regular connection to nature has many benefits for learning and well-being. How can education systems ensure that these benefits reach all students, even those in the densest urban centres? Can you experience nature in a virtual environment, or is that a contradiction in terms?

Before a context or situation, pedagogues always ask ‘what can we learn from this?’. Can school canteens be a space for learning life skills such as cooking and healthy eating? Should students serve their school community by preparing the meals?

You can download the full Trends Shaping Education 2022 report by clicking on the link.


OECD. (2022). Trends Shaping Education 2022. OECD Publishing. https://doi.org/10.1787/22187049