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HundrED innovators discuss the future school and UNESCO Futures of Education focus groups

Glen Stephenson Artwork

UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative aims to catalyze global debate and action on how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet. To support the process of co-constructing a global report that will be released in November 2021, UNESCO has been working with HundrED, a global education non profit whose mission is to help improve education through impactful innovations. 

HundrED has mobilized its network of educational innovators to organize focus groups and events that contribute to the UNESCO projects.  With participants from the UK, the Ukraine, Mexico, Australia, Brazil and beyond, HundrED ambassadors and affiliates have organized focus groups.  And recently, during HundrED's 2020 Innovation Summit (4-6 November), together with UNESCO's Futures of Education team these focus group facilitators shared their reflections on what ideas and themes emerged from the broader outreach.  

The question of what the future school becomes once we recognize the learning that occurs everywhere rose to the surface as a key concern.  Panel participants included Alex Bell (Portland Education, UK), Gustavo Calderón (a Global Teacher Prize 2020 Finalist and teacher from Alpes San Javier, Mexico), Manjula Dissanayake (Founding Executive Director of the Educate Lanka Foundation), Hanna Dudich (HundrED Country Lead Ukraine), Penny Hay (Director of Research, House of Imagination, Bath UK), Christophe Menagé, (Founding educatalyst partner, e2: educational ecosystems), Luciana Pölönen (HundrED Country Lead Brazil), and Nia Richards (Founder of Tybed Education Consultancy, Wales, UK).

In the second half of the event, all side event participants entered breakout rooms to offer their own ideas on what the future school might and should become.  All the while, Glenn Stephenson a graphic illustrator brilliantly captured the conversation as it unfolded.  His drawing, visible at the top of this webstory is downloadable here.  On returning from breakout sessions the particants got to see the graphic rendering of their visions of the future school.  The importance of community engagement and partnerships came up repeatedly, as did the idea that curricula need to reflect real world problems.  One overall conclusion was the vision that the learner is the centerpiece o fthe future school.

Learn more about organizing your own focus groups and mobilizing members of your communities and networks to contribute their ideas to UNESCO's Futures of Education initiative by consulting our focus group guidelines.  


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