The OECD Learning Compass 2030

OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project

How can we prepare students for jobs that have not yet been created, to tackle societal challenges that we can’t yet imagine, and to use technologies that have not yet been invented? How can we equip them to thrive in an interconnected world where they need to understand and appreciate different perspectives and world views, interact respectfully with others, and take responsible action towards sustainability and collective well-being?

Recognising the urgent need to open a global discussion about education, in 2015 the OECD launched the Future of Education and Skills 2030 project. The project aims to set goals and develop a common language for teaching and learning by answering two far-reaching questions:

  • What knowledge, skills, attitudes and values will today’s students need to thrive in and shape their world?
  • How can instructional systems develop these knowledge, skills, attitudes and values effectively?

As one response to these questions, the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project developed the OECD Learning Compass 2030 (figure below), an evolving learning framework that sets out an aspirational vision of education in 2030.

The OECD Learning Compass 2030 is a future-oriented framework for learning. It orients students in a world of uncertainty and rapid change and helps them navigate towards the future we want. Co-created by policy makers, researchers, school leaders, teachers, students and social partners from around the world, as well as other international organisations, the Learning Compass also creates a common language and understanding about broad education goals.

The metaphor of a learning compass was adopted to emphasise the need for students to learn to navigate by themselves through unfamiliar contexts. It comprises seven elements:

    1. Core foundations – the fundamental conditions and core skills, knowledge, and attitudes and values that are prerequisites for further learning across the entire curriculum. The three core foundations are: cognitive foundations (e.g. literacy and numeracy), health foundations (e.g. physical / mental health and well-being), and social and emotional foundations (e.g. moral, ethics, digital literacy and data literacy).


    1. Transformative competencies – in order to adapt to complexity and uncertainty, and be able to help shape a better future, every learner needs to be equipped with three transformative competencies: creating new value, reconciling tensions and dilemmas, and taking responsibility.


    1. Student agency/co-agency – defined as the belief that students have the will and the ability to positively influence their own lives and the world around and the capacity to set goals, reflect and act responsibly to effect change. Students develop co-agency in interactive, mutually supportive and enriching relationships with peers, teachers, parents and communities in an organic way in a larger learning ecosystem.


    1. Knowledge – includes theoretical concepts and ideas in addition to practical understanding based on the experience of having performed certain tasks – the four different types of knowledge are: disciplinary, interdisciplinary, epistemic and procedural.


    1. Skills – the ability and capacity to carry out processes and be able to use one’s knowledge in a responsible way to achieve a goal – the three different types of skills are: cognitive and metacognitive; social and emotional; and practical and physical.


    1. Attitudes and values – the principles and beliefs that influence one’s choices, judgements, behaviours and actions on the path towards individual, societal and environmental well-being. To acknowledge local differences, “values” are classified into four categories: personal, social, societal and human.


  1. Anticipation-Action-Reflection (AAR) cycle – an iterative learning process whereby learners continuously improve their thinking and act intentionally and responsibly.
    1. Anticipation – learners become consider how actions taken today might have consequences for the future
    2. Action – learners have the will and capacity to take action towards well-being
    3. Reflection – learners improve their thinking, which leads to better actions towards individual, societal and environmental well-being

What is the Learning Compass?
The OECD Learning Compass 2030 is neither an assessment framework nor a curriculum framework. It recognises the intrinsic value of learning by elaborating a wide range and types of learning within a broad structure, and acknowledges that learning does not only happen in school.

The notion of societal well-being has changed over the years to encompass far more than economic and material prosperity. Even though there may be many different visions of the future we want, the well-being of society is a shared destination.