Schools often struggle to keep pace with the rate of change of the society around them. As technologies develop and contexts shift, educations systems sometimes respond by adding more and more new elements to already crowded curricula, without re-shaping what was there before – this often leads to what is known as “curriculum overload”. At the same time, the systems themselves are often too slow to implement the changes and adjust learning to new contexts, which causes time lags between what society needs in that moment and what schools are actually teaching. The situation can result in curricula that are both overloaded and outdated.
Future-ready systems need to take both of these eventualities in account. Join Andreas Schleicher, OECD Director for Education and Skills, as he discusses findings from two new reports from the OECD Future of Education and Skills 2030 project that aim to support countries in dealing with these issues. The first, "What students learn matters: Towards a 21st century curriculum", deals with the time lags that can occur when systems try to modernise their curriculum, offering unique examples and common strategies to minimise time lags; the second, "Curriculum overload: A way forward", looks at curriculum overload and offers policy pointers to help systems find balance when integrating new content into curricula.