Whole Child Symposium

ED Pulse Poll Results: Which “Future of Schooling” Prediction Is Coming True?

Post written by Kit Harris, ASCD Research

ASCD continually seeks to provide solutions to the challenges that face educators of all levels. A recent ASCD SmartBrief ED Pulse poll sought to explore which of the predictions of a 2001 OECD report its readers felt were actually emerging.

More than a decade ago, a report (PDF) on the future of schooling by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) outlined several predictions of where schooling was headed. These predictions were divided into three major scenarios, the "status quo extrapolated," a "re-schooling" scenario, and a "de-schooling" scenario. Within each scenario, there were several options about the future of education. This report has been used widely to inform policy debate and professional development in many countries.

Two of the trends rose to the top, chosen as the ones closest to coming true, with each garnering about a third of the respondents: that there is increased involvement of the private sector in running schools (34 percent), originally part of the "status quo extraploated," and teachers leave the profession en masse; satisfaction with education drops (31 percent), originally a "de-schooling" scenario. Interestingly, these two scenarios were the two that were re-classified after the original report came out. The first one (mass market) became a "de-schooling" scenario and the second one (mass meltdown) became a separate "crisis-situation" category.

Following these two, there was one more choice that was selected by a substantial percentage of the respondents: that federal and state departments maintain primary control of school systems (25 percent), another "status quo extrapolated" element. The other options were not selected by more than 10 percent of these readers.

This survey question was included in ASCD SmartBrief, a free daily e-mail news service that provides summaries and links to major education stories and issues, which has more than 215,000 subscribers. Using ED Pulse, the weekly online poll, data was collected from 487 readers, starting on April 17, 2014. Online surveys do not provide a random sample, as participants are self-selected, meaning that a margin of sampling error cannot be calculated or quoted. In addition, the population and sample are limited to those with access to computers and an online network. However, online surveys have been shown to produce results that have proven to be reliable predictors of outcomes, including election results. If you have a question on education that you would like to see addressed in a future ED Pulse poll, feel free to submit it in the comment section below, along with any other comments.

Kit Harris is the marketing research lead at ASCD. The quantitative and qualitative research work done is in support of strategic initiatives in marketing, membership, product/program/service development, and conferences/meetings. Harris started her career in Chicago at a marketing research firm, then moved to D.C. to serve as the research director at advertising agency Earle Palmer Brown & Associates. Prior to coming to ASCD, she ran her own research firm.

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