Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education

This report by the International Commission on the Futures of Education acknowledges the power of education to bring about profound change.

"Education in the arts – music, drama, dance, design, visual arts, literature, poetry and more – can greatly expand students’ capacities to master complex skills and can support social and emotional learning across the curriculum. It can enhance our human abilities to access the experience of others, whether through empathy or the reading of non-verbal clues. 

The arts also make visible certain truths that are sometimes obscured and provide concrete ways to celebrate multiple perspectives and interpretations of the world. Many forms of artistic expression traffic in subtleties and grapple with life’s ambiguities; students can learn that small difference can have large effects. Artistic experience often requires a willingness to surrender to the unknown; students can learn that everything changes with circumstance and opportunity. 

The arts also help us learn to say, show, and feel what needs to be said, shown, and felt, helping to advance the horizons of knowing, being, and communicating in and beyond the arts.

Curricula that invite creative expression through the arts have tremendous future-shaping potential. Artmaking provides new languages and means through which to make sense of the world, engage in cultural critique, and take political action. 

Curricula can also cultivate critical appreciation and engagement with cultural heritage and the powerful symbols, repertoires, and references of our collective identities."

Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education, (2021) International Commission on the Futures of Education,  p. 73


View the report here.