Education and Uncertainty

Uncertainty expresses itself in many forms and often one state of uncertainty invites other uncertainties. Uncertainty about the prospects of employment as industries shrink and markets change, and uncertainty about personal safety and national security as terrorism takes on new violent forms, has had an impact on political decision-making; much of it seeing a steady drift toward narrow nationalism and a shrinking in appetite for pluralism and diversity. This in turn creates further social uncertainty and threatens what some might argue are increasingly fragile cultural relations.

Our proposition is that uncertainty reveals itself in waves – it projects and recedes, in old and new forms in tune with the political and economic mood. Indeed, it is the uncertain nature of uncertainty that has significant implications for the manner of education.

This research programme examines the nature of uncertainty in the political and economic landscapes of a cross section of countries and its effect on educational policy, educational institutions, the motivation of teachers, and the choices that parents and children make in the selection of schools, subjects, and life choices.