“This new social contract must be grounded in human rights and based on principles of non-discrimination, social justice, respect for life, human dignity and cultural diversity. It must encompass an ethic of care, reciprocity, and solidarity.”

Teachers College International and Comparative Education alum Professor Noah Sobe has spearheaded a two year long global consultation involving close to 1 million participants for the Futures of Education initiative. The result is this landmark publication documenting the perilous time that we are in, and the many educational possibilities available for us to imagine and act for a more peaceful, sustainable, and prosperous future.

Professor Sobe, now based at Loyola University, Chicago, completed his PhD at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned his MA in International and Comparative Education at Teachers College, Columbia University.

A past-president of the Comparative and International Education Society, in 2019 Professor Sobe was also awarded the Harold J. Noah Award for Distinguished Alumni Award from Teachers College.

As UNESCO Director General Audrey Azoulay states in the foreword of Reimagining our Futures Together, we “need the entire world’s creativity and intelligence to ensure that inclusion, equity, human rights, and peace define our future … that is what this report invites us to do.”

The report is divided into three sections, with the first exploring past promises and uncertain futures, the second considers what a renewed vision for education can and should be, and the third reinforces the call for a new social contract in education. The content within each section spans why and how the many components of global education need work towards this new and shared social contract: from policy making to curricula, research practice to inter-governmental and inter-agency cooperation, to safeguarding teachers’ work and expanding pedagogical practices.

As the concluding call to action implores, we need to catalyze and better harmonize our collective efforts, which the authors frame as a call for a new research agenda in education, and for renewed solidarity and cooperation to support education as a public, common, and essential good.

From all of us at Teachers College, congratulations to Professor Sobe on this important achievement! Click the image below for more information and access to the full report.

UNESCO dark blue banner that describes their mission for reimagining the future of education