Education in the year 2035: a Delphi study to identify possible futures of the public secondary school

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

The purpose of this study was to identify projected critical changes in the public secondary school of the future as perceived by a panel of experts. The panel of experts was composed of persons who are leaders in the field of education and futures.

The review of the related literature indicated that there were seven discrete critical areas in which changes were most likely to take place in the public secondary school by the year 2035. These areas were as follows:

  1. Fiscal support
  2. Curriculum
  3. Technology - Administration
  4. Technology - Instruction
  5. Student Characteristics
  6. Personnel - Administrative
  7. Personnel - Instructional

The panel of experts was asked to respond to futuristic trends within each of these areas in terms of probability of occurrence, time frame of occurrence and impact on the public secondary school as we know it today.

This study used the Delphi Method and involved a series of three questionnaires. With each round of questionnaires, the responses were refined so that the ultimate goal of consensus could be obtained.

Results indicated that the select panel of experts came to consensus on most of the futuristic trends which were identified. Forecasts were given primarily for time periods within the next fifteen years, and participants seemed reluctant to make long-range predictions.