Welcome to Conrad Hughes' website. You will find gathered here writings on challenges facing education in the 21st Century. I write about assessment, critical thinking, passion for learning, empathy, curiosity, international education and other related issues. Running through my books and papers are three core convictions:
1. Humanity, at its most powerful and beautiful instance, cannot be outsourced by algorithms as it is driven by extraordinary forces,  namely conceptual understanding, motivation and passion, compassion for others, wisdom and character. These traits must be enhanced in the education we design as we look for solutions to the planet's demise and pick our way through a turbulent field of waning biocapacity, fast-approaching singularity, social injustice and fragmentation but also unprecedented opportunity.
2. Therefore, education in the 21st Century must go further than subject skills into deep, transferable competences such as critical and philosophical thinking, innovation and entrepreneurship, intercultural competence and collaborative problem solving; attitudes to life such as respecting differences, taking ethical decisions, respecting the planet's natural resources and sustaining a wholesome, positive approach the a future that is in our hands.
3. A sure way that educational institutions can make an impact is by having the courage to re-position assessments away from lower-order technical items towards more meaningful predictors of happiness and planetary restoration such as higher-order thinking, ethical conduct, regenerative economic practice and mindful cooperation between humans.   

Recent Publications on COVID-19

Some implications of COVID‐19 for remote learning and the future of schooling (published with UNESCO)

ThisarticleconsiderssomeoftheimmediateandfutureramificationsoftheCOVID19pandemicfortheworldofschooling.Itreflectsontheargumentsforandagainstschoolclosuresandtheimmediateandlongertermimpactonstudents,particularlythosewhoarealreadydisadvantagedbypoverty,gender,infrastructuralandresourcelimitationsthat,undoubtedly,willfurtherwidenthedigitaldivide.Thearticlegoesontodrawoutsomeoftheeducationalissuesprecipitatedbytherapidshifttowardsremotelearningforstudents,teachersandparentsluckyenoughtobeontheothersideofthedigitaldivide,including:lackofpreparation;inequalityofaccess;informationoverload;someofthechallengesofremoteteaching,learningandassessment;andinparticular,theneedtoaddressissuesofmentalhealth.Thearticleconcludesbyreflectingonsomeofthelessonsthatmightbelearnedfromthisperiodofcrisisfortheworldofschooling,includingtheneedtoaddressissuesofaccessandfunctionality,teacherskills,studentcompetences,thesharingofresourcesandglobalcollaborationtoeducateforabetterworld.

Will Covid-19 Spell the End for Examinations? (published by the World Economic Forum)

Current Publication - "Educating for the Twenty-First Century: Seven Global Challenges"

Recent Publication -

"Understanding Prejudice and Education"



Why are we prejudiced?

4 attitudes to reduce prejudice through education :

Past Lectures and Keynotes


Lecture to students of the Education School, University of Geneva 13 December 2016
Lecture to students of the Education School, University of Geneva 13 December 2016
Lecture to Master's Students at the University of Geneva, 9.3.17
Lecture to Master's Students at the University of Geneva, 9.3.17
Keynote on Prejudice at Durham University's School of Education, September 2017
Keynote on Prejudice at Durham University's School of Education, September 2017
Knowledge in the 21st Century keynote at the Kognity conference, October 2017, The Hague
Knowledge in the 21st Century keynote at the Kognity conference, October 2017, The Hague
Amsterdam: Understanding Prejudice and Education Keynote, AIE Conference, October 2017
Amsterdam: Understanding Prejudice and Education Keynote, AIE Conference, October 2017
Accra, Ghana. Keynote at the International Baccalaureate's African Education Festival, October 2018
Accra, Ghana. Keynote at the International Baccalaureate's African Education Festival, October 2018
Mexico City: Reducing violence and extremism with Professor Felisa Tibbitts (Teachers College Columbia), Dr Mmantsetsa Marope (UNESCO IBE), Laura Davison (INEE) and Professor Medondo Tapia Uribe (UNAM Mexico), March 2018
Mexico City: Reducing violence and extremism with Professor Felisa Tibbitts (Teachers College Columbia), Dr Mmantsetsa Marope (UNESCO IBE), Laura Davison (INEE) and Professor Medondo Tapia Uribe (UNAM Mexico), March 2018
Lublin, Poland. Keynote on how education can reduce prejudice at the Integrating International Students conference - Perspectives from Cities, Civil Society and Academia. April, 2018
Lublin, Poland. Keynote on how education can reduce prejudice at the Integrating International Students conference - Perspectives from Cities, Civil Society and Academia. April, 2018
University of Bath, UK. Keynote on the centrality of knowledge in a 21st Century Education. June, 2018
University of Bath, UK. Keynote on the centrality of knowledge in a 21st Century Education. June, 2018
Keynote address at Naisula School, Kenya. September, 2018
Keynote address at Naisula School, Kenya. September, 2018
Keynote at Negombo, Sri Lanka for Cambridge Assessment
Keynote at Negombo, Sri Lanka for Cambridge Assessment
Keynote at the International Baccalaureate's European Education Festival. Zagreb, Croatia, April 2019
Keynote at the International Baccalaureate's European Education Festival. Zagreb, Croatia, April 2019
Plenary at CIES 2019, San Francisco
Plenary at CIES 2019, San Francisco
Panel discussion at CIES 2019, San Francisco
Panel discussion at CIES 2019, San Francisco
Keynote at Liangjiatan International Education Forum 2019, Xi'an China
Keynote at Liangjiatan International Education Forum 2019, Xi'an China
Keynote at the Cambridge East Asia School Conference 2019, Chongqing, China
Keynote at the Cambridge East Asia School Conference 2019, Chongqing, China
Keynote at 2019 International Education Forum, Baku, Azerbaijan
Keynote at 2019 International Education Forum, Baku, Azerbaijan
Naisula School Prize Giving, Kenya 2019
Naisula School Prize Giving, Kenya 2019
Alliance for International Education Keynote, Geneva 2019
Alliance for International Education Keynote, Geneva 2019
Lecture in Kampala, Uganda, September 2019
Lecture in Kampala, Uganda, September 2019
St Aloysius School Melbourne, February 2020
St Aloysius School Melbourne, February 2020
Luther College Melbourne, February 2020
Luther College Melbourne, February 2020
Public Lecture at Melbourne University's graduate School of Education, February 2020
Public Lecture at Melbourne University's graduate School of Education, February 2020
IB African Education Festival Johannesburg, February 2020
IB African Education Festival Johannesburg, February 2020
With Barry McGaw, University of Melbourne;  Mmantsetsa Marope, UNESCO-IBE; Anthony Mackay, National Centre on Education and the Economy, USA and Hans D’Orville, former Deputy Director of UNESCO
With Barry McGaw, University of Melbourne; Mmantsetsa Marope, UNESCO-IBE; Anthony Mackay, National Centre on Education and the Economy, USA and Hans D’Orville, former Deputy Director of UNESCO
Conrad Hughes and Dr Siva Kumari, Director General of the International Baccalaureate International Baccalaureate Headquarters, The Hague October 2016
Conrad Hughes and Dr Siva Kumari, Director General of the International Baccalaureate International Baccalaureate Headquarters, The Hague October 2016
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights panel on educating for less anti-Semitism. With Patricia Tcherneva-Rowland (Words Into Action) and Laura Ligouri (Executive Director at Mindbridge Center, Bates College).
Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights panel on educating for less anti-Semitism. With Patricia Tcherneva-Rowland (Words Into Action) and Laura Ligouri (Executive Director at Mindbridge Center, Bates College).
Round table on inclusive education at the Education Relief Foundation and Globethics conference. Geneva, December 2017
Round table on inclusive education at the Education Relief Foundation and Globethics conference. Geneva, December 2017
With Luc Ferry, January 2018.
With Luc Ferry, January 2018.
With Gillian Slovo, February 2018.
With Gillian Slovo, February 2018.
Discussing Understanding Prejudice and Education with Professor Norma Tarrow (California State University), March 2018
Discussing Understanding Prejudice and Education with Professor Norma Tarrow (California State University), March 2018
With Douglas Hofstadter, June 2018.
With Douglas Hofstadter, June 2018.
With Gilles Lipovetsky, 2018
With Gilles Lipovetsky, 2018
With David Olusoga, 2019
With David Olusoga, 2019