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The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us that schools are not just places of academic learning. Schools are part of the social fabric of our communities, and they are increasingly expected to help all children – especially the most vulnerable – thrive academically, socially, physically and psychologically. Balancing these different elements has long been a challenge; doing so well in the digital world even more so.

Understanding the nature of childhood today is an important first step for education to be able to fulfil these goals. Focusing on the intersection between physical well-being and digital technologies, this report explores the important role of play and risk-taking in learning. It looks at the pressures of modern life and a resulting “pursuit of perfection” in physical, cognitive and academic spheres. It examines how education systems empower children to be informed decision-makers when it comes to their own health and well-being, and how it works to protect them from harm. The volume ends with a look at the role of teachers and key partnerships in achieving these aims. This report is the companion to Educating 21st Century Children: Emotional Well-Being in the Digital Age.

Level of Education: School

Lead Organisation: OECD

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