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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Examining the OECD’s perspective on AI in education policy : a critical analysis of language and structure in the ‘AI and the future of skills’ (AIFS) document and its implications for the higher education Hasa, Kentaro


This thesis conducts a critical discourse analysis of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development’s (OECD) perspectives on the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in education policy. The research focuses on the OECD’s AI and the Future of Skills (AIFS) volume, revealing how the organization envisions AI’s impact on workforce skills and its implications for global education systems. AI, exemplified by IBM’s Watson and OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has revolutionized various sectors, including education. The study traces the transformative influence of these AI models, specifically in higher education, from enhancing learning efficiencies to governing education sectors. The integration of AI in education, as reflected in the discourse and policies of international organizations like the OECD, underscore the constant evolution of AI and its increasing influence. The research utilizes Norman Fairclough’s work to carry out a Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA) of the AIFS document. The analysis aims to identify the underlying assumptions and ideologies that shape the OECD’s approach to AI in education policy. By examining the language, discourses, and structure of the document, insights are provided into the organization’s priorities, which are intended to shape the future of education across many nations. Moreover, the research considers broader contexts, such as educational neoliberalism, AI, and predictive forecasting in education. It critically examines the OECD’s priorities and discourses related to AI’s role and influence in education, particularly in anticipatory governance. The study is designed to provide valuable insights into the implications of the OECD’s approach to education in the age of AI. In conclusion, this study presents a comprehensive discourse analysis of the AIFS document’s language and structure, revealing the inherent ideologies related to AI in education policy. It underscores the critical role of international organizations like the OECD in shaping education policies in the AI era, contributing to the evolving discourse on AI, education policy, and the changing landscape of education governance.

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