Professor James Dator has spent nearly five decades in the discipline of future studies. In this article, he suggests that all images of the future can be described within four categories that he calls continued growth, collapse, disciplined society, and transformational. He argues that four big variables—energy, the economy, the environment, and government—have shifted in ways that make them so obviously part of the future they must be incorporated into all of our future-thinking.
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Schooling for the future
Schooling for the future
We can no longer predict knowledge needed for the future, which has significant implications for contemporary literacy programmes. In this article we argue that reconceptualising current literacy approaches will support teachers to develop future-focused literacy teaching.
Future-oriented theorists argue that if we want students to be future builders, we need to provide them with opportunities to do things with existing knowledge, rather than just reproduce it. In this article I consider the implications of this argument for English. I describe some theory-driven learning opportunities that may enable students to build knowledge, and I provide some research examples from classrooms of what each opportunity might look like for English.
Future-oriented pedagogies should focus on supporting students to be creative, innovative, and capable of creating knowledge, both individually and collaboratively, at the community level. This article discusses how a group of teachers have come to understand and use the knowledge-building model developed by Scardamalia and Bereiter (2006) to support secondary students to develop as knowledge creators of the 21st century. Findings from knowledge-building research conducted in New Zealand classes are used to illustrate how the knowledge-building model can be implemented.
Future focus is one of the eight principles of the New Zealand curriculum. However, the term is sometimes conflated with the more-expansive term 21st-century learning, which, this article argues, accepts uncritically dominant assumptions that New Zealand’s future is as part of a hyper-globalised, fast-paced, capitalist world. This article insists on future focus as a means of developing the curriculum to support pupils as they learn to think critically about globalisation, sustainability, enterprise, and citizenship.
The most powerful thing about the literature on future-oriented education is what it tells us about our orientation to the present. This article explores some of the key ideas of future orientation that show the importance of both the present and, in particular, the presence of the teacher. The contributions of science fiction and of Albert Camus are explored to support this analysis and to generate some practical philosophical approaches to making sense of the present in an absurd world.
Te reo and mātauranga Māori are linked to a distinctive Māori identity and ways of being in the world. With the majority of Māori students enrolled in English-medium schools, we face the national challenge of how to affirm and promote reo and mātauranga Māori as part of the “everyday” in educational and community life, now and in the future.
In this interview set asks Keri Facer, author of Learning Futures: Education, Technology, and Social Change (2011), about her ideas and what keeps her optimistic about the future. Her book makes a powerful case for reimagining the role of education in response to environmental, social and technological changes. She advocates for schools to be at the centre of “future-building” work in their communities.