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Sharpening New Zealand’s future focus: A scenaric stance

Sasha Matthewman and John Morgan

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. Using the example of scenario-building in the context of carbon-based economies and high-consumption lifestyles we emphasise that futures education requires important skills of study, analysis, creation, imagination, and interpretation.

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