Make the future
Having spent quite a bit of time in schools at the beginning of this year talking and thinking about educational futures, I was interested this morning to view this new video from FutureLab titled ‘Make the Future‘, which looks at ideas drawn from research commissioned under the Beyond Current Horizons (BCH) programme. BCH considered futures for education in the light of social and technological change over the next two decades. The video aims to inspire education leaders to think differently about the future of education and to consider the challenges and possibilities for 21st century schools. It contains a series of challenging statements and questions to provoke thinking and discussion for those involved in working to prepare our schools for the future (which is basically everybody involved in education!!).

For those interested in working with these ideas further here’s a new resource titled Thinking Space(PDF), a FREE workshop resource aiming to support people involved with redesign and rebuild projects (linked particularly to the English Building Schools for the Future (BSF) and the Primary Capital Programmes (PCP)). Thinking Space is the latest resource to be added to the School Redesign Pack supporting the VisionMapper project.

The resource comprises of materials for two workshops; one aimed at staff to support critical and creative thinking about the future of education and the implications on future educational spaces; the other to be undertaken with pupils as part of a wider commitment to actively engage and involve them in the redesign process.

‘Thinking Space’ was developed by CABE, Futurelab and Portsmouth City Council, as part of their wider commitment to sharing resources information on learning space redesign programmes.

2 thoughts on “Make the future

  1. I’m suggesting, respectfully, that teachers would gain greater value from their thinking if they expended energy on looking at ‘New Zealand education, in the present’.

    If we accept John Key’s comment that thirty-percent of teachers, whatever ‘teachers’ means in that context, should improve their classroom performance, one objective is to look at what is happening, or not happening, in New Zealand ‘education’, now.

    My suggestion, Derek, is that teachers look at ‘value’ and appraise the current curriculum – yes, the new national curriculum – in that context. Appraise the present in terms of value, then look at the future.

    No amount of critical thinking will achieve that goal. We do not need teachers who can find out what is wrong with something. Instead we are desperately in need of teachers who can generate ideas, ‘design thinkers’. That is the essence of thinking about ‘what can be’.

    As for ‘creative thinking’, I presume the standard definition – finding a new way – applies still?

    I know full well, “critical thinking” and “creative thinking” feature in the new national curriculum definition of the key competency thinking. There has been no movement. The curriculum ‘ship’ continues to sail in the wrong direction. The new rudder has not brought any significant change. The status quo reigns.

    By the way, how do your readers define “creative thinking”? I’m interested.

    Cheers from Kaunas.

    1. Wise words, Graeme – I’d certainly not advocate thinking about the future at the expense of thinking about the present. I’d certainly agree with your logic here about how we must be acting in the present and thinking about education ‘now’, and appreciate your words about valuing and appraising the NZ curriculum. I still find a significant number of teachers who are trying to ‘shoe-horn’ what they’ve always done into the framework of the new curriculum, and several schools that are developing “check-box” frameworks for assessing the key competencies as they have previously with achievement objectives.
      Regarding your comment on critical thinking – I’m not sure that when I advocate that I am meaning that teachers will find out what is wrong with something. For me, critical thinking is the ability to explore and weigh up the range of perspectives in any situation, and to arrive at a personally-owned and well informed position that allows one to proceed with confidence, and to defend one’s stance and actions, rather than simply “tow the party line”.
      Thanks for you thoughts, Graeme.

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