Future Focused Education...

What is Future Focused Education?

Future Focussed Education
Educational futures
Future Oriented Education
21st Century Education

It doesn't matter what they mean, its more important, I know what I mean when I use them!

Karen Melhuish Spencer @virtuallykaren in her blog
"I must confess that, the references to ’21st century education’, and the memes that surround it, are ones I am increasingly trying to avoid in favour of more precise descriptions of what we are actually trying to achieve with education that suits our learners, their needs if they are to thrive in society, knowledge and understandings about how we learn and what is possible using (and not using) digital technologies…and I know I’m not alone"

At present I am attending a Masters paper at AUT University titled Educational Futures.
The paper is led by Prof Jane Gilbert  @janegilbertnz

July 25th 2014 thoughts

First thoughts: To me, Future Focussed Education (FFE)  is...

Its something about having an agility and optimism to respond ethically and critically to  known and unknown variables. To have the capacity to Interrupt / disrupt and shift what we value and measure.

I think there is a skill required to be able to establish and maintain complex conversations across both, the value of traditional knowledge and our new understanding of knowledge. As this new understanding of knowledge has energy, vitality and movement, FFE must transform the way we think, engage and act. 

I enjoy stepping into spaces where FFE can be explored  because of the energy that is generated within networks and the things created within the spaces between people. Multiple ideas and projects can be astounding! 

August 9th 2014 thoughts

So, after two days... sitting in a classroom in Auckland, NZ, I'm having a rethink. Do I still hold to my initial thoughts on FFE? Is there anything that emerged and shifted my thinking from working with others?

Three things I had not thought about...


I did not expect, a word to emerge and that word was 'oriented'. I was particularly inspired by the other primary school teachers on this course. I was Inspired how each of us orientated our selves quite differently in our primary school professional spaces and here we were holding lightly all we fervently  believe and know to be true about education and schooling, so we can work in a space where disruptive conversations can emerge. And its tricky. Super tricky!
My question now is, how am I going to orient myself towards future focussed education? That actually I am in the picture and my ideas remain ideas until I explicitly orient myself in a position of doing. Or more specifically, understand the position that I am currently oriented within.  An example is I parpticipate in a primary school system. What do I do, what do I say that orientates my day to day actions to support a future focus educational space?

Who am I becoming?

A simple and for me, a transformative question was posed by fellow student Ngaire. Words that have sat on my shoulder and are moving quickly to me heart!  Who am I becoming? Ngaire questioned why are we actually doing all this engagement with future focussed ideas and as part of that process, who are we becoming?
I am wondering that by bringing together our understandings of an educational future and our professional knowledge that through a process of thinking and rethinking, a point  really may occur where we can no longer think, act and engage in ways we used to. That the change has occurred within our personal adult development. So I ask: Am I in the process of becoming someone different? 

Rethinking communication. That in order to orientate towards future focussed education the way we communicate must change. To disrupt language that closes down conversations. The urgent need to see constant possibilities. An example may be, as a classroom teacher in 2014, I am requirement to manage two things, National Standards and work with not only what the students know but what they can do with what they know in the context of 'wicked' problems. It is possible and I need to rethink how I communicate to work in this space.

At a time in our history when there is a demand for resources to be open. 

See @OKFN Open Knowledge @CC_Aotearoa  Creative Commons   So too the way we communicate must engender access to possibilities, building capacities and the maintaining of relationships. 

Katlin Thaney   @kaythaney director of @MozillaScience amplifies this in her presentation at The Royal Society in Wellington. July 2014.

"focus on building capacity, not just more nodes." 

So, future focussed education, involves engaging with complex and complicated conversations. Therefore, I am beginning to believe it is paramount we rethink communication in its multiple forms.

A fast and furious think about  a few of the current considerations for education and schooling:

Design Thinking @extremebydesign  

Wicked Problems  @NZCER  Key Competencies for the Future
Maker Culture see blog post  Stephen Lethbridge

I am beginning to think, if we are to contribute even the smallest nudge as we work with these three ideas, we are going to need an improved rethink on how we communicate the possibilities in our schools and local communities.

What do you think?

So What? 

So, now I've shuffled all those words around...
Whats going to change?
With three students from my course, I'm going to explore what does it actually mean to rethink communication. To explore the possibility of an innovation designed to shift a system within how we communicate.  To do this we will be using the Cynefin Framwork.



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