Teach the Future

We should include futures thinking in schools to help students better anticipate and influence change and to prepare for their future.

Photo of Peter Bishop
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Teach the Future is an initiative to introduce futures thinking in schools around the world.  We teach a lot about the past, which we should, but students are going to live in the future.  Shouldn't we help them prepare for that future by telling them what might lie ahead?  We prepare students for field trips by telling them where they are going and what they are likely to experience.  Shouldn't we do the same about the biggest field trip of their lives, into their future.

We know how to teach the future.  We have been doing it at the University of Houston for 40 years now, but that was for graduate students.  We should include high school and college students in the discussion.  It's their future more than ours...

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Photo of Dan Ryder

This is really fantastic stuff, Peter.  It reminds me of some of the work Thomas Steele-Maley has been doing around schools as ecosystems, futurism and exploring the future to transform the present.  http://steelemaley.net/2015/11/15/keep-thinking-imagining-hoping-and-acting/

Photo of Peter Bishop

Thanks, Dan.  Great quotes, and a great book by Boulding...

Photo of Thomas Steele-Maley

Peter Bishop Thank you for reading.  You might also enjoy https://speakerdeck.com/steelemaley/speculative-futures-in-education-using-design-fiction-to-suspend-disbelief-in-change .  This is a topic I care so much about.  

Photo of Peter Bishop

Thank you for sharing your presentation.  It seems that Design Fiction would be a great way to introduce the future in schools.  

Do you know of any teaching materials that contain these ideas?   We're in the business of developing such materials for teachers to use.  

If not maybe we can work together to develop some.

Let me know if you are interested or if you any teachers who might be.  If so, we or whomever you know can talk on the phone to discuss this.

At any rate, thanks for sharing the presentation with me...

Photo of Michael Schurr

Hi Peter! I love this idea! Always talking, reading and writing about how to best prepare our students for the world in which they are going to work and live.  

I wonder, do you have any stories you could share about how prepared students were for the program. Or would it be possible to interview a student who just started the program? How did HS prepare them for college and Teach the Future? There might be some great insights that could help to evolve this idea when we move on to the ideate phase.

Photo of Peter Bishop

Yes, there's a high school student's response to a course on taught on the future a few years ago in the fund raising video we did last year -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_336ljsyCc&feature=youtu.be.   I've got 30 min of such comments in an unedited/unpublished video...


Photo of Lisa Yokana

Yes! Peter this is great! I love that you posted the link. The video is great... It would be great if you could post a photo with your post-it helps those of us that are visual! And it is so important to learn about what others are doing. We are all in this together and hearing about programs like this gives me hope!