1st Edition

Learning Futures
Education, Technology and Social Change

ISBN 9780415581431
Published April 28, 2011 by Routledge
192 Pages

USD $52.95

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Book Description

In the twenty-first century, educators around the world are being told that they need to transform education systems to adapt young people for the challenges of a global digital knowledge economy. Too rarely, however, do we ask whether this future vision is robust, achievable or even desirable, whether alternative futures might be in development, and what other possible futures might demand of education.

Drawing on ten years of research into educational innovation and socio-technical change, working with educators, researchers, digital industries, students and policy-makers, this book questions taken-for-granted assumptions about the future of education. Arguing that we have been working with too narrow a vision of the future, Keri Facer makes a case for recognizing the challenges that the next two decades may bring, including:  

the emergence of new relationships between humans and technology

the opportunities and challenges of aging populations

the development of new forms of knowledge and democracy

the challenges of climate warming and environmental disruption

the potential for radical economic and social inequalities.

This book describes the potential for these developments to impact critical aspects of education – including adult-child relationships, social justice, curriculum design, community relationships and learning ecologies. Packed with examples from around the world and utilising vital research undertaken by the author while Research Director at the UK’s Futurelab, the book helps to bring into focus the risks and opportunities for schools, students and societies over the coming two decades. It makes a powerful case for rethinking the relationship between education and social and technological change, and presents a set of key strategies for creating schools better able to meet the emerging needs of their students and communities. 

An important contribution to the debates surrounding educational futures, this book is compelling reading for all of those, including educators, researchers, policy-makers and students, who are asking the question 'how can education help us to build desirable futures for everyone in the context of social and technological change?'

Table of Contents

Preface: ‘Sticking wings on the caterpillar’: the modernisers’ response to the future  A brief note on theory and methods  Part I: The next quarter century?  1. The Personal Cloud  2. Living and Working With Machines  3. Collectives, Kinships and Crowds  4. Necessary Knowledge, Dangerous Knowledge  5. A New Contract Between Generations  6. Mind the Gaps  7. Learning for Ourselves  Part II: Building Education’s Capacity to Think the Future  8. Sceptical Habits of Mind  9. Balancing Aspiration, Diversity and Flexibility  10. The Educational Institution as Research Lab  11. Shared Responsibilities, Collective Memories

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Keri Facer is Professor of Education at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, where she works in the fields of digital cultures, educational change and social justice.