Module Code
Module Title
Module Synopsis
What kind of future do we want, and what would education look like in such a world? While societies throughout history have often been preoccupied with the future, there is increasing interest among international organisations and policymakers in scholarship that engages critically with current trajectories and possible futures of education. While some focus on threats posed by climate change and a fragile and fracturing geopolitical order under contemporary processes of globalisation, others are buoyed by rapid advances in technology and visions of a digital transformation. In different ways, these diverse individuals and organizations draw on their knowledge of the past and present in the hope of envisaging and unfolding their own visions. In this course, students will approach these visions critically, comparing perspectives of key organizations and scholars engaging in the promotion of futures, and reflecting on their implications for global issues in education. Providing a grounding in foundational topics such as histories of the future and types of futurism, it will further encourage students to engage in the imaginative and constructive task of envisaging alternatives to the status quo, drawing on recent advances in social theory across a number of fields. Students will engage critically with conventional resources, such as policy reports and historical archives, as well as imaginative worlds of popular culture, science fiction and indigenous futurisms. Critical engagement will be extended with reference to scholarship that has sought to rearticulate the boundaries between ‘real’ and ‘fictive’ worlds in more expansive ways, a development that has been described as social science fiction. Combining empirical insights with speculative methodologies, students will step into a ‘laboratory of virtual futures’ to conduct experiments in world-building, reflecting on the implications for education and the future that we want.