Jeffrey S. Coker
Janna Q. Anderson
• As you go up the employment ladder, the further up you go, the more the responsibility of the person to think about the future.
• Larger the issue, the further into the future you have to think
• Empowering global leaders: followers -> global citizens (understanding the past and the present) -> global leaders (ability to project forward)
• Five characteristics of futures-oriented teaching and learning:
1. An inherent focus on change: Instead of just “where have we been” and “where are we now, “but also “how did we get from point A to point B.” Futures oriented questions would ask “how did we get here” and “how might we go forward?”
2. Higher-order thinking: objectives that include “plan.” “design,” “model.” “predict,” and “assess the risk of…”
3. Scholarly behavior: scholars are on the cutting edge of knowledge and figures out what needs to be done next and how to do it.
4. Empowerment of the liberal arts: “the 21st century will challenge us to cope with change at a dizzying pace. A solid liberal arts and sciences foundation is the highest and best preparation for life that Elon College can offer its students.” –Leo Lambert
5. Leadership: students become agents of change by imaging a better future, design plans to make them happen, do it!
• Language impacts how we approach things. Instead of “course” how about “quest?”
• Talked about futurist work at Elon: courses as well as campus groups, emerging futures forum, etc.
• This program is a lot about futurism, but also a lot about creating a quest-like environment where you set a large but reachable goal and guide the students to success. Good planning means students can be active creators rather than passive.
• Discussed a biology class that integrated futurist thinking.
• Students design, implement, analyze, and present their own experiment.
• It’s not as much about content as it is about finding information and creating knowledge.
• With this experience they will be more likely to be discriminating consumers of scientific knowledge.
• Has found that biology futurist students end up with more sophisticated views on civic debates, they are more engaged, have more knowledge gains, have a greater understanding of content, other universities are adopting parts of the curriculum.
This presentation reminded me of the OCLC presentation I attended a few years ago. I really enjoy futurist thinking, and would love to join the association. Too bad they have such strict membership criteria!