Considering the world of today, the students of tomorrow, and the endless opportunities that digital disruption and resulting innovation brings across all spheres of our lives, a complete rethink of education and the types of teaching and learning taking place in any classroom needs to occur. This is termed Future Focused Education.
Future Focused Education is best described as an emerging cluster of ideas, beliefs, theories and practices drawn from many sources, within and outside education, that are mobilised in different ways to support different purposes.
To address this, we have identified four distinct Academic Pillars that encompass their overall academic focus and framework. The overarching driver is centred on identifying how we empower our graduates to be future ready. These pillars include focusing on an education that is locally and globally relevant as part of an interconnected world; defining and developing future focused skill sets required by our students; increasing student agency to nurture student voice, choice and autonomy in learning; and finally identifying personalised learning opportunities that will strengthen and celebrate individual students’ learning journeys.
So, what does Future Focused learning look like?
Future Focused learning prepares our students across all curriculum areas and learning stages with skills and capabilities to thrive in a rapidly changing and interconnected world. It connects our students and engages their sense of curiosity, helping them to make meaning of the world around them.
Future Focused competencies implies more than just the acquisition of knowledge and skills; it involves the mobilisation of knowledge, skills, attitudes and values to meet the complex demands of the world of tomorrow.
Future focused learning empowers students to take ownership of their learning by providing an environment which is flexible, innovative, and challenging and will foster students who are capable of making informed decisions, now and in the world of tomorrow. Future Focused learning adopts a more complex view of knowledge, that incorporates knowing, understanding, doing and being.
Future Focused Learning Spaces need to focus on a combination of student engagement in learning, inquiry-based approaches, global future focused skill sets, curiosity, imagination, design thinking and the inclusion of technology as a language of learning.
Our Future Focused Learning Spaces:
•are mobile, flexible, varied and connected
•provide students with choice in where and how they learn
•can be adapted to accommodate learning modes and technology
•support opportunities for students to learn independently, and in small and large groups
•support collaborative learning and teaching for students and teachers.
In light of a shift towards a more personalised learner experience, future focused teachers must be prepared to be data collectors, as well as analysts, planners, collaborators, curriculum experts, synthesizers, problem-solvers and researchers.
Future Focused teachers know and understand the needs and talents of their students. They are collaborative, flexible, reflective and use a diverse range of effective teaching strategies to differentiate and inspire learning.
Future ready students need to exercise agency, in their own education and throughout life. Agency implies a sense of responsibility to participate in the world and, in so doing, to influence people, events and circumstances for the better. Agency requires the ability to frame a guiding purpose and identify actions to achieve a goal.
To help enable Future Focused Agency, educators must not only recognise learners’ individuality, but also acknowledge the wider set of relationships — with their teachers, peers, families and communities — that influence their learning.
A concept underlying the Future Focused learning framework is “co-agency” — the interactive, mutually supportive relationships that help learners to progress towards their valued goals.
In this context, everyone should be considered a learner, not only students but also teachers, school managers, parents and communities.
Students who are best prepared for the future are change agents. They can have a positive impact on their surroundings, influence the future, understand others’ intentions, actions and feelings, and anticipate the short and long-term consequences of what they do.
Future Focused leadership involves confidently leading an organisation and its people to its best future. This means navigating confidently through challenging risk and uncertainty in rapidly changing times across a fast changing world until a successful outcome is effectively achieved.
The unifying idea is the understanding that major change is needed in education if it is to meet future needs, and as Crawford International, is the key focus of how our academic offering is defined, revisited and adapted to ensure our students are presented with multiple opportunities to confidently participate in the dynamic and evolving world of tomorrow.
For more information on the school that practises Future Focused Learning,
visit us at www.crawfordinternational.co.za and see for yourself.