Neoliberalising learning : generating alternate futures consciousness
journal contributionposted on 2011-01-01, 00:00 authored by Debra Bateman, Wendy Sutherland-SmithWendy Sutherland-Smith
Both educators and education policies have long claimed a role in preparing students for ‘the future’. This has been referred to as the rhetoric of futures in education, as the notion of a future is assumed, abstract and not articulated (Bateman 2010). Recent research indicates that teachers give little attention to futures thinking in interpreting and enacting curriculum documents. Only when their ‘futures consciousness’ was increased were they able to generate explicit alternate futures scenarios and make connections with learners (Bateman 2012). In light of international education policy agendas pressing countries to adopt economic competitiveness in national curriculum policies, the ‘future’ vision looks narrow and constrained. We argue that current educational reforms in Australia provide little scope to address the concept of multiple futures, which are significant in enabling citizens to shape and contribute in personal, local and global contexts.