A Whole Systems Approach to Education Redesign: A Case Study on the Need for Inter-Generational Perspectives and Inclusion
Keywords:Education, Youth, Social Systems Design, Idealized Systems Design, Futures
This study was commissioned by the Global Education Futures forum for presentation at its fourth International Conference in Moscow, Russia, from 29 February to 2 March 2016 (http://edu2035.org/#program). The objective was to conduct field research with a special focus on the vision of the future of education held by young people. This report presents some views and perspectives of my generation regarding what they want education to be like in the future. In northern California, my teachers Ms. B and Mr. Wahanik used the framework of questions and activities that my father and I developed to gather this kind of information by running a sort of “focus group” with my 10th Grade class and to find out what their views, perspective, opinions, ideas, hopes and concerns are regarding this theme. This group consisted of mainly 15 and 16 year olds, and there are around 40 students in my class. They had less than an hour to run the whole process, but everyone already knew each other really well so they could go quickly through the process, as described in this report.
A similar process was run with a group of young people in Buenos Aires, Argentina. Here I had to work with people whom I had never met before and who also didn't know each other at all. We had exactly 12 students from a variety of public and private schools with an age range from 12 to 17 years old. However, we had a total of three hours with them, so we could do an icebreaker and take our time to move through the whole thing.
In both cases (California and Argentina), the idea was to engage young people in a series of structured creative Future Thinking adventures that helped them “invent” what education (learning and teaching) should be like in the year 2035. The idea behind this is that educators and those involved in the systemic re-design of education systems might want to include this kind of data and these kind of perspectives in the work they are doing. I would like to present my findings at the ISSS and to see whether others think more of this kind of work should be done.