Seminar 1: programme

The first seminar in the series will be held on
on December 15th 2009


Didsbury Campus, Manchester Metropolitan University, 799 Wilmslow Road, Manchester, M20 2RR

Location and directions can be found here: The programme for the day is as follows:

10.00 Arrival and coffee
10.30 Welcome & Rationale for the Educational Futures Seminar Series
Keri Facer, Manchester Metropolitan University
10.40 Perspectives on methods and approaches for thinking about the future in education
Professor Tom Schuller, Director of the Inquiry into the Future of Lifelong Learning
11.20 Foregrounding diverse assumptions and ideas about change and futures
An exploratory discussion with Mike Sharples, Anna Craft and Simon Mauger
11.40 Group Discussions: what are our frames for thinking about the future?
Orienting questions: what do each of us see as the relationship between past, present and future? How does this differ across disciplines or sectors? How do we bring to look for different trajectories or influences? What do we pay attention to/ what do we ignore? Where would each of us start in thinking about the future? How do we represent our ideas of the future, what language, images, other representations do we use? What counts as ‘evidence’ about the future for each of us? What constitutes certainty and uncertainty about the future for each of us?
12.45 Lunch
13.30 Group Discussions: why do we think about the future in education?
On whose behalf do we think about the future in education? What do we see our role as in thinking about the future?What assumptions about the relationship between present and future, and about agency and change underpin these reasons for thinking about the future?
14.30 ‘Research and the Future of Education; higher education’s contribution
Professor John Furlong, Director of the Department of Education, Oxford University
15.15 Coffee break
15.30 Plenary discussion and first steps towards a manifesto for educational futures research
16.15 Close

Looking forward to a stimulating and interesting day.

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Seminar 1: Theorising change — traditions and perspectives

The first seminar in this series on Educational Futures will be held at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University on December 15th, 2009.

At a time when billions of pounds are being spent on ‘building schools for the future’, in which our ideas of economic and environmental futures are subject to weekly change; when it is suggested that new bio-technologies will offer radically new human/technical futures, and when the consequences of our actions may be ever longer lived, strategies are needed for critical reflection and research into our ideas about and understandings of the future.

The overarching aim of this seminar is to gain a deeper understanding of diverse strategies for theorising change and the implications of these strategies for different groups’ approach to thinking about the future.

  • To explore the different strategies that different disciplines and groups use for theorising change and so for thinking about the future
  • To articulate the different motivations and reasons for which different disciplines and groups think about future
  • To identify the areas of most useful intervention and discussion for the educational research field

This seminar series will bring together researchers from multiple disciplines to explore the intellectual tools and resources, the existing traditions and new departures that might be mobilised to help us contribute to thinking intelligently and critically about the future in order to help us make better decisions in education today.

Should you like to attend, please contact Barbara Ashcroft. Please note that places are limited to 35 people only and that there are no bursaries for travel. Lunch and refreshments will be provided on the day.

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