education

Teaching futures thinking in Germany!

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At Teach the Future we always like to collaborate with likeminded collectives around the world in our quest to take futures thinking into schools. In Germany we are in touch with Die Zukunfstbauer, a School Future Lab. They just executed their first pilot, read on to learn more!

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As Aileen Moeck, co-founder of Die Zukunfstbauer explains: “We did a seven week pilot on futures thinking in grade nine of the Sankt Franziskus Schule in Berlin. Grade nine is the phase when youngsters have their first internship and work experiences.”

“We created a learning space called ‘personal futures’ where we traveled with the pupils in the future. We had six phases in our program. We started with introducing ‘change’ and ‘future’. Phase 2 and 3 is where we explored trends and technology by having open discussions about it. The youngsters used the framework from the Teach the Future Playbook to describe how future people would communicate, work and travel in those worlds.”

Aileen continues: “Phase 4 and 5 was the futurist phase where we used the Futures Wheel technique to make the kids think about system influences and long-term impacts. Finally, in the last phase the kids formed teams and created a day in the future and fictive jobs of the future. These jobs they then presented to their parents.”

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"We were so fortunate to be able to execute this as a part of a prize we won, a German science'future of work' university challenge. As a follow-up of this pilot, we are now in the midst of creating open education material which can be used by teachers for free. We are also working on developing ‘train the trainer’ sessions to learn others how to moderate these types of sessions with youngsters themselves.”

Thanks so much Aileen! Are you living in Germany and do you want to know more about Die Zukunfstbauer or want to help them out, either via volunteering or funding, please contact them via hello@zukunftsbauer.schule. You can also stay updated via their Facebookpage.

 

Let kids guide you into the future

Adults should listen to us, because we will be living in the future longer than them.

This is one of the statements made by elementary school pupils in the Dutch city of Breda. And who could argue with it? Listening to kids can really help us all to look at the future in unexpected ways.

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Recently Teach the Future joined forces in the Netherlands with creative incubator PakhuisB and set-up an educational package for elementary school teachers. Within a timeframe of 6 weeks the teachers engaged their pupils actively in exploring their feelings and visions on the future. The goal was for pupils to experience the influence they have on the future and to become active in creating their preferred one. With various tools (such as card games, sketching & drawing and group workshops) the pupils were inspired and challenged to play with their perspectives on the future.

This class program elicited many interesting thoughts and feelings amongst youngsters. Such as: “When I think about the future I feel a little anxious because I don’t know what will happen and at the same time excited to try out new things in the future.” Or: “When I grow up I want to be an archaeologist. I can set goals in the present to strive for this dream and realise it in the future.”

Watch a ten-minute compilation (in Dutch) with many more quotes and reactions of kids about future related topics and get inspired! 

I feel that it would be better if people always have a spare job, in case they lose the one they have currently.

In addition, Teach the Future & PakhuisB, in cooperation with the TrendRede team, also organised a ‘KinderTrendRede’ in Breda. This is an event where a panel of selected pupils of various Breda based schools present the future visions of all schools combined to the citizens and deputies of the municipality of Breda. This future pupil council shows what kind of future they would want to live in. Advice included topics like deregulation to decreasing loneliness amongst elderly people, a changing job market to climate awareness.

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I think the municipality should award people who are active in preserving nature. Handing out prices will stimulate more people in our city to help out nature.

Read the full content of the pupils’ future visions over here. Watch the aftermovie of this event (in Dutch) below and the full video of the TrendRede (in Dutch) over here.

Want to organise similar lessons or event in your city or country? Please contact Erica Bol for more information: Erica [@] teachthefuture.org

// Text by Els Dragt