Our Playbook is Ready for Your Inspection
Last summer, our Deputy Director Katie King managed the development of The Futures Thinking Playbook, which is the foundation for our 4-day summer enrichment program for young people. The Summer of Futures program also allowed us to provide facilitator training and student enrichment at two school districts around Houston, where we gathered valuable feedback. Now the book is all but finished. Just a few illustrations remain before the book is launched at the beginning of 2018. You can review it right now at https://issuu.com/wtforesight/docs/futuresthinkingplaybook-final. Full copies will be available from Amazon.com in January.
A New Branch for Teach the Future in Australia, New Zealand, and nearby
In October, Peter traveled to Brisbane to attend the Block the Future conference sponsored by the Association of Professional Futurists. Before the conference, he assembled 25 educators and others to consider a branch of Teach the Future in Australasia. As a result, a working group has emerged whose members are contacting schools in their respective countries.
Initiatives In The Netherlands Poised To Change The World
In the Spring, Peter worked with Freija Diujne, the president of the Dutch Future Society, to develop a foresight curriculum for an MS degree in Foresight at an American-style university in the United Arab Emirates. In April, Bishop and Diujne conducted a two-day introduction to foresight for a UAE government agency in support of that degree. Expect to see the material from that seminar, appearing in an e-book very shortly.
Teach the Future is always on the look-out for collaborations. In the Netherlands, we’ve teamed up with The Teachers College of Windesheim Flevoland University of Applied Science. They are educating students to become teachers themselves and are integrating futures thinking into the classroom to inspire the young teachers to take ownership of their own future and the future of education. Read the interview with Marcel Staring, an education developer and teacher at Windesheim, just after he finished their project during ‘Futures Week’. A video has been produced in Dutch where you can see how energized the young students were.
Another partner has been the City of Breda in the Netherlands. The City has sponsored the development of six lessons about the future for elementary and middle school students in the City. The lessons continue a Dutch tradition called a TrendRede (Trend Speech) which contains significant developments for the future of the Netherlands. In this case, students will identify significant development impacting thefuture which will be presented to the city’s Mayor and Alderman and displayed at the Stedelijk Museum in Breda. See several short videos on this YouTube channel.
Brazilian Students Creating Futures
Thanks to futurist Rosa Alegria for sharing this fabulous event, "Create 1000 Desirable Futures," organized by Lala Deheinzelin at a Brazilian primary school. It was a full day with poetry, music, entertainment, news production plus a presentation for parents. See more on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Crie-Futuros-2050-392836137813019/
We Exhibit the Best Way to Teach the Future
This Fall, Teach the Future participated as an exhibitor in two events. First was a vendor fair in October at the Houston-area Spring Branch school district, and second was the Annual Meeting of the Texas Association of Gifted and Talented (TAGT). The opening question for anyone passing by our booth was “Are you teaching your students about the future?” Most participants said that they were, or they were trying to. Good. So the next question was “How are you doing that?” Nobody had a real good answer to that, and from there we discussed the why and how of teaching the future.
Our Library is Thriving
The Teach the Future Library was re-programmed late last year, and it is now much more stable and functional than it was before. As a result, the Library is getting some use as shown in the following report as of Oct 14.
In the Media: Foresight and Teaching the Future
Matt Dahlitz (Brisbane), the publisher of the Age of Robots magazine, produces videos about the future. He interviewed Peter Bishop on Peter’s recent trip to Brisbane. View the result on YouTube https://youtu.be/je002rCnzcw or on Vimeo https://vimeo.com/24656409
Rob Furman, the visionary principal of an elementary school outside Pittsburgh, has founded a group called theCouncil on the Future of Education. To help them form their mission, Peter appeared on their first podcast -- https://www.edufuture.us/2017/12/06/interview-with-peter-bishop/
With Mark Sackler, a retired radio personality and emerging futurist at the University of Houston, Peter created a podcast on Teach the Future for Mark’s series entitled Seeking Delphi -- https://seekingdelphi.com/2017/03/03/podcast-5-teaching-and-learning-the-future/
Presentations and Partnerships
Since the last newsletter, we’ve also communicated our mission to these groups:
Partners in Education, August 22, Longview TX: A presentation on the interface between schools and businesses at the First Annual Partners in Education Conference sponsored by the Chamber of Commerce in Longview TX. Following the presentation, Peter met with educators to discuss teaching the future in Longview schools.
Heart of North Texas, November 3: A presentation at Tarrant County College Northeast in Fort Worth covered teaching the future for a meeting of business and government people about economic development. Peter will be teaching a short course to the faculty.
San Angelo Museum of Fine Arts, November 16: The trip also included an excellent meeting with the school superintendent there.