How do we prepare students for the future?

In 1900, 38% of the US labor force, nearly 30 million people, worked on a farm. That number slowly dwindled until 1990 when just under 3 million people, 2.6% of the US labor market, worked on farms. How can any education system prepare students for a future that may not need their chosen profession? They can equip students to think more critically and more productively about the future.

If we can teach the past, why can’t we teach the future? In the past, the future was most often presented either as a mystery that no one will ever understand or a series of technological wonders that will change nothing but the cosmetics of the present. The future may not be predictable, but students can be taught tools and techniques to consider their futures with greater confidence.

Peter Bishop, a prominent professor in the field of Strategic Foresight, along with a board of ten futurists and educators, created a non-profit organization called Teach the Future. They want to take futures thinking out of graduate programs and teach it in high schools, vocation schools, etc. They are currently raising money to pay teachers to develop materials on futures thinking. Their strategy is to put engaging and easy to use materials into teachers hands so they can start teaching the future the right away. If successful, they will create a social movement that will open students’ minds to thinking beyond their weekend activities and about their future selves, the people they eventually want to be.

For the sake of the students you know, please consider contributing to their cause If you want to learn more about Mr. Bishop, try his Google+, and to learn more about Teach the Future, visit their website

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