Educating fot the future; the position of school geography

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    Documents about "skills for the twenty-first century" envisage an increasingly competitive, globalized and technologically advanced world that schools should prepare for by focusing on a range of "skills". Policy documents and position papers about geographical education mainly assume that the world of the near future will be highly problematic, with many pressing issues, which is presented as legitimation for the importance of geographical knowledge and skills. Both types of future images are taken for fact and lack reflection in the documents. Futures education takes a very different approach to the future. Futures-plural since many different futures are imaginable-should be the object of teaching and learning, using powerful knowledge as well as envisioning and reflective practice. It will be argued in this article that geographical education would be enriched-and could move beyond unreflective rhetoric about "the future"-by taking the suggestions from futures education seriously. Futures-oriented school geography requires the use of powerful knowledge and an awareness of the situatedness of all knowledge. It is also a natural setting for pedagogical innovation. And finally, future orientation in geography will help in taking a critical position with regard to sense and nonsense of the "twenty-first century skills" movement.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalInternational Research in Geographical and Environmental Education
    Early online date25 Sep 2015
    Publication statusPublished - 2015


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