Education, Technology and Social Change
By Keri Facer
Routledge – 2011 – 182 pages
In the twenty-first century, educators around the world are being told that they need to transform education systems to adapt young people for the challenges of a global digital knowledge economy. Too rarely, however, do we ask whether this future vision is robust, achievable or even desirable, whether alternative futures might be in development, and what other possible futures might demand of education.
Drawing on ten years of research into educational innovation and socio-technical change, working with educators, researchers, digital industries, students and policy-makers, this book questions taken-for-granted assumptions about the future of education. Arguing that we have been working with too narrow a vision of the future, Keri Facer makes a case for recognizing the challenges that the next two decades may bring, including:
the emergence of new relationships between humans and technology
the opportunities and challenges of aging populations
the development of new forms of knowledge and democracy
the challenges of climate warming and environmental disruption
the potential for radical economic and social inequalities.
This book describes the potential for these developments to impact critical aspects of education – including adult-child relationships, social justice, curriculum design, community relationships and learning ecologies. Packed with examples from around the world and utilising vital research undertaken by the author while Research Director at the UK’s Futurelab, the book helps to bring into focus the risks and opportunities for schools, students and societies over the coming two decades. It makes a powerful case for rethinking the relationship between education and social and technological change, and presents a set of key strategies for creating schools better able to meet the emerging needs of their students and communities.
An important contribution to the debates surrounding educational futures, this book is compelling reading for all of those, including educators, researchers, policy-makers and students, who are asking the question 'how can education help us to build desirable futures for everyone in the context of social and technological change?'
Preface: ‘Sticking wings on the caterpillar’: the modernisers’ response to the future A brief note on theory and methods Part I: The next quarter century? 1. The Personal Cloud 2. Living and Working With Machines 3. Collectives, Kinships and Crowds 4. Necessary Knowledge, Dangerous Knowledge 5. A New Contract Between Generations 6. Mind the Gaps 7. Learning for Ourselves Part II: Building Education’s Capacity to Think the Future 8. Sceptical Habits of Mind 9. Balancing Aspiration, Diversity and Flexibility 10. The Educational Institution as Research Lab 11. Shared Responsibilities, Collective Memories
Keri Facer is Professor of Education at the Education and Social Research Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University, where she works in the fields of digital cultures, educational change and social justice.