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School education seems to be mostly stuck in an outdated industrial era worldview, unable to sufficiently address the significance and increasing rapidity of changes to humanity that are upon us. An integrated forward-looking view should, now more than ever, be of central importance in how we educate. Yet there is little sign that unlike corporations, school systems are recognising the true value of futures studies. A perspective outline is given on the traditions and trends of futures studies that have been recognised over the last five decades since 1960 which have developed in school education. Knowledge base for futures studies and growing non-Western participation in the 21st century school education becomes clearer. The report also introduces integral analysis as a way of opening up new possibilities to help school education develop due foresight and to more fully realise its potential as a prime facilitator in individual and cultural evolution and to re-imagine what a new school system must put out and focuses on proactive strategies.
Keywords: Futures; School education; Education; Integral; Wilber; Re-imagine;
Regarding school education, research to date arising from the trans-disciplinary field of futures research includes different major areas: A new perspective on tradition and trends of futures in school education; the teaching of futures concepts, tools and processes in school settings; broadening knowledge base and understanding of futures education in the 21st Century and speculative research into transformative educational models and approaches facilitated by futures and foresight thinking.
The first area provides a brief context and summary of the development of futures in school education (Slaughter, 2002).
The second area includes an analysis of the current state of play in futures education in schools. Examples were given of "good practise" at the primary and secondary levels (Gidley, 2004).
The third area points to a possible future of futures education which goes beyond the teaching of futures as isolated lessons or subjects to where foresight is an integral part of the conceptual schema rather than another (Wilber, 2001). This chapter will initially explore some issues relating to the latter, more transformative area, futures of school education, in particular from the perspective of the term "integral" as used by Ken Wilber. There will be an introduction to the four quadrant analysis and application of how the four quadrants component of Wilber's integral framework has been used to analyse the present state of play of futures education in schools in an "all quadrant, all level" approach based on the integral framework of Ken Wilber, also known as AQAL.
Background / Overview
The evolution of 'Futures in School Education'
Futures teaching and learning in school education is not new. Unfortunately school education seems to be mostly stuck in an outdated industrial era worldview, unable to sufficiently address the significance and increasing rapidity of changes to humanity that are upon us. An integrated forward-looking view should, now more than ever, be of central importance in how we educate especially young people for the future. Yet there is little sign that unlike corporations, school systems are recognising the true value of futures studies (Gidley and Hampson, 2004).
The task for the teacher at this moment is the same as it has always been; only now it seems more urgent, more importantâ€¦ (Gidley and Hampson, 2004: 39-43).
The paradox however is that it is seen and experienced over decades how inspiring, innovative and profoundly useful futures approaches in education can be. Yet over time such innovations remain remarkably rare. Slaughter (2004) argued that this can be explained by taking some factors in account. One of the internal constraints is that educators work under severe work and financial pressure but according to him, the main reasons for this lack of progress lie elsewhere (Slaughter, 2004).
For example, many innovations according to him, he has known of, or been involved in, worked very well at the school level. But as soon as one moves beyond to the system level everything changes. At the system, futures in education initiatives seem to vanish, till it is seen no more. According to Slaughter (2003) the central reason for this is that school systems are governed, in turn, by two powerful sets of forces that have no interest in education or, indeed, our collective future. Those forces are politics and economics. The other factor is that education, politics and economics are themselves mediated through an ideological framework that has become hegemonic over recent decades (Slaughter, 2003).
This managerial, market oriented, growth-addicted approach has actively worked to de-focus and hold back many useful social innovations, including school education. The result is that teachers in schools and let us not forget, teachers and learners in very many other locations have been undermined by background forces that all, too often lie out of sight and un-regarded (Slaughter, 1996). Re-focusing futures work in education and freshly comprehend its individual and cultural value will not be an easy task. Yet it is a vital step toward a worthwhile future for humankind (Slaughter, 2004).
A perspective on the traditions or trends of futures studies in school education
According to research it is well recognised that at least three traditions or trends of futures studies in school education have developed since the 1960s. (Slaughter, 1984: 19-25; 1984: 11-16; 1984: 17-21; Inyatullah, 1990: 115-141; Ramos, 2003).
The empirical tradition or trend originated in the USA. It was supported by the formation of the World Future Society in the 1960s. Much of the early futures in education work fall into this category.
The critical tradition or trend originated in Europe and grew out of a critique of the overly empirical approach of futurists in the USA. This led to the foundation of the World Futures Studies Federation in the early 1970s, which continues to this day to support a critical approach to futures. Much of the futures in school education work which has been driven by Richard Slaughter and David Hicks over the past two decades have its grounding in this approach. (Hicks and Slaughter, 2002).
The cultural tradition or trend arose in large measure to invoke a deeper consideration of civilisation futures. Sohail Inayatullah (1993) has been a driving force in this direction. Although this perspective is gaining recognition generally, it has not yet significantly penetrated futures in school education.
There has been some debate as to whether further iterations exist. However, an additional, "proactive, activist" approach was proposed by Paul Wildman in the mid-nineties, which he called "futuring" (Wildman and Inayatullah, 1995). This has recently gained some support from Inayatullah who now refers to a fourth 'action research based' approach. (Inayatullah, 2002; Slaughter, 2001; 2002).
From a different quarter, Slaughter has also proposed a fourth approach, which he terms 'integral' (Slaughter, 2003). Based on our analysis of the futures in school education field, the present authors attempt to resolve this discrepancy by proposing that there are actually two new perspectives that futurists need to take on board:
The empowerment-oriented, action research component which has been lying dormant since the nineties and only just beginning to be acknowledged (Wildman,1995; Bjerstedt,1982; Wildman & Inyatullah, 1996, pp.723-740).
The integral futures model, which is newly emerging. (Slaughter, 2003; Gidley & Inayatullah, n.d.; Voros, 2003).
In this framework, the empowerment or action research futures would be the fourth iteration and integral futures would be the fifth. It is vital that the futures studies field keeps abreast of rapid new developments in all fields of knowledge when constructing its own frameworks (Gidley & Hampson, 2004).
Futures education in the 21st century
By the late twentieth and early twenty first century the literature and theory of futures education had more than caught up with its earlier applied success. There now existed more durable literature, an increasingly capable international futures discourse, a knowledge base for futures studies and growing non-Western participation. All helped the field to advance and to equip it for the legitimating battles ahead (Slaughter, 1996; Sardar, 1999).
Futures education will continue to develop because it is driven by widely-shared human responses to structural change. As one observer put it, "futures concepts and curricula seem to me to be the most important rising paradigm in education. It addresses the ambivalence of post-modernism and focuses on proactive strategies that attend to the imperatives facing our world" (Inglis, 1988). This statement helps to explain why futures education has such profound transformative potential. It is therefore surprising, at first sight, that the most serious impediments to the further development and integration of futures education are not external. They rather lie in the nature of the structure of school systems as they have evolved during the industrial period and prevailing modes of administration at the very highest levels. As noted, top administrators can cope with occasional extrapolative exercises regarding the future of education because they fit neatly within present bureaucratic thinking. But it is rare to see high-level interest in futures in education, which is a completely different matter. In order to explain this, we turn to consider some of the powerful forces that constrain educational systems (Slaughter, 1998).
Slaughter (1998; 2002) highlights again that school systems are quintessentially 'industrial era' organisations. In their stereotypical form they are rigid hierarchies, mandated and controlled by central and State governments, with top-down power structures. One of their key features, therefore, is inflexibility. Typically there is a minister at the top; teachers and students are at the bottom not unlike a 19th Century army. The bureaucracy must, at all times, obey prevailing political priorities. Indeed, it is vital to appreciate that prevailing "system imperatives" are not necessarily about human beings, society or, indeed, the future. They are largely abstract in nature and may be summarised as power, control, economy and efficiency (Slaughter, 1998).
Saul (1997) argues the at the "litany" level school systems are widely thought to be serving some sort of human or social needs and, in a limited, conventional sense, there is some truth in that. But the fact is, however, that they are not entirely concerned with human and social needs, or where society may be headed. Such themes are powerfully and repeatedly expressed in rhetoric and public announcements. But there are perhaps two key sets of forces, two worlds of reference, which set the major "rules" for such systems. These are "politics" and "economics". The difficulty in both cases is that by the end of the 20th century each had become defective and incoherent. Politics is notorious for its short-term thinking and the ideological conceits of many of its practitioners. Economics lost sight of human needs and aspirations many years ago and remains a very long way from reforming itself. What has been widely overlooked in school systems is that, as they presently stand, "neither politics nor economics are capable of expressing, or responding to widely-understood human, social and cultural needs". Various critics have suggested that behind both lies a powerful, but regressive, corporatist ideology (Saul, 1997).
Methodologies to preferable futures of 'futures in school education'
Slaughter (2002) argues that in spite of its long history now spanning decades, futures in education is still marred by many obstacles not the least being that school systems are still "quintessentially industrial era organisations" which are resistant to change. His preferred approach is to develop "foresight fostering" educational approaches which would:
introduce futures concepts and tools throughout the curriculum;
integrate futures thinking into teacher training and professional development;
relate curriculum frameworks to their wider, long-term context;
use futures methods on strategic planning for schools and school systems;
revise the concept of educational leadership to include a proactive element. (Slaughter, Gidley & Inayatullah, 2002).
Regarding the curriculum, it is suggested here that those futures methodologies that include the facilitation of self-empowerment should be emphasised over those that do not pay due regard to psychological processes. In addition to empowerment methodologies already mentioned, two other frameworks may be noted which provide "meta-methodologies" for practitioners to analyse and synthesise more complex issues (Slaughter, 2002).
The first is Inayatullah's causal layered analysis (Inayatullah, 2000).
This can be used for both diagnostic analysis and solution-based action, providing a way of moving beyond both empirical analysis and the relativism of post-structural analysis noted in (Slaughter, 2002).
The second is Ken Wilber's integral framework.
(Wilber, 1995; 2000; 2000) addresses the complexity of the present times where innovative forms of thinking are called for thinking that moves beyond narrow specialisations, reductionism, and small-minded rational type of thinking. The integral framework incorporates multiples ways of "knowing", to act in the world. Although its complexity can be critiqued as being too unwieldy to be useful, that it promises to be a most rewarding approach, as its very reason is to embrace and appropriately place all paradigms, through deeply respecting their unique perspectives. Only then can a comprehensive and balanced understanding be reached.
The application of integral thinking to the futures discipline is in its infancy (Wilber, 2003).
Slaughter (2003 & Gebster, 1991) argue that it is essential that futures studies as a field keeps up with and indeed goes ahead of the currents of "new thinking" in the world. The integral movement with its various currents and facets carries within it the potential for the most transformative development in human consciousness. Therefore its implications for educational futures, and futures in education, cannot be overlooked.
An introductory to the four-quadrant analysis of Ken Eilber
Wilber's four quadrant model (Wilber, 2000)
Simply stated, the four quadrants represent the inner and outer dimensions of the individual and the collective:
upper left - UL - Subjective - Inner aspect of individual
upper right - UR - Objective - Outer aspect of individual
lower left - LL - Inter subjective - Inner aspect of collective
(meaning systems, culture)
lower right - LR - Inter objective - Outer aspect of collective
(social systems and behaviour).
Although the quadrants are unquestionable distinct, there is nevertheless an interwoven, intimate correspondence between them. Wilber argues that there needs to be a harmony between the quadrants if the whole system is to remain in balance. "An increase in exterior or social development can only be sustained with a corresponding increase in interior development of consciousness and culture" (Hicks & Slaughter, 2002).
Gidley and Hampson (2004) make a number of points when focussed on taking futures into school education and apply the four-quadrant analysis of Wilber in integral thinking:
Most work has been within the two upper quadrants - introducing concepts and tools that increase an individual's knowledge base (UL) and perhaps their behaviour as well (UR). Although much of the work is done in classes and small groups, it is still primarily focussed on the development of the individual. Indeed, the problem of getting sufficient support from school systems to keep initiatives going may stem primarily from the lack of work to date within the cultural and social quadrants (LL and LR)
Although much of the work in teaching futures is concerned with the upper left quadrant - the domain of the psychological, virtually no research has been conducted on the psychological processes involved in teaching futures. Yet the two are obviously intimately related. In this sense, even the best futures work has been largely unconscious of its own processes and has ignored the further development of this quadrant. Peter Hayward's current research is crucial in beginning to explore this terrain (Hayward, 2002; 2003).
Looking at the cultural quadrant (LL), we can see a lack of development of futures' cultural resources and artefacts. How many movies, songs, plays and art shows have arisen from the futures field? Although there are plenty of science fiction movies and books, most of these are dystopian. Rather than that futures is seen as just another social science lesson, we need to enter youth culture through music and film and inspire the young people to help with it. The computer game model, social media such as face book and twitter may be ideal ways to introducing futures concepts.
Another area which requires more attention in futures research is social futures - looking at how people relate to each other (LL). Galtung (1982) has pointed out that when we hear the term "future" we seem only to think of technological futures. Hence, there is much scope for development in this quadrant.
The lower right quadrant should not be overlooked. Educational futurists have not significantly addressed "the nature and dynamics of the relevant societal structure and systems" (Slaughter, 2003) such as the education system itself.
In the LR we may also question the increasing use of technology such as the remarkably computers in schools. The dominance of this issue and the term "futuristic schools" is often limited to mean "high-tech schools, which portray the wrong impression. The increased usage of technology is not without its potential problems, however. A number of studies have begun to explore potential psychological and physical damage to children from long exposure to television screens and computer monitors (Benoit, Clouder, Jenkinson, & Large, 2000; Grossman, Clouder, Jenkinson, & Large, 2000; Grossman & Degaetano, 1999; Healey, 1998; Large, Clouder, Jenkinson, 2000.) Initial findings suggest a link, for example, between screen viewing and myopia, short-sightedness or near sightedness.
Other integral considerations
In addition to this analysis, brief mention will be made here of other aspects of the integral approach.
Firstly, the integral approach is complementary to the theory of (Wilber, 2000). An example here would be the empowerment oriented methodologies already mentioned.
Secondly, the four quadrants analysis should be seen as one part of a "full spectrum" analysis, which would require us to also look at "all types, all states, all streams, and all waves" (Wilber, 2000). )
"Type"' refers in this instance to different personality types. It may also be seen to refer to gender.
"States" of consciousness include waking, dreaming, sleeping, altered, and meditative.
"Streams" or "lines" refer to the different aspects of our being such as the cognitive, ethical, empathic, creative, socio-emotional, communicative, spiritual, kinaesthetic, mathematical, sexual and musical. Taking the upper left quadrant, the emphasis in school education and in futures in school education has been with developing cognition. "Streams" support the latest developments in psychology that indicate there are multiple ways of knowing which can be artistic, contemplative, practical etc. All are important for a balanced education (Gardner, H. 1996). In the lower left quadrant, streams can represent different cultures and sub-cultures. This is an underrepresented area in futures work. For example, what do we educational futurists know about how young indigenous people frame the future? Apart from Milojevic's and Inayatullah's work and a few other studies, little on futures in education work have been recorded in non-Western settings. (Inayatullah, 1995; 2000; Inayatullah & Gidley, 2002; Milojevic, 2003)
'Waves' refers to the different "levels" of development occurring within an individual or society. For example, an important stream to consider in an analysis of the education process would be the different value-systems and worldviews that may be held by pupils, teachers and administrators. This particular developmental aspect may be investigated through the Spiral Dynamics model based on Clare Graves' pioneering work and developed by Don Beck and Christopher Cowan (Wilber, 2000). Although consideration of the waves of development is essential for a full integral analysis, space does not permit a due elaboration in this report.
4 Possible research areas
As demonstrated in the integral analysis above, a number of gaps have been identified in the research and practice of futures in school education. Subsequently, a number of research focus areas and some specific questions have been formulated which, if undertaken, would greatly broaden and deepen the potential impact if this work (Gidley & Hampson, 2004). Gidley & Hampson's outline for possible research areas:
Further general psychological research is needed into futures thinking and foresight.
Psychological implications of futures processes on clinical depression and hopelessness in young people need to be more fully explored.
Further research is needed on the implications of the correlation between age and increasing pessimism.
Why are boys more passive and technologically oriented in their preferred futures images? And why are they more at risk than girls to clinical levels of hopelessness? Can positive futures visioning help to reverse this?
Diverse ways of knowing
How can futures in education help to keep non-cognitive streams open?
How could music be used as a futures tool?
Is there a place for more art, poetry, dance and theatre in futures in school education?
Is there a place for introspective practices?
What kind of research could inform futures in education processes so that they could be more inclusive of non-Western cultural values?
How can futures in education foster the co-existence of a tapestry of different cultures on a global scale?
How can we best explore alternatives to hegemonic conceptions of education? (Lee Martin, 2002)
There is a need for a resource bank to be developed of what cultural material such as movies, literature, music, computer games, etc. already exists which presents positive futures.
Who will write the futures fiction of the future? Need it be 'science fiction'?
How can young people be encouraged to write their own 'alternative futures fiction'?
Is it possible to explore a popular form of expression of futures that appeal to student populations, for example through a competition?
Human and social futures
Why do technology futures figure so strongly in youth futures research?
What images of future humans are the media presenting?
How can our understanding of social innovation counteract "over-technologies" futures?
What are the emerging issues relating to over-use of technology in education?
Tackling the social systems
How are futures approaches currently being used in school systems and how could they be improved?
Given that the 'future' is a current fashion in education, how can education systems be informed of the knowledge base of futures studies as a resource?
Can the futures field provide strategies to better support teachers who wish to use innovative approaches?
Who are the key power brokers in national curriculum initiatives? How can they be informed of futures studies resources?
How might futures best evaluate alternatives regarding educational administrative structures in education?
School systems in some states contain futures in their frameworks. How can these be developed and applied more systematically?
How has an increase in the use of computers in classrooms affected the teaching of futures?
How can futures in education contribute to better communication and a re-evaluation of roles and expectations in teacher-teacher / teacher-pupil / pupil-pupil relationships? How might we regard the prevailing internal politics in schools?
Developing integral consciousness
Could a futures curriculum, informed by developmental understandings, be developed for use from Pre-school to PhD?
How can alternative approaches to education such as Steiner schooling and integral education (Steiner, 2010) inform futures in education?
Is imagination one of the qualities necessary to develop an integral consciousness? If so, how can imagination fostered by futures in education? What existing research is available on the cultivation of imagination in education?
What other existing organisations or networks are working towards an integral education approach with or without a futures perspective?
Are there any existing cross-cultural visionary worldviews based in an integral paradigm?
Does the capability of foresight arise from cultural evolution? Is a scientific worldview adverse to foresight? (Hayward, 2003).
Limitations or constraints
In summary, Slaughter (2004) argues that the education systems tend to have the following structural characteristics that can be seen as limitations and constraints:
They are inward looking and not like comparable businesses, they have few systemic connections with the wider world; therefore they are largely insulated from processes of change of the global system.
They are past-, and present-driven; hence they have minimal capacity to create, or engage with, a forward view. This is a major structural defect that requires urgent corrective action.
They are governed by outdated ruling systems and policies which powerfully resist any attempts that are made to revise existing system imperatives. Therefore they actively seek to marginalise educational leadership and attempts at system-wide innovation. This undermines their social legitimacy as agents of social well-being and cuts them off from sources of human vitality that might otherwise be welcomed and used.
In the African and Zimbabwe context
"Challenges, limitations and constraints facing education in the Zimbabwe schools: There is a continued massive drift of qualified teachers and professional leadership to other countries and the private sector. Good teachers running away from the harsh economic environment, in which they cannot have a decent lifestyle on the skimpy government salary, created a situation where the average teacher (i.e., not those in expensive private schools) cannot afford to send their own child to the very school they teach in; neither can they afford to feed and clothe their family. Efforts to address this issue of civil servants' salaries remain under pressure with a lot of challenges, as whatever government can afford seems to fall far below expectation. This has resulted in a highly noticeable degeneration of schools both in terms of their infrastructure and the quality of teaching, learning and motivation, both on the teachers and learners sides. Many children remain undernourished, and the minimum conditions for learning are not being met. Children became stagnant and are not interested in schooling" (Gudza, 2010).
Recommendations by Slaughter (2004) as follows:
If education systems from schools to universities are to re-focus and re-imagine the needs of a changing world, the needs of young people and eventually future generations, then it is necessary to take action on a number of levels and in a number of different ways.
A first step is to critique and replace the system imperatives that are currently operating. This will require sustained effort over a period of time.
A second step is to insist on a number of perceptual and organisational innovations. See educational strategies at three levels.
Third, the paradigms of education for example, "what education is" and "what it is for", will need to be revised in the light of the conditions facing society and individuals in the twenty first century. All entities within education systems, from primary schools to leading universities, will need to critically draw upon, and use, the tools of prospective analysis, understanding the strategy formulation that have been in use elsewhere such as the corporate environments, over a long time.
Educational strategies at three levels
Slaughter (2004) further recommended an Educational strategy at three levels as follows:
The system level
The primary requirement for those heading up educational systems is that they begin to develop a clear understanding of the "civilisation challenge" (Slaughter, 2004) we collectively face. In order to be able to read and interpret the signals of change educational systems require some structural innovations. For example:
the creation of an environmental scanning capability dedicated to educational needs (Choo, 1999);
the creation and staffing of functional niches to enable the forward view; and
the networking of both throughout the entire system to facilitate consultation, feedback and use (Slaughter, 2004).
Clear thinking is also required on the nature of "industrial era" system imperatives and on the reasons why they are no longer adequate. Careful attention should be given to new imperatives, such as sustainability and intergenerational equity. There will also need to be a profound shift of attitude to educational leadership. Much rhetoric has been generated about its importance but, in fact, leadership of the kind that is now needed is precisely what has been discouraged. That is, leadership that is deeply ethical, unafraid to confront embedded interests and genuinely, substantively, proactive, innovative and living ones purpose.
Universities are the intellectual gatekeepers of school systems and therefore play a very important role. They are the providers of advanced degrees. They employ influential people. They set standards for university entrance that define what is taught in the final years of schooling. In theory they should support the education profession. But in lacking credible forward views they have overlooked the "civilisation challenge" themselves and have been too myopically in short-sightedly be preoccupied with their own issues of funding, status and boundary maintenance to offer real practical support to hard-pressed practitioners in schools. Of the thousands of universities around the world there are only a handful support departments for Futures Studies or Strategic Foresight. Less than fifty support any futures programs at all (Ramos, 2003).
Universities need to embrace the forward view and put in place the specific means required to create and sustain it. Organisations that attempt to confront the turbulence of the twenty first century without investing in environmental scanning and strategic foresight will find themselves under threat from a series of rapid and powerful "tsunamis of change" (Dator, 1992; Slaughter 1998).
Universities would be well advised to re-conceive of themselves as "institutions of foresight"' in their own right. Moreover, they need to become clearly aware of the wider implications of the "all quadrant, all level" approach based on the integral framework of Ken Wilber or also known as the AQAL perspective (Wilber, 2001).
A full understanding of the latter could lead to a more systemic reorganisation of knowledge seeking activities and the long overdue revision of what are, in some cases, medieval approaches to teaching and learning. Where this is successfully achieved, new roles will emerge. Universities will be at the forefront of new knowledge, and knowledge patterns, not merely following marketing interests or the emerging entrepreneurial knowledge brokers that are now springing up everywhere. They will be able to lead in fact, rather than merely in only oratory speech. They will be able to detect and avoid dangers, as well as exploit progressive, for example socially valuable sources of value and wealth-creation. As such, they will be in a much better position to provide leadership and much needed support to schools (Slaughter, 2004).
Slaughter (2004) argues that schools have long been the focus of intense pressures and expectations. Yet in many places state schools have been starved of resources and teachers have not received the kind of support that they need in order to carry out a demanding role with the young. One result has been a flight to private or independent schooling. This is understandable because parents usually want the best for their children, but not all can afford to pay private fees.
It does not take much foresight to realise that social conflict may well result in the long term between private and government learners. The rush to independent and home schools is partly a result of government that neglect the state sector and partly a security reflex on the part of parents. Independent and home schools, however, although progressive in some respects, are not immune from the defects mentioned above. Many still cultivate the image of tradition and trends, of the past, but do no more than state schools to prepare young people for the real future they will live in. The long-term solution is not to opt out of public schooling. Rather it is to re-value it and bring it up to a viable standard of operation. Here, again, the "all quadrant, all level" approach based on the integral framework of Ken Wilber, must be applied to knowledge, teaching and learning which would help to resolve the till now unsolved "curriculum problem". By this is meant the real difficulty of representing to successive generations a viable set of cultural materials and processes that not only serve to pass on valued aspects of culture but also promote the means to reinterpret and renew it. An AQAL, all quadrants, all level view can be developed at any level. It promotes notions of balance. It recognises contributions from many fields. It sets up the grounds for solutions to human, cultural and futures problems by locating these within a non reductionist evolutionary framework (Slaughter, 2004).
Whether public or private, schools need much more help in carrying out their work to: socialise young people, help them develop their skills and abilities, prepare them for work and successfully integrate them into society. Seen in this light, schools have a long and vital future. But they will never attain that future if they continue to turn their collective backs upon the very field that has evolved to understand and respond to it. For school systems to be able to comprehend and deal actively with the early 21st century context, the forward view must begin to filter through to educational administration, thinking and practice at every level (Slaughter, 2004).
In the African context
To seek a high quality of life and standard of living for all, Africans must take responsibility for their own actions and provide the leadership in first transforming themselves, for which a new self-identity and re-education are needed in order to move forward. Political ideals and the educational system policies have to be formulated on the basis of culture, the basic system of belief of freedom, community, and human rights that must be adopted in fostering the flourishing of a new type of ethically based and fearless generation of educational leaders who will overturn bureaucratic rationality, control etc. in pursuit of the good of the public in the long view.
6.1.4 In the Zimbabwe context
The most important task in restoring a basic education system that was once regarded as the finest in the Sub-Saharan Africa, it will firstly necessary to establish a body of motivated, committed and professional teachers that is futures orientated, open to learn and apply new approaches, teachers that are ethically grounded and who are fearless to overturn the old redundant bureaucracy with a new paradigm, open mindset and willingness to make a difference in education.
Policy makers, curriculum developers, teachers and all associates of education must "Re-imagine" Futures Education in a new school system for Zimbabwe.
Our preferred futures of school education include the ongoing development and strengthening of futures in school education. It also includes an imperative to develop more integral approaches.
A use of Wilber's four-quadrant analysis is also demonstrated with regard to futures in school education. The "all quadrant, all level" approach based on the integral framework of Ken Wilber, is applied to knowledge, teaching and learning which would help to resolve the till now unsolved "curriculum problem". New and potentially fruitful avenues of research have become now apparent, many of which carry within them seeds of educational transformation.
Beare (2000) demonstrates a contrasting view of some of the 'good news' about schools in his book "Creating the Future School".
Beare argues that The challenge is to reinvent schools on a new philosophical and operational basis, not to see them overwhelmed by economic rationalism, still less by the over-hyped "communications revolution". The walls are certainly coming down around most built institutions and schools cannot escape powerful competitive forces from the new media, entrepreneurial penetration and autonomous learning. The attraction of "cyberspace"' will continue to make most industrial-era schools seem dull and unresponsive (Beare, 2000).
Slaughter (2004) summarise, the central strategies that will move education systems from a past orientation to an explicitly future-oriented one are as follows:
The active de-legitimating of "industrial-era" notions of education based on redundant abstract principles.
The re-focusing of education systems and universities away from the past and short term present, toward a substantive commitment to understanding the emerging near term future.
The much wider utilisation of the theory, literature and practical capabilities that have been developed under the heading of 'futures education', as outlined here.
The flourishing of a new type of ethically based and fearless generation of educational leaders who will overturn bureaucratic rationality, control etc. in pursuit of the public good in the long view (Duignan & Bhindi, 1995).
Re-imagine futures education and a new school system.