Creating the Future's Schools

By Hedley Beare | Go to book overview

8

Choosing what future to have

Principle No. 2 Devise a futures planning strategy for your school to use.

Every educational leader must now possess planning skills; it is a constant part of their job. When a school building is to be remodelled, or when a new curriculum is to be introduced, or when the activities of the school for the next three years are to be planned, or when a school changes the way it intends to operate, planning skills are called upon. To be involved with these tasks, the educational leader needs to have looked at the future, to understand where the trends are carrying us, and to be capable of devising the strategies which need to be set in place so that the school is creatively abreast of international best practice. The process requires of educational planners and leaders not only clear ideas about what they wish to implement, but also the practical consequences of introducing them. It is they who must convert the ideas in Part One into operational realities.

A planning procedure

I have developed a fairly simple, two-part rule of thumb about reading the future. The first part of it goes like this: The most reliable way to anticipate what the future will be like is to observe the trend lines in the present. Almost nothing comes by revolution, even revolution itself. The new is always emerging from the womb of the already existent. To know what teaching or education will be like in ten years’ time, it seems best to begin by diagnosing what big-picture developments are already on the way (Beare, 1996:9-14). It is this method which threw up the matters discussed in the first half of this book.

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Creating the Future's Schools
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Figures ix
  • Acknowledgements xi
  • 1 - The Myth of the Unchanging School 1
  • Part I - The Big Picture 9
  • 2 - From an Old World-View to a New 11
  • 3 - From a Society of Factories to a Society of Knowledge Workers 23
  • 4 - New Ways of Knowing 36
  • 5 - The Networked Universe 54
  • 6 - From Bureaucracy to Enterprise Networks 65
  • Part II - Looking at the Practicalities 83
  • 7 - Schools Which Break the Mould 85
  • 8 - Choosing What Future to Have 99
  • 9 - Building a Manifesto for the School as a Provider 113
  • 10 - On Reporting Outcomes 128
  • 11 - Reworking the Curriculum Within a New Mindset 144
  • 12 - Teachers for the School of the Future 166
  • 13 - A New Kind of School 186
  • Bibliography 194
  • Index 203
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