Disrupting the megatrend of the climate emergency through the Australian curriculum: technologies

Year: 2017

Author: Walsh, Chris, Whitehouse, Hilary

Type of paper: Abstract refereed

Reversing a global megatrend such as the climate emergency that is wreaking havoc on Earth's natural and human systems presents unprecedented educational challenges. Indeed, the planet's probable future, particularly for children and young people, is looking increasingly dire. The Australian Curriculum: Technologies offers an unexpected timely response to the climate emergency through its overarching key idea, 'creating preferred futures'. In a preferable future, the kind for which we hope this Point and Counterpoint section will be a catalyst, educational institutions urgently introduce climate change education into the curriculum, and then invite students to engage in possibility thinking or curiosity-driven co-creative exploration to identify authentic problems related to the climate emergency that they want to address. Through possibility thinking, students can push back against the education currently on offer and learn to be anticipatory. With an anticipatory disposition, they can engage in strategic foresight to anticipate the digital literacies they will need not only to solve their climate emergency problems, but also to identify pathways and reward for a future of work that schools are not preparing them for in the present. Rather than waiting for the future to happen, students need viable opportunities to think about what their preferred future might look like, and how they can collaborate in a productive manner to co-create that future over the probable one. Such a stance requires students to take on an anticipatory disposition and articulate the digital literacies they will need in order to act with agency and conviction to be co-creative, co-imaginative and co-enterprising. We argue that a wise, humanising creativity (WHC) is central to children and young people engaging in collaborative thinking and ethical joint action to co-create their preferred futures.