Reimagining our Educational Futures

The journal article was called ‘Future Studies: Reimagining our Educational Futures in the Post-Covid-19 world’.  It reflected on the changes in education that had been expedited due to the pandemic and considered how to prepare for the future to minimise further disruption by being proactive rather than reactive.  The paper contemplated how to create alternative futures and develop alternative methodologies through stakeholder engagement to enable a more productive future.

The group welcomed the idea of reimagining and re-setting educational practices rather than losing the potential opportunity that arose from the pandemic.  They agreed that COVID had been the catalyst to bring about change more quickly than anticipated even though digital and flexible learning were already on the horizon.

In addition, they embraced the thought of not just thinking about two options i.e. what they did this year and what they did last year when planning for the following year.  Bringing stakeholders into the discussion was thought to be positive and the group would go further than the paper to also include industry stakeholders.

However, the group were disappointed that the paper did not go into further detail about what the potential alternative methodologies could be and was quite restricted in its approach.  The group discussed how educational institutions approach big changes and noted the tendency to get caught up in the detail rather than seeing the bigger picture.

The group hoped that some of the beneficial changes brought about quickly through the Pandemic would not be lost as educators returned to more common ways of delivering teaching.  In addition, they discussed the importance of having the right infrastructure in place to help make those changes permanent. One idea the group came up with was starting with a blank sheet of paper when planning programme delivery following the pandemic (similar to the ABC Curriculum design process) so that solutions aren’t constrained by previous practice or perceived barriers such as timetabling.

The take home messages from the participants of the journal club at the end of the session were as follows:

  • The paper had a lot of potential but did not deliver what I wanted. My aim is to move colleagues from being reactive to proactive with future planning in teaching and learning.
  • The paper provided an opening into thinking about alternative methodologies differently. I will read further on this topic and look at what this might mean for Universities (see: Peters MA et al., 2020
  • Instead of thinking about just two options (what happened this year and last year), I am going to start by thinking about what we want to achieve and then how we are going to get there.
  • To consider the ABC workshop style approach and stop/continue/start methodology within my working practices.

Continue the conversation through our Yammer Pedagogy Journal Club.