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Future focus

This section draws together research, digital resources, and examples to support teachers as they consider the future focus principle. 

What the research says

The curriculum encourages students to look to the future by exploring such significant future-focused issues as sustainability, citizenship, enterprise, and globalisation.

The New Zealand Curriculum

What is future focus?

In these videos, Robyn Boswell and Sarah Watts share their ideas about the importance and meaning of the future focus curriculum principle. They provide advice on getting started with future focus in the classroom, and how to help students create the futures they want.

The New Zealand Curriculum Principles: Foundations for Curriculum Decision-Making – Future focus

ERO’s second national evaluation report looks at the extent to which the principles of The New Zealand Curriculum are evident in schools’ curricula and enacted in classrooms.

Future focus is about supporting learners to recognise that they have a stake in the future, and a role and responsibility as citizens to take action to help shape that future.

(ERO Report, July 2012) 

Taking a "future focus" in education – What does it mean?

This working paper explains why the FFI (Future-Focused Issues in Education) project looks at concepts in relation to 'future focus' in The New Zealand Curriculum: sustainability, enterprise, globalisation, citizenship. 

It introduces the notion of “wicked problems” – challenges characteristic of the 21st century that intertwine future-focused issues — and what these may mean for society and education.

Participating and contributing? The role of school and community in supporting civic and citizenship education

This report looks at how year 9 students experience civic and citizenship education in the school curriculum, and the opportunities they have to develop citizenship competencies through participating and contributing to various aspects of school life.

NZCER – Futures thinking

Futures thinking is associated with futures studies – an interdisciplinary “collection of methods, theories, and findings” (Miller, 2003, p.7) that helps people to "think constructively about the future" (Bell, 1996 cited in Codd et al. 2002, p. 5).

It has also been summed up as “the rigorous art of imagining”, with applied expressions across a range of fields from big business to education for sustainability.

NZCER – Prof. Jim Dator on The Future of Futures Studies

Professor Jim Dator, University of Hawaii, talks about forecasting alternative futures and proposes four recurring “images of the future”: continued growth/continuation; collapse; a disciplined or green society; transformational.

Updated on: 24 Jan 2020