David Hicks & Ivana Milojevic

Practitioner Reviews of Futures Thinking for Social Foresight

Richard A Slaughter with Marcus Bussey, Tamkang University Press, 2006, 2012

Futures Thinking for Social Foresight provides an exciting compendium of practical ideas for the classroom. It is a ‘must’ for all teachers who wish to help their students understand the nature of change in society today, whether at personal, local or global scales. If you wish to help students think more critically and creatively about the future then this is the book for you; it is a veritable treasure trove.

This collaboration has made what were difficult ideas for many teachers into a most useful classroom resource. Congratulations!

Prof David Hicks, School of Education, Bath Spa University, UK

Futures Thinking for Social Foresight is a thorough and highly relevant text. It overviews key theories, concepts and methods within futures studies in an easy to follow yet substantial way. Both the book and the CD -ROM are visually appealing and accessible. While the book may be of more use for those accustomed to print medium, the CD-ROM contains the added bonus of several supplementary essays.

Futures Thinking for Social Foresight will be useful for those interested in futures possibilities and the ways that ideas and images about the future influence our present. The text is especially beneficial for educators, teachers and students. Richard Slaughter and Marcus Bussey have combined decades of research and practical experience in the field of education to produce the text of highest quality for both experienced futures educators and those wishing to start their engagement with the futures field. The text offers curriculum materials (including work sheets, cartoons and other visual images) that can be used in classrooms. These curriculum materials are equally relevant for state and the independent school sector as well as for university students in tutorial settings.

Besides its obvious value for formal education settings, any individuals and organisations working with young people could utilise this material – whether engaging one-on-one with a young person or in a context of workshops and group gatherings. By learning how to tap into young peoples hopes and dreams for the future, learning facilitators will not only be able to help young people develop a more optimistic outlook on life but also to transform despair, self-doubt and cynicism that often plague youth. By doing so, they will also help young people in becoming pro-active co-creators of their own individual and collective futures.

For each idea presented in the book, educators who choose to engage with the text and use it creatively in their own specific learning contexts will develop many more. This is an open text – an invitation and support when embarking on the overall project of developing social foresight and futures literacies. In sum, the text is inspiring, accessible and conceptually clear – a true gift to future generations.

Dr Ivana Milojevic, School of Education, University of Queensland, Australia