Key activities of the project included:
- bringing together world-leading researchers, thinkers, practitioners and stakeholders to explore future socio-technical developments which might have significant implications for the goals, institutions and practices of education
- promoting debate and discussion about the implications of such potential developments with educational stakeholders from industry partners and policy makers to teachers, parents and young children
- developing a set of challenging long-term scenarios for the future of education in the context of social and technological change 2025 and beyond, as resources for educators and policy makers to use to reflect upon current assumptions
- making all materials generated during the programme available to the education community to support long-term futures thinking in and for education.
Four key principles were developed to underpin the research programme:
- the objective of educational futures work is to challenge assumptions rather than produce predictions
- the future is not defined by its technologies
- education has a diverse range of responsibilities towards young people and society
- thinking about the future always involves values and politics.
Phase 1: Defining the areas of priority focus
The first phase of Beyond Current Horizons comprised a series of desk research, consultations, events, interviews and commissioned pieces intended to identify the key areas of focus for the research programme.
Phase 2: Exploring probable, preferable and possible futures
The second phase of the project included:
- the challenge activity: building an evidence base of probable futures and mapping key uncertainties
- the public engagement activity: understanding preferable futures
- the scenario development activity: exploring possible futures.