Future-focussed learning (FFL) prepares students across all curriculum areas and learning stages with the necessary skills and capabilities to thrive in today’s rapidly changing and interconnected world. This style of learning connects students with ideas, engages all their senses and helps them put meaning to the broader world.
In a future-focused school, teachers know and understand the needs and talents of their students. They are incredibly collaborative, flexible and reflective; using a diverse range of teaching strategies to inspire and enhance the learning journey.
The learning environment is also vitally important. In a future-focused campus, the atmosphere is designed to motivate students to be leaders of their learning. They are not just passive learning, but rather the architects of their journey. In general, a future focussed learning environment will be:
- mobile, flexible, varied and connected
- support collaborative and imaginative learning
- provide choices of where and how to learn
- be adapted to different learning modes and technologies
- allow students to learn independently and in small or large groups
The Core of FFL
Future focussed learning is about examining the way schools currently teach and evaluating whether this is the most effective way of preparing our students for their future. Does learning each subject separately enable students to grasp how to create solutions to complex problems and construct knowledge in a broader context? Or our students of today better off learning in an interdisciplinary approach? Will a heavy emphasis on knowledge consumption and rote learning give students the mental tools necessary to think critically and creatively? And lastly, is a classroom setting of one teacher to thirty students the best way to inspire personalised learning?
These are the questions that plague the minds of future-focused academics and teachers. People wrongly assume that the FFL is about design spaces and technology, but that is not the case, it runs much deeper. Yes, these aspects are essential, but they are not the fundamentals of the approach, merely a by-product. You can knock down classroom walls, give students resting pods, paint the funky furniture colours and give our gizmos, but at the end of the day, unless the core curriculum and way of teaching is changed, it is not a revolutionary approach.
The Future of Future Focussed Learning
As mentioned above, FFL believes that there is no one single effective teaching method or strategy; today’s teachers need to be proficient in many teaching practices and ability to adapt their teaching methods to assist a range of students’ needs. In the modern classroom, teachers must be highly proficient in assessing student talents, evaluating their impact, pivoting when necessary, adept at using multiple methods, succinct in providing feedback and able to inspire.
This contemporary learning approach is being hailed as a saviour as it better prepares students across all curriculum areas with the skills and capabilities required to thrive in a hugely interconnected and rapidly changing world. The aim is to connect students to the global societies around them and engage their sense of curiosity. It’s hoped that in an FFL environment that students will rise to the challenge of being the architects of their own learning.