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Paper Title: Analyzing Students' Writings on the Future: Types of Agentic Orientations
Session Title: Building on Community Assets in Education (Table 15)
Paper Type: Roundtable Presentation
Presentation Date: 4/21/2022
Presentation Location: San Diego, California
Descriptors: Global Education, High Schools, Qualitative Research
Methodology: Qualitative
Author(s): Antti Laherto, University of Helsinki; Tapio Rasa, University of Helsinki
Unit: Division G - Social Context of Education
Abstract: Individuals’ capacity for action is profoundly dependent on how they perceive their own relationship to the past, future and present. Such understanding gains in salience in education, since curricular aims increasingly emphasize students’ abilities to take action and contribute to change. We report on a study where high school students’ writings on the future were analyzed to identify three different types of futures thinking: 1) Stability/extrapolation, 2) Alternative futures, and 3) Preferable futures. We discuss their connections to students’ agentic orientations. On the basis of the results we argue that in order to foster transformative agency, school should teach versatile ways to think about the future, and students need practice in imagining futures based on values and choices.