Episode 56: Helping Students Shape Dynamic Futures

How many of us have taken a history class? What about a class on the future? Or a class on how to navigate ambiguity? These are the kinds of educational experiences Lisa Kay Solomon urges us to design for our students, as we prepare them for an increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous world. 

Guest: Lisa Kay Solomon

Resources, Transcript, and Expanded Show Notes

In This Episode:

  • “I'll start off and talk about futures thinking and I'll say, so how many people here have taken a class in history? And everybody raises their hand. There's probably some historians, probably teachers of history. Everyone's like, yes, of course I did. And then I'll say, well, how many people here have taken a class in futures? Zero, zero hands, zero. And maybe one person that took like a workshop or something. And then I say, well, which one of those can you influence? And it's like, oh, mic drop.” (8:54)
  • “You gotta practice the stuff that you're gonna need in life. And unfortunately, so much of our K-12 system is based on rewarding things that are knowable, that are performable, that are easily measurable. You know, show me the scale on ambiguity. Show me the person that's like, oh, you got an A in ambiguity, crushed it. We don't have a great vocabulary for it. We don't have a great practice ground for it. So I think about this a lot, because you don't want the first time someone comes head to head with a high stakes, high uncertainty, highly ambiguous situation to be when it matters most. You want them to have done the practice steps along the way, the scaffolding in the safe environment.” (14:11)
  • “You have a really important meeting and you've cleared it on everyone's schedule. People have flown in. They know it's important. And so because it's an important meeting, you go to the important board room that has the big oak table and the leather chairs and no windows and you got the PowerPoint set up. And yes, it's structured, but we have to remember there are human beings walking into that room, and our brains take a look at those signals: big oak table, leather chairs, no windows. And they think status, power, be right, be smart. They're not thinking, be open, be imaginative, be generative, right?” (29:15)

Related Episodes: 47, 38, 31, 26, 17, 12, 9, 7, 4

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