The future. Is it a topic in high schools?

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As part of Intellectual Output 3 (Foresight Toolbox and Training Manual for High School Students), a survey was conducted among high school students, the aim of which was to determine the expectations of young Europeans regarding their personal and professional future. The FUTURES team decided to also find out what high school teachers think about the future, and is it a topic or subject at their schools. For this purpose, additional interviews were conducted with teachers who answered three questions:

  1. In what way/to what extent is the future currently (in general, professional, personal) a topic or subject at your school?
  2. What works in this way and what could need improvement?
  3. What (more) activities related to the future would be beneficial for your students?

The results of the interviews were very satisfactory for the FUTURES team, as it turns out that schools are increasingly willing to talk about the future and encourage their students to think about the future in the context of their personal and professional development. Check some selected answers:

„The future is certainly information technology and many vocational subjects in my school are related to this topic. Students are taught new technologies, students are talked about the professions of the future, and the benefits for humans brought by the development of technology are pointed out, but at the same time, we forget about the threats to the planet related to progress and the path of development that humanity has chosen. I believe that a significant part of vocational subjects, advisory classes, and entrepreneurship lessons are devoted to the topic of the future.”

„The future of a young person is associated with enormous stress in the face of progress, in the face of the need for constant learning and training to meet the challenges of civilization. Faced with such demands, young people often struggle with depression, anxiety, and other mental health problems. I believe that classes with psychologists, personal trainers, and therapists would be beneficial for my students in order to take care of their mental well-being. I believe that class teachers should be pedagogues or psychologists, not subject teachers.”

„The professional future concerns especially students who, by taking five years of study at a technical school, are preparing to enter the labor market. Five years in terms of the future is quite a long time. Speaking about the future of students, we wonder how they will enter the labor market, and whether the knowledge they acquire will be adequate for the needs and requirements of the labor market in the future. The future can be a big challenge for them and the school should prepare them for it.”

„The topic of the future is discussed very often. In principle, there are no social meetings where there would be no conversation on this topic. Because subjectively feeling, time is running faster and faster, and the changes around are more and more intense, it has a very big impact on planning own future.”

The remaining answers will be used by the FUTURES project team to develop the final version of the IO3. We would like to thank all teachers and students for their contribution to the development of our project! Your valuable answers will certainly contribute to even better results because as the target group you know best what expectations and fears you have regarding the future. Stay tuned!

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