Storytelling in troubled times: what is the role for educators in the deep crises of the 21st century?

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This essay examines the role of educators in the tangled economic, social, environmental and technological crises of the present time. It argues that a central purpose of education in this period is to support students to imagine and make liveable futures on their own terms. To do this, the paper proposes that the colonizing, optimizing and catastrophic stories that dominate accounts of the relationship between education and the future should be replaced by a recognition of students and worlds as co-emerging. It introduces re-sources from the fields of anticipation, temporality and decolonial studies that gesture towards a new educational practice. It concludes by arguing that supporting students to make, tell and listen to stories has a critical role to play in enabling students to identify and articulate desires, hopes, fears and dreams for the future and to engage with the rich complexities of the present.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3-13
Number of pages11
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jan 2019

Structured keywords

  • SoE Educational Futures Network


  • anticipation studies
  • educational philosophy
  • future studies
  • literacy education
  • storytelling


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