Exploring the insights and implications can spark our imaginations about what liberatory education could look like in the next 20 years and beyond. We can then develop insights to inform strategies that put us on the long-term path toward a liberatory future without sacrificing the short-term relief that historically marginalized yet resilient populations and society at large need. Doing the work of liberatory education requires that each of us, particularly those in positions of power and privilege, listen and participate.
To start moving toward the future now, it is necessary to take the foundational steps as soon as possible. As we do so, we need to be mindful of who has traditionally been asked to do this emotional labor and who needs to engage in it to enable deeper change.
- Clarify your own values and where they might come from.
- Understand the roles you play and the impact you have on other people’s current realities and futures.
- Learn about who has already been working toward liberatory education in your context.
- Consider who needs to be present in conversations about changemaking and about moving toward liberatory education.
- Identify whose voices need to be counted and centered – and why.
- Create spaces for authentic listening and normalize environments where every person can truly get to know one another and develop a shared perspective.
With these steps underway, you can work with others to generate a shared vision of liberatory education and to co-create the strategies to move toward it, together.
Our systems of learning must look and be different in the future. To continue along our current path, in which we keep placing large segments of the population at a predictable disadvantage, is immoral and unsustainable and would have profound consequences for humankind and the planet. There is very little uncertainty that things will be different in the future. The uncertainty lies in how they will be different.
Dismantling oppressive systems and structures of education is one of the greatest challenges that education stakeholders face. It is also the most important. The only way to meet these shared challenges is together.
Resources and References
Materials that influenced the development of this forecast