Early Futures


Early Futures is a website “supporting edge concepts about, from and for children“. Before I came across this site, I’d never heard of Future Studies, but it is a super interesting field. Here are some definitions from metafuture.org:

But what is futures studies? One working definition is: the study of alternative futures including the worldviews and myths that underlie them.

And what is a futurist? The futurist employs time, especially future time, to transform the present. Through deeply democratic processes, the futurist helps organizations and institutions move from the default future (which is often the used or the disowned) to the preferred future.

Early Futures focuses on doing this work with young children, and contains a wealth of research that mostly seems to have been done though interviews and experiences with preschool children. From their About page:

Early Futures is a source of research, projects and notes regarding ideas for alternatives in studying and engaging with young children. We believe that children provide deep insight into our understanding of human development and that integrated research with children shifts many common presumptions across multiple disciplines.

Early Futures approaches research from an integral, future studies perspective. We strongly advocate futures oriented approaches for children which include engaging with: alternative institutions, forms of play, new psychologies, edge sciences, alternative education and pursuit of creative philosophies.

There are a lot of projects I’d like to try with kids, including listening to their philosophies, asking them about their visions of the future, finding out what their unanswerable questions are, and using symbols to understand their internal narratives. I also think that a lot of this could be gained through careful observation of (and sometimes participation in) their play.

Here are some great posts:

Philosophies Of Children
Non-Human Relations
Children Tell The Future

They also have a couple interesting posts on Adventure Playgrounds, which is actually how I found the site.

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