Worlds in the Making: World Building, Hope, and Collaborative Uncertainty
Keywords:World Building, Futures, Speculative Fiction, Science Fiction, English Education
With the speed of change exacerbated by technological innovation, shifting political and economic structures as a result of globalization, and the currently unchecked climate crises, discourses and practices surrounding how we conceptualize the future must change. This is also true for how curriculum is designed to address the future, and inform what young people learn in school about, and in preparation for, an increasingly uncertain future. Problematizing the neoliberal approach many curricular orientations have to the future through the emphasis on individual progress, control, and skills geared towards 21st century work, in this paper I frame science fiction and speculative storytelling modes as an important intervention in this area. Drawing from a collaborative world building project in a secondary English classroom in which students used world building to imagine the future together, I explore the important way speculative storytelling can frame new ways of teaching about, and towards, uncertain futures.