We lost a special person over the holidays. William (“Bill”) Doll died December 27, 2017, one month short of his 87th birthday. Straddling the post-modern, Bill was a complex, complicated, caring man. With his penchant for alliteration, he gave us the four R’s (Richness, Recursion, Relationship & Rigor)1, the five C’s (Chaos, Complexity, Curriculum and […]
Education’s most intractable, perennial problems go unresolved not because policy makers and teachers lack the will to address them but because the challenges result from the interconnectedness and complexities of education, creating social problems seemingly beyond reach for systemic, sustained solutions to be attempted. The purpose of this paper is to examine and apply a Futures Inquiry approach and rethink the challenges of school reform from a complex adaptive systems perspective to address the case of perennially low performing schools. The Futures Inquiry approach is a multidimensional approach to deconstructing educational issues that takes advantage of patterned solutions without artificially over-simplifying or prematurely reducing problems while also keeping in mind creating sustainable, adaptive educational futures. This approach is particularly valuable as a solution-pathway during times of rapid change, reduced resources, and social upheaval. The Futures Inquiry approach presented herein is essential for addressing the challenges of systemic educational inequalities to ensure full participation of all of our future citizens in a rapidly changing, global society. Futures Inquiry as a problem-solving tool, provides the basis for transforming education as a fundamental social institution.