Situating self in the Sustainable Vision: envisioning as pedagogical challenge

Suzanne Jenkins, Angharad Saunders

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


    Envisioning, as both a visual and textual practice, is seen as a powerful way of engaging people in futures thinking (Tilbury and Wortman, 2004). It offers individuals an opportunity to take ownership of, and responsibility for future development, by giving them the space to explore, in creative, critical and aspirational ways, the meaning of sustainability. Yet, it is misleading to see the practice of envisioning as something that is straightforwardly engaging, empowering and participatory, as its effectiveness ultimately depends upon the social identity and expectations of its audience.

    Drawing on an ongoing envisioning project with undergraduate geography students at the University of Glamorgan, this paper explores the role of envisioning as a pedagogical tool for engaging students in sustainable futures thinking. It suggests that envisioning challenges student understandings and expectations of higher education; it engages them in forms of knowing and practice that are local, personal and uncertain. Our educational tradition does not, as Barnett and Coate (2005) argue, work from the ‘self’ and, as this paper explores, it is this absence of the self that makes envisioning as pedagogy so problematic.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationRGS/IBG Annual conference 2012
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Aug 2011
    EventRGS/IBG Annual Conference : Future Geographies 2011 - London
    Duration: 28 Aug 201231 Aug 2012


    ConferenceRGS/IBG Annual Conference : Future Geographies 2011


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