ABSTRACT

This is an edited version of the inspiring paper specially written in 1984 for inclusion in Dorothy Heathcote: Collected Writings. It was provoked by the state of education at the time – when teachers felt disempowered and the curriculum was being restricted by increasing government control. Heathcote was aware that teachers working towards authenticity in that climate would inevitably be in conflict with the system – a system in which students often saw little purpose in school work in a society that could not guarantee them employment and in which they were not permitted to assist in the fabric of culturemaking. But, as Heathcote insists, for these students, the future is now. This paper is an impassioned plea for schools, teachers and communities to think more inclusively and globally about education in our culture and to begin to allow students to share responsibility for the future. Unfortunately, Heathcote’s arguments and proposals for change are more relevant and even more urgent now than they were thirty years ago.