Enhancing Future Thinking Skills: AI-Driven Research on Curricula

Future thinking literacy encourages agency by developing the skills and knowledge necessary for students to envision alternative futures, consider their implications, and proactively shape a better tomorrow. Through our emerging research, we aim to understand better how curricula, decision-making, and students' future thinking are connected, using the power of AI modelling. We will review various global curriculum frameworks and teaching approaches to identify the essential factors shaping students' ability to think critically about their future, including how each curriculum contributes to the development of such attributes such as critical thinking, long-term vision/ foresight, creativity, ethical considerations, and systems thinking.

The study leverages numbers-based (quantitative) and descriptive (qualitative) research methods. With the data collected from student surveys and extensive curriculum analysis, we will train an AI model to simulate a student taught with a specific k-12 curriculum. We are proposing using advanced deep reinforcement learning techniques for this purpose. Ultimately the model will be tasked to make decisions with future implications to generate a score for analysis.

Our research, driven by AI technology, has the potential to inform the design of curricula and offers a demonstration of a unique approach to studying similar topics when extensive human research is impractical. By conducting thorough data analysis and interpretation, we aim to uncover valuable insights into the specific features of curricula to focus on transforming our education system designed for our increasingly complex world.

For more information about this research contact Mischa Simpson at alicea.simpsonkovalc@ucalgary.ca