On the politics and ambition of the ‘turn’: unpacking the relations between Future 1 and Future 3

John Morgan, Jim Hordern, Ursula Hoadley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (SciVal)


This paper suggests that advocates of the ‘knowledge turn’ have been united in their opposition to Young and Muller’s (2010) Future 2, but that this ‘union’ has masked very different views of the relations between Young and Muller’s Future 1 and Future 3. Whereas some who subscribe to the ‘turn’ see a ‘weak boundary’ between Futures 1 and 3 (and therefore consider them similar), others construe these Futures as very different and strongly bounded. We argue that these positions are often underpinned by irreconcilable political persuasions and conceptions of education, society and the curriculum. In order to illustrate the argument, we discuss the political project of the UK-based Academy of Ideas, many of whose members have been involved in advocating implicitly or explicitly for a weak boundary between Futures 1 and 3. This position is then contrasted with those in the UK who are more strongly committed to exploring a distinctive Future 3, and the situation in South Africa, where the tensions between different educational Futures are acutely visible due to the social, cultural and political context and academic and policy debates around the curriculum. We conclude with some implications of our arguments for the Future 3 principles of disciplinarity and sociality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)105-124
Number of pages20
JournalCurriculum Journal
Issue number2
Early online date7 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • curriculum
  • educational futures
  • knowledge
  • Social realism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


Dive into the research topics of 'On the politics and ambition of the ‘turn’: unpacking the relations between Future 1 and Future 3'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this