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THE CREATION OF A MASTERS PROGRAM IN FUTURE STUDIES

 Introduction and Rationale

 
shutterstock_80676160Over the years, we have heard of the theoretical needs of higher education and future studies through the articles of WAAS Cadmus writers and those of the World Future Society.  In these cases, the term New Paradigm is utilized. However, in many of the stances (articles and workshops) only a dry static theoretical approach is utilized where the individuals only postulate as to ways how the future of education, ecology, nuclear proliferation, science, medicine, European growth and human rights may look in the year 2050. It is sad, however, that few of these works present a kinetic approach whereby the writer presents a clear practical approach, based on research as to how these items may be achieved. We, at the College, World Academy, European Academy of Sciences and arts and Alma Mater Europaea are now interested in the implementation of these concepts and issues.

The New Paradigm[1]

 The International College of Interdisciplinary Sciences is proud to present its new program in Future Studies with its interconnectivity between faculty to students and student to student studies. The program provides insight into problems and concerns of the 21st century. This coursework assists in delivering exceptional discernment of aspects provided by the World Academy of Art and Science, World Future Society and the Royal Society of Arts. The principles help in showing the transdisciplinary nature of how society interacts with events relating to disease, aging, agriculture, medicine, scientific advances, religions thought, war and cultural change.

The Thesis

The program consists of eight (8) pre-thesis courses and a final research paper. In the thesis aspect of the program, students must write a paper of 60,000 (124 pages) -100,000 (208 pages) words relating to their field of interest in Future Studies. Their interest must pertain to their previous Bachelor’s degree and work experience. This excludes charts and footnoting.

Students must postulate what they perceive as a potential problem relating to the future, and design a way how this problem can be eructated or changed.  Students may also present a hypothesis relating to an advancement in technology or positive cognitive change and design a methodology as to how this can be achieved. This is not a science fiction course, rather a scientific exercise to provide a sound academic platform for discussion and achievement.

The paper must have numerous educational and learning aspects. The thesis must also contain 500-800 footnotes and over 100 references.

Students must, upon completing the thesis, submit a 5,000-10,000 word paper based on their work to a noted university peer-review publication. In research terms, the thesis may be considered a M.A. or more precisely an MPhil by research.

 On-Line Distance Education[2]

In the concept of educational development, face to face contacts are important, yet, in the future, there must be a method through which groups can learn through one-on-one and block teacher strategies under advance technology.

Today, some professors have several hundred students per class and often scholarly learning does not work as professors are more interested in publications and research than teaching. In these classes, teachers do not know and could care less about interaction between their students, and delegate much of their student-teacher and student-student activities to graduate assistants. Student in turn are often scared to approach faculty after class and only 1-2 hours a week is delegated to office hours. Even then, faculty can be short-tempered and condescending toward students who take up their valuable time. Hyper-connectivity can and will take place under advanced technology.

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Lindgren receiving the N. Tesla Gold Medal in Belgrade, Serbia

The students, in this New Paradigm will be responsible to become more mature individuals as they interact on the technological and academic data provided them. These students are to utilize this data into a Bloom’s type taxonomy with emphasis on analysis, synthesis and evaluation.[3] This would be opposed to current application of learning starting with mere knowledge, comprehension, and application of the lower level taxonomy base knowledge scale. This concept does NOT mean that the three lower levels would be unexplored but rather that these subordinate levels will be integrated on a constant basis with higher learning. These include a constant utilization of cognitive mental skills, affective learning relating to growth in feelings or emotional areas and psychomotor physical and manual skills. To achieve such an endeavor, a computer program must be written for the workstations to develop such concepts and then integrated them into the regional or national course syllabus. This is similar to the Agent-based Intelligent System noted by Dr. Mirjana Radović-Marković.[4]

In the near future, the most significant paradigm shift[5] relating to the Bridge between European Society will be what the technology of the computer has done to our concept of time and space and the implications of distance learning. In this photograph, Dr. Lindgren from the States is receiving the Tesla Gold Medal from the Royal Serbian Academy of Scientist and Artists.

In such a future, students should have more freedom in decision making if so conducted in a mature and academic manner. However, students should NOT be allowed to break the chain of command between faculty, chairs, deans, vice-chancellors and the president to discuss a personal or educational issue. As in traditional schools of stone, the future schools made of wires, processors and CPU’s must have ethical codes and students and faculty should be encouraged to discuss ethical protocol and report moral injudiciousness. Therefore, there should be a grievance committee made up of the professor, chair and three student members of the grievance board to hear and evaluate the conflict situation.

It is hoped that in the future educational prototype that all mature students (mature with it new meaning) will build up self-interest credits and will self-educate on-line to gain the credits that are necessary to complete a degree or diploma and in some cases pursue the education of a subject as self-instructional with additional textbooks. This will assist the student in solving a nexus of interconnected problems of unparalleled complexity.[6]

If we, as human beings, strive for greatness, understand the differences of others and are willing to conceive of a universal love based on others, not merely ourselves, the New Paradigm of education, sociology, cultural and brotherhood will take roots and grow. It is up to each individual to determine if man is to evolve into a better, more intellectual being or in the end, destroy themselves and planet Earth.

The International College of Interdisciplinary Sciences (formerly accredited by London College of Teachers and now by the ACCREDITATION SERVICE for INTERNATIONAL SCHOOLS COLLEGES & UNIVERSITIES) however is not wishing to be a branch of the Europaea University, or other European schools but rather wishes to be a driving force in the States to assist European schools in instruction, curriculum building, methodology theory, conceptual change and statistics. The European University must remain an institution for European faculty, students, concepts and development. However, the International College has many concepts and ideas it can share in the development of bridges throughout Europe. Both Dr. Lindgren and Dr. Blount has spent considerable time in Western and Central Europe as well as Libya, Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, and Australia. It is felt that being a branch of an European school in the States could lessen the university’s importance as a part of a European Academy. Although we can assist in many ways, I believe that a Future Studies initiative could bring to the foreground many interdisciplinary thoughts. The MA or MPhil Future Studies program allows for the advanced development of futuristic though processes while staying grounded in a kinetic social, natural science, humanitarian or art enterprise.

President Lindgren in Belgrade at a meeting of the Royal Serbian Academy of Scientists and Artists

President Lindgren in Belgrade at a meeting of the Royal Serbian Academy of Scientists and Artists

Futures Program

As noted, in our reviews and evaluation of many of the future studies programs throughout the world we have seen, the participants only postulate what may be possible to introduce as a resolution of a future issue.  The mission of the new Alma Mater Europeae initiate “is to promote European studies in the countries of Europe that have not yet joined the European Union. For this reason, a study programme was developed with support of professors and academics from other European countries, especially from the Danube area.”[7]

Our College strategy in the futures program has a unique design for the student to actually develop his or her ideas of reality from the work place and in educational institutions from trials, experimental purposes, or to use on the job. These concepts can be utilized within the European region to aid in developing European studies and research.

Further, each student receives one free course or a MOOC who are in the Master’s Degree Program.

The intention of the administrators of the International College of Interdisciplinary Studies is to carry out the needs assessment of the potential participants as to what they would like to see developed in the Future Studies Program by American, European and Asian students.

 

Prerequisites Core Courses and Electives for the Future Studies Master’s Program

 Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Building

Within the Future Studies Program we present an enhanced educational program consisting of interdisciplinary teaching, learning with student to student and students to teacher and curriculum development.

We are including education as a field of study in our Master’s presentation, for education provides a theoretical and practical foundation for interdisciplinary fields of study. To offer these types of perquisite courses will help to develop high quality study programs as quality teaching will improve professor knowledge in designing curriculum, instructional tools, effective learning of the students and student-teacher learning participation.

The electives to our presented Master’s Program will also consists of a course in International Law as it pertains to the 21st Century. The course, Teaching the Future of International Labor Law in Europe, is taught by Dr. Vesna Baltezarevic. This module is beneficial in that it allows the students to understand what FUTURE ideas, concepts and implementations are currently lawful and how these laws will apply to future concepts in designing a Future Studies conceptual model of the student’s thesis.

REQUIRED CORE COURSES (5 courses)

EDU 500 Curriculum Creation and Redevelopment – Dr. LaWanna Lease Blount

Curriculum development will become an experiential venture as students put a new face on this historical model and begin to create new models for this learning age. In this course the participants begin by doing the needs assessment of a group of participants and further learn how to create learning output objectives in order to comply with requests of the European Union Higher Education Quality Assurance demands. They will also learn the significance of output objectives and of creating New Paradigms in education, natural sciences and the social sciences. The need for and methods of evaluating a curriculum will be studied.  Emphasis with be utilized from data and research obtained by the faculty (Blount & Lindgren) from years of activities with the London College of Teachers, both as students and Senior Fellows. Participants will develop a curriculum in a subject leading toward their Future Studies thesis, which would be suitable for a 16 week course.

EDU 501 Teaching for Effective Learning – Dr. LaWanna Lease Blount

The goal of this course is to help students become not only effective academics and researchers but also teachers. The course will cover the basics underlying the development of effective teaching. Thesis students will learn how to write learning objectives; how to develop methods appropriate for selected skills to be learned; how to deliver different types of lessons from lectures and how to teach in small groups, workshops, tutorials and other teaching modes. Types of assessments will be studied. Students will be expected to go to conferences in their area of interest and evaluate the teaching methods according to criteria learned in the course. Participants will make a videotape of a 40 minute teaching session in an area of their choice as it relates to their thesis topic. A research paper will be developed.

FUT 500 Introduction to Future Studies – Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren

Future Studies is increasingly being taught in many of today’s universities and colleges. Foresight is interactive with the study of change. Modern science is using technology to change the world we live in. Futurists help people to view and explore the range of possible futures. This course is an introduction to understanding and developing your future.

RES 650 Quantitative and Qualitative Methodology for Research in Education – Vacant

This course is designed to develop skills for the student to carry out research for the Master’s thesis. Students will learn about different types of research, how to define the problem, study types of methodologies, parts of a research project, how design the data collection methods as  questionnaires and interview schedules, and utilizing data that exists for qualitative research. Also drawing conclusions and making recommendations for further research.

RES 651 Doing Grounded Theory for Your Thesis – Dr. LaWanna Lease Blount

This course will follow the textbook by Kathy Charmaz – Constructing Grounded Theory. First developed by Anselm Strauss and Barney Glaser in 1967, Grounded Theory has now become a very poplar methodology for thesis students. Essentially Grounded Theory is based on the inductive development of theory from emergent data. This method offers a rigorous orderly method of theory development from social research. The grounded theorist collects data to resolve a problem or question.  According to Glaser, everything is data. The theorist collects data he is also coding and memoing. Students will also learn this method using Glaser’s text. Doing Grounded Theory: Issues and Discussions. Mill City: Sociology Press, 1998. (www.sociology press.com)

THESIS

 THE 690 – Master Thesis Seminar (scientific writing) – online through conference calling

 THE 699 Thesis – See Manual for Writing Thesis submitted in original hard copy documents.

Manual For Writing Theses and Dissertations by Dr. Lawanna LEASE BLOUNT, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 2015.

ELECTIVES (select six courses)

 

EDU 502 Introduction to Educational Leadership – Vacant

In the current climate of rapid technological change, education organizations must continually reinvent themselves to become true “learning organizations.”[8]To effectively lead the way, educational leaders of this century need new ideas and creative perspectives to shape new kinds of responses and create original ways of solving problems and issues. Research has indicated that strong leadership involvement in curriculum and instruction does indeed, make a difference in student achievement and growth.[9] Students will be able to take concepts and ideas from this course and integrate them into their thesis development.

 FUT 501 Teaching the Future of International Labor Law in Europe – Dr. Vesna Baltezarevic

 This course focuses on the theoretical and practical approach in the development of intellectual creativity and the work environment that, depending on the applied organizational communication will stimulate creativity or disable it. The course will cover some of the essential segments of the Intellectual process. The primary objective of this course is to consider what Intellectual Property means for organizational system and provides a competitive advantage in the market.  This course also encourages the core issues involved in deciding whether to pursue an entrepreneurial vision, and what characteristics are vital for success from the very beginning. Skills to be developed in the course include analysis of argumentative texts, critical assessment of rational positions, reasoning and rational defense of views, and general ideas relating to particular situations. Furthermore, students will participate in brainstorming and other assessment processes used for evaluating ideas from conceptualization to implementation including reflections upon the business climate and how an idea might fare given current economic and environmental conditions. The course will be taught using student and faculty threads to discuss issues. EMPHASIS in on the utilization of these concepts in evaluating future trends and how the conceptualization to implementation of certain laws will evolve over time to effect social, economic and environmental change. Each student will also develop a 30 year trend factor based on their understanding of various dynamics which may affect International Labor Law in Europe and European law in general.

FUT 502 Communication Concepts in European Business Relations – Dr. Radoslav   Baltezarevic 

 This course will present the traditional marketing approach and the future directions of evolving marketing communications in the real world, through the study and application of neuroscience, emotional branding and modern advertising techniques. The course will be enriched with numerous quality examples in this and creative student exercises. Understanding consumer behavior related to its conscious, unconscious and emotion aspects, as well the related “in between” factors is a crucial point nowadays. However, the European leading brands have only just started to scratch the surface of marketing capacity.

FUT 503 – Hospitals and Health Care of the 21st Century – Scientific and Technological Advancements – Vacant

 It is difficult to ascertain what technological changes will take place within the next fifty years. However, in this course the student will be introduced to past experiences in the field and through these experiences they will be able to understand original thinking. Today’s visit to the hospital is a grueling experience. However, it is hoped that in the future hospitals will become more psychologically and physiologically conducive to healing. In the hospitals of the future advance technological changes will have taken place. With these changes doctors and support staff will be more sensitive to the patient problems, tests and operations will be less invasive, the hospital environment will be provide a less stressful environment and the utilization of sound and visual stimuli will aid in healing and pain reduction.

FUT 504 – The Gifted Child, a World ViewDr. Carl Edwin Lindgren

The course provides insight into the physiological and psychological ramifications of the gifted child. What genetically and environmental factors assist in forming the mind of a genius? Does the Genius Factor skip a generation? Why? Intellectually and artistically gifted children learn at a much faster rate and are prone to boredom and show certain degrees of apathy toward the teacher, coursework and fellow students in traditional programs and classrooms. What can educationists do to create a more conducive environment for giftedness? Although IQ plays an important role in determining giftedness educators must realize that there are also an array of other markers including talents, self-actualization, spatial ability, mathematical aptitude and verbal capability. Dr. David Lubinski, of Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College of Education and Human Development states that “[g]ifted children are a precious human-capital resource, … This population represents future creators of modern culture and leaders in business, health care, law, the professoriate and STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics).” – Dr. Carl Edwin Lindgren

FUT 505 – Concepts in Robotics and Cybernetics – Vacant

 In this course, students will be introduced to the history of robotics and cybernetics as well as current research projects and conferences. Through this data, the research student will be provided with the potentiality of many futurist projects relating to the role of advanced cybernetic technology over the next 50 years. The student will watch numerous videos and do assignments from a text. Finally, the futurist student will write a scientific paper on advanced technology as it may impact society in the year 2051.

FUT 535 – Enhancing Health and Life ExpectancyVacant

There has been much talk of late relating to extending life expectancy. However, emphasis in the future must be not only the concept of increasing life expectancy but even more importantly, ways of enhancing health and the quality of life. An interest website relating to this aspect is https://www.fightaging.org/ Student in this course will approach various future based concepts including those found in video lectures, articles and the course text. The student will then, based on these study guides, create a futurist new paradigm relating to better health concepts and enhanced life expectancy by the year 2050. Scientific and research designs must be utilized.

FUT 567Nanotechnology, Nanomedicine and Disease – Vacant

 This module is concerned with the technology that in the near future will impact medicine, environmental sciences, warfare, physics, chemistry and the health of the aging. The technology refers to the manipulation of matter on various molecular and atomic levels. Due to its size of typically 1-100 billionths of a meter it will become more and more a useful tool in medical applications.

 FUT 591 – Advances in Pain Research – Vacant

 These course materials refer to the various aspects of pain and how in the future doctors and chemists will be better equipped to eradicate this health issue through non-narcotics. Since the beginning of life on earth, pain has existed. Although acute pain is a useful tool to provide a warning of potential damage or over exertion, in many cases this neurological warning system becomes over active and continues as chronic pain. The course provides the student with potential factors relating to pain and how future medical and technological methods may assist in pain management.

FUT 593 – Religion, Transhumanism and Posthumanism – Vacant

 This course provides insight into the impact of religious beliefs in the 21 century and the effect of the H+ movement or the international intellectual faction of transforming the human condition (pain, health issues, physical disabilities and death) through scientific and technological advancements. The movement also attempts to enhance human capacities (psychological and intellectual) in an attempt to overcome human limitation. The course will be medical, technological and religious in scope. Finally the aspects of Posthumanism will also be explored. Read – Cognitive Enhancement: Methods, Ethics, Regulatory Challenges – http://www. nickbostrom.com /cognitive.pdf

We are aware of the ECTS credit format – http://ec.europa.eu/education/tools/ects_en.htm The courses in this program are designed for 1800 hours per year or 5 courses each year plus Thesis work.

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