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Applying pedagogical theories to understand learning in participatory scenario planning

Poskitt, S., Waylen, K. A. and Ainslie, A. ORCID: (2021) Applying pedagogical theories to understand learning in participatory scenario planning. Futures, 128. 102710. ISSN 0016-3287

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1016/j.futures.2021.102710


Participatory scenario planning (PSP) is widely used by researchers and practitioners working towards social-ecological resilience with the expectation that it can encourage learning. However, thus far there is a lack of theoretically informed analysis regarding how PSP may support learning in this context. In this paper we present a novel conceptual framework, based on the Zone of Proximal Development, which highlights how learning can arise through interactions between people with different fields of expertise, and add the concepts of ‘boundary objects,’ and ‘scaffolding.’ We applied this framework to an empirical study of learning in PSP processes that focus on social-ecological resilience. We found that PSP purposively brings different participants into dialogue with each other, and through the process of developing and analysing narratives of possible futures, encourages their exposure to different knowledges. If carefully designed and facilitated, PSP can also stimulate structured, creative thinking about possible futures. This can be usefully understood as enabling participants to ‘enter’ their Zone of Proximal Development and to explore ideas and ways of thinking in which they would not normally engage. This highlights the importance of studying interactions between different participants in PSP, and of actively facilitating the process of imagining and exploring scenarios.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Life Sciences > School of Agriculture, Policy and Development > Department of International Development
ID Code:96477


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