Education for World Futures

By Neville Bruce, Steve Johnson and Karen Connolly.

Published by Journal of the World Universities Forum

Format Price
Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

We live in a time of unprecedented growth of science and technology with consequent escalating rates of material and social change. Global warming, the world's nuclear arsenal, population and information explosions, advanced bionics and computer-human interfaces all challenge what it will mean to be human in the next 50 years. This is the world our students will inherit. How then should we prepare them to identify and understand the challenges of the 21st century and have the knowledge and wisdom to help shape meaningful, sustainable and equitable world futures?
Integrated Human Studies programmes address these questions. They offer students a coherent approach to understanding major issues likely to confront humankind over the next 50 years. In this presentation we set out our guiding principles to what we believe should be an essential component of university studies. First, students need a basic understanding of and respect for the many disciplines that touch on the human condition. Second, they need the skills to integrate these diverse disciplines ranging over the sciences, social sciences, arts and humanities to explore and help resolve major global problems. Third, they need encouragement to reflect on what it means to be human, what it means to be a member of the human community and what it means to be a member of a species that has the power and propensity to affect this planet earth.

Keywords: Integrated Human Studies, Human Futures, Student Orientation, Curriculum Development

Journal of the World Universities Forum, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp.113-122. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.453MB).

Prof. Neville Bruce

Associate Professor, Centre for Integrated Human Studies, School of Anatomy and Human Biology, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia, Australia

Neville Bruce is Director of the Centre for Integrated Human Studies ( His major research and teaching interests centred on human reproduction and human biology. Over the past decade he broadened these interests to encompass human wellbeing from a psychological and biological perspective as a basis for developing a philosophy and practice for Integrated Human Studies. He had an active role in establishing the Australasian Society for Human Biology and at an extra curricular level has been active in Scientists Against Nuclear Arms, the Peace Education Foundation and the WA Alternative Fuels Association. He is committed to furthering the discipline of Integrated Human Studies locally and internationally.

Steve Johnson

Lecturer, Centre for Integrated Human Studies, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Steve Johnson is a lecturer at the Centre for Integrated Human Studies at the University of Western Australia, with the responsibility of curriculum development. He is currently working on the development of online first-year units in Integrated Human Studies, which use various e-learning technologies to promote inquiry, collaboration and knowledge construction. He is also completing a doctorate that investigates research writing as a process of semiotic inquiry and the use of diagramming software and portfolios as tools within instructional writing programs. Steve lives in Perth with his wife and two children and enjoys a game of golf when he has the time.

Karen Connolly

Research Officer, Centre for Integrated Human Studies, The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia

Karen Connolly has a Bachelor of Arts (UWA) and a Diploma of Teaching (WASTC). Concern for the future of her family developed into an interest in sustainability, and she was a founding member of the Sustainable Nedlands Committee, a local area action group. Karen is a Research Officer at the Centre for Integrated Human Studies at UWA and brings to the position administrative and executive experience in literature and the performing arts.


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