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Comunicar Journal 73: Future Education: Prospective for sustainability and social justice (Vol. 30 - 2022)

Contributions of futures studies to education: A systematic review


David Menéndez-Alvarez-Hevia

Santos Urbina-Ramírez

Dolors Forteza-Forteza

Alejandro Rodríguez-Martín


Futures studies offer a framework of ideas and guidelines that allow us to develop more productive images of the future and ways of working with it. Despite several efforts to translate this approach to different educational contexts, it is still a field under development. The main objective of this article is to present and discuss the latest international academic developments and contributions of futures studies to education. For this purpose, we conducted a systematic review of the literature using the Web of Science and Scopus databases. We considered articles published between 2012 and 2022. We started with 437 articles and after the application of the exclusion criteria, this number was reduced to 50 articles that were directly related to educational issues. The findings show that the literature included specific educational methodologies, a balance between theoretical and empirical publications, a focus on specialised journals and countries and that multidisciplinarity in education was not common with subjects outside social sciences. Moreover, we found that the predictive approach and negative perspectives were not present. We conclude that futures literacy is a key element to bringing together ideas related to futures studies in education, that futures studies contribute to changing the way of working with and conceptualising the future in education, and that they promote transformative movements.


Future of education, futures studies, literacy, interdisciplinarity, communication, systematic review