Volume index - Journal index - Article index - Map ---- Back

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

Educating for a sustainable future through the Circular Economy: Citizen involvement and social change


Alejandro Carbonell-Alcocer

Juan Romero-Luis

Manuel Gértrudix-Barrio

Eddy Borges-Rey


The climate crisis and the environmental emergency are a sign of uncertainty for the future of the planet. European and national educational directives establish the framework of action and the commitments that must be made by each agent to reach the new sustainable paradigm which is based on circularity. The school, as an institution of social transformation, faces a reproductive framework that feeds the consumer socio-economic structure, covering up the dimension and urgency of the problem. The aim is to identify the forces for change to improve the intervention mechanisms in the educational field in Spain aimed at fostering the involvement and the participation of young people. The qualitative methodology combines discourse analysis using Grounded Theory and prospective analysis using the scenario method. By means of a validated questionnaire, semi-structured interviews and focus groups are conducted with technicians and managers, trainers of trainers, teachers, and researchers (n=53). The discourse of the agents and legislation on education and sustainability are analysed to generate substantive theory. By means of the theorization obtained, drivers and constraints are identified, establishing a probability and impact matrix that allows for the visualization of three possible futures. It concludes with a set of recommendations to strengthen the desired scenario and to reduce the possibilities of the dystopian scenario.


Qualitative research, social sustainability, curriculum design, discourse analysis, social change, schools

PDF file in Spanish

PDF file in English


Abbati, M. (2019). 5: Communicating the environment in the green and circular economy. In M. Abbati (Ed.), Communicating the environment to save the planet: A Journey into eco-communication (pp. 143-168). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-76017-9_5

Acosta-Castellanos, P.M., & Queiruga-Dios, A. (2021). From environmental education to education for sustainable development in higher education: A systematic review. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 23(3), 622-644. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-04-2021-0167

Amran, A., Perkasa, M., Satriawan, M., Jasin, I., & Irwansyah, M. (2019). Assessing students 21st century attitude and environmental awareness: Promoting education for sustainable development through science education. Journal of Physics, 1157(2). https://doi.org/10.1088/1742-6596/1157/2/022025

Aristóteles. (2013). Metafísica (Trad. Patricio de Azcárate). Espasa Libros.

Baiardi, D., & Morana, C. (2021). Climate change awareness: Empirical evidence for the European Union. Energy Economics, 96, 105163. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.eneco.2021.105163

Barrón-Ruiz, A., & Muñoz-Rodríguez, J.M. (2019). XIII Seminario de investigación en educación ambiental [Conferencia]. Ministerio para la transición ecológica y cambio demográfico. https://bit.ly/3pgqpvM

Baudrillard, J. (2009). La sociedad de consumo: Sus mitos, sus estructuras. Siglo XXI. https://bit.ly/3lq684H

Bauman, Z. (2000). Modernidad líquida. Gedisa.

Blanco-Portela, N., Poza-Vilches, M.F., Junyent-Pubill, M., Collazo-Expósito, L., Solís-Espallargas, C., Benayas-del-Álamo, J., & Gutiérrez-Pérez, J. (2020). Estrategia de investigación-acción participativa para el desarrollo profesional del profesorado universitario en educación para la sostenibilidad: “Academy sustainability Latinoamérica” (ACSULA). Profesorado, 24(3), 99-123. https://doi.org/10.30827/profesorado.v24i3.15555

Bolin, J.L., & Hamilton, L.C. (2018). The news you choose: News media preferences amplify views on climate change. Environmental Politics, 27(3), 455-476. https://doi.org/10.1080/09644016.2018.1423909

Bourdieu, P. (1997). Razones prácticas. Sobre la teoría de la acción. Anagrama. https://bit.ly/3Lxh1wh

Brennan, M., Mayes, E., & Zipin, L. (2021). The contemporary challenge of activism as curriculum work. Journal of Educational Administration and History, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/00220620.2020.1866508

Capella-Riera, J. (2004). Políticas educativas. Educación, 13(25), 7- 41. https://bit.ly/3wsFyOQ

Carattini, S., & Löschel, A. (2021). Managing momentum in climate negotiations. Environmental Research Letters, 16(5). https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/abf58d

Carbonell-Alcocer, A. (2022b). Resultados del proceso de aplicación de la Teoría Fundamentada. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6558254

Carbonell-Alcocer, A. (2022c). Recomendaciones para impulsar la implicación ciudadana y el cambio social en la escuela. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6558273

Carbonell-Alcocer, A., Romero-Luis, J., Gertrudix, M., & Borges-Rey, E. (2022a). Aparato metodológico para la aplicación de la Teoría Fundamentada. Zenodo. https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.6558231

Cardozo-Brum, M. (2011). Las ciencias sociales y el problema de la complejidad. Argumentos, 24(67), 15-35. https://bit.ly/3IoBF0L

Clear, J. (2019). Hábitos atómicos. Cambios pequeños, resultados extraordinarios. Paidós.

Collazo-Expósito, L.M., & Geli-de-Ciurana, A.M. (2022). Un modelo de formación del profesorado de educación secundaria para la sostenibilidad. Enseñanza de las Ciencias, 40(1), 243-262. https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/ensciencias.3378

Comisión Europea (Ed.) (2019a). Un Pacto Verde Europeo. Esforzarnos por ser el primer continente climáticamente neutro. https://bit.ly/3oxep92

Comisión Europea (Ed.) (2019b). Hacia una economía circular. Closing the loop of the products lifecycle. https://bit.ly/3HCSQeC

Confucio. (2017). Analectas y otros tratados políticos y morales. Biblok.

Corbin, J., & Strauss, A. (2015). Basics of qualitative research: Techniques and procedures for developing grounded theory. Sage publications. https://bit.ly/3sNflrQ

Crutzen, P.J., & Stoermer, E.F. (2021). The “Anthropocene” (2000). Global Change Newsletter, 41, 17-18. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-82202-6_2

De-Graaf, J. (2002). Affluenza: The all?consuming epidemic. Environmental Management and Health, 13(2), 224-236. https://doi.org/10.1108/emh.2002.

Delors, J. (1996). La educación encierra un tesoro. Informe a la UNESCO de la Comisión Internacional sobre la Educación para el Siglo XXI. UNESCO. https://bit.ly/3JZrvEp

Dunlop, L., Atkinson, L., Stubbs, J.E., & Diepen, M.T. (2021). The role of schools and teachers in nurturing and responding to climate crisis activism. Children’s Geographies, 19(3), 291-299. https://doi.org/10.1080/14733285.2020.1828827

EarthDay.org (Ed.) (2022). Earth day. https://bit.ly/3ta0mI4

Elliott, J. (2000). La investigación acción en la educación. Ediciones Morata. https://bit.ly/3lrvGOZ

Escalante-Gómez, E. (2011). Revisitando la crítica a la teoríafundamentada. Poliantea, 7(12). https://doi.org/10.15765/plnt.v7i12.153

Escobar-Pérez, J., & Cuervo-Martínez, A. (2008). Validez de contenido y juicio de expertos: Una aproximación a su utilización. Avances en Medición, 6(1), 27-36. https://bit.ly/3IlxiDV

Flick, U. (2004). Introducción a la investigación cualitativa. Ediciones Morata. https://bit.ly/382f7WJ

Flick, U. (2015). El diseño de la investigación cualitativa. Ediciones Morata. https://bit.ly/3G086SM

Fritz, M., Koch, M., Johansson, H., Emilsson, K., Hildingsson, R., & Khan, J. (2021). Habitus and climate change: Exploring support and resistance to sustainable welfare and social–ecological transformations in Sweden. The British Journal of Sociology, 72(4), 874-890. https://doi.org/10.1111/1468-4446.12887

García-Lupiola, A. (2019). Los retos de la seguridad energética y el cambio climático: Hacia una economía europea sostenible. Cuadernos Europeos de Deusto, 60, 305-339. https://doi.org/10.18543/ced-60-2019pp305-339

Gary, J.E., & von-der-Gracht, H.A. (2015). The future of foresight professionals: Results from a global Delphi study. Futures, 71, 132-145. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.futures.2015.03.005

Ghosh, A. (2016). The great derangement: Climate change and the unthinkable. The University of Chicago Press. https://doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226323176.001.0001

Glaser, B.G. (1992). Basic of grounded theory analysis: Emerge vs. Forcing. Mill Valey. Sociology Press.

Gobierno de España (Ed.) (2019). Agenda urbana española. Ministerio de Transportes, Movilidad y Agenda Urbana. https://bit.ly/3vq1FFg

Gobierno de España (Ed.) (2021). Plan nacional de adaptación al cambio climático. Ministerio para la Transición ecológica y el Reto demográfico. https://bit.ly/3HJ2LzC

Godet, M., & Roubelat, F. (1996). Creating the future: The use and misuse of scenarios. Long Range Planning, 29(2), 164-171. https://doi.org/10.1016/0024-6301(96)00004-0

Gutiérrez-Sánchez, J.L. (2000). Sociedad, política, cultura y sistemas complejos. Ciencias, 59, 46-54. https://bit.ly/35rQHUW

Habermas, J. (1981). Teoría de la acción comunicativa. Trotta. https://bit.ly/3NrfitE

Han, B. (2021). No-cosas. Quiebras del mundo de hoy. Taurus.

Heidegger, M. (2009). Ser y Tiempo. Editorial Trotta. https://bit.ly/38y1n6A

Heras-Hernández, F. (2016). Education in times of climate change: Facilitating learning to build a culture of climate-protection. Metode Science Studies Journal, 6, 65-71. https://doi.org/10.7203/metode.85.4220

Heuer, R.J., & Pherson, R.H. (2015). Técnicas analíticas estructuradas para el análisis de inteligencia. Plaza y Valdés. https://bit.ly/3sLoNw7

Hicks, D., & Slaughter, R. (1997). Futures education. World yearbook of education 1998. Kogan Page Limited.

Horkheimer, M. (2003). Teoría crítica. Amorrortu. https://bit.ly/3wtIxGE

Inayatullah, S. (2019). Futurology. In H. Paul (Ed.), Critical terms in futures studies (pp. 139-143). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-28987-4

Inayatullah, S. (2020). Can education transform?: Contradictions between the emerging future and the walled past. Futures & Foresight Science, 2(1), e27. https://doi.org/10.1002/ffo2.27

Jordan, A., Huitema, D., Van-Asselt, H., & Forster, J. (2018). Governing climate change: The promise and limits of polycentric governance. In A. Jordan, D. Huitema, H. Van-Asselt, & J. Forster (Eds.), Governing climate change. Polycentricity un action? (pp. 357-359). Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108284646

Lethone, A., Salone, A.O., & Cantell, H. (2019). Climate change education: A New approach for a world of wicked problems. In J.W. Cook (Ed.), Sustainability, human well-being, and the future of education. Palgrave. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-78580-6_11

Ley Orgánica 3/2020, de 29 de diciembre, por la que se modifica la Ley Orgánica 2/2006, de 3 de mayo, de Educación. Boletín Oficial del Estado, 340, de 30 de diciembre de 2020. https://bit.ly/3pduIs4

Ley Orgánica 8/2013, de 9 de diciembre, para la mejora de la calidad educativa. Boletín Oficial del Estado, 295, de 10 de diciembre de 2013. https://bit.ly/3pduIs4

Linnér, B., & Wibeck, V. (2019). Sustainability transformations. Agents and drivers across societies. Cambridge University Press. https://doi.org/10.1017/9781108766975

López, A. (2019). Ecomedia literacy. In R. Hoobs, & P. Mihailidis (Eds.), The international encyclopedia of media literacy. John Wiley & Sons. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118978238.ieml0210

Magno, C. (2010). The role of metacognitive skills in developing critical thinking. Metacognition and Learning, 5(2), 137-156. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11409-010-9054-4

Matarranz, M. (2019). Propuesta metodológica para estudiar la política educativa supranacional: Alumbrando el marco axiológico de la Unión Europea. Revista Española De Educación Comparada, 34, 73. https://doi.org/10.5944/reec.34.2019.23079

Monroe, M.C., Plate, R.R., Oxarart, A., Bowers, A., & Chaves, W.A. (2019). Identifying effective climate change education strategies: A systematic review of the research. Environmental Education Research, 25(6), 791-812. https://doi.org/10.1080/13504622.2017.1360842

Montagnino, F.M. (2020). Beyond the ‘Great Derangement’: Will the humanities lead ecological transition? In P. Formica, & J. Edmondson (Eds.), Innovation and the arts: The value of humanities studies for business (pp. 111-142). Emerald Publishing Limited. https://doi.org/10.1108/978-1-78973-885-820201007

Novo, M. (2018). Educación ambiental y transición ecológica. Ambienta, 125, 32-41. https://bit.ly/36jLQWp

Organización de Naciones Unidas (Ed.) (2020). Nueva agenda urbana Habitat III. ONU Habitat. https://bit.ly/3B5iKVQ

Ripple, W.J., Wolf, C., Newsome, T.M., Gregg, J.W., Lenton, T.M., Palomo, I., Eikelboom, J.A.J., Law, B.E., Huq, S., Duffy, P.B., & Rockström, J. (2021). World scientists’ warning of a climate emergency 2021. BioScience, 71(9), 894-898. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biab079

Sánchez, M.C., & Revuelta, F.I. (2005). El proceso de transcripción en el marco de la metodología de investigación cualitativa actual. Enseñanza & Teaching, 23, 367-386. https://bit.ly/36LJNe5

Santisteban-Fernández, A. (2010). La formación de competencias de pensamiento histórico. Clío & Asociados, 14, 34-56. https://doi.org/10.14409/cya.v1i14.1674

Santisteban-Fernández, A., Granados-Sanchez, J., & Pagès, J. (2011). Enseñanza de la economía y de la sostenibilidad. In A. Santisteban-Fernádez, & J. Pagès (Eds.), Didáctica del conocimiento del medio social y cultural en la Educación Primaria: Ciencias Sociales para comprender, pensar y actuar (pp. 295-314). Editorial Síntesis.

Schwartz, P. (1991). The art of the long view. Planning for the future in an uncertain world. Penguin Random House. https://bit.ly/3wGCopB

Slaughter, R.A. (2003). Futures beyond dystopia creating social foresight. Taylor and Francis. https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203465158

Stein, S., Andreotti, V., Susa, R., Ahenakew, C., & Cajková, T. (2022). From “education for sustainable development” to “education for the end of the world as we know it”. Educational Philosophy and Theory, 54(3), 274-287. https://doi.org/10.1080/00131857.2020.1835646

Szczepankiewicz, E.I., Fazlagic, J., & Loopesko, W. (2021). A conceptual model for developing climate education in sustainability management education system. Sustainability, 13(3), 1241. https://doi.org/10.3390/su13031241

Tesar, M. (2021). Future studies: Reimagining our educational futures in the post-COVID-19 world. Policy Futures in Education, 19(1), 1-6. https://doi.org/10.1177/1478210320986950

Tibbs, H. (2011). Changing cultural values and the transition to sustainability. Journal of Futures Studies, 15(3). https://bit.ly/3yAh3Rg

Trudel, R. (2019). Sustainable consumer behavior. Consumer Psychology Review, 2(1), 85-96. https://doi.org/10.1002/arcp.1045

United Nations (Ed.) (2022). Sustainable development. Agenda 2030. Department of Economic and Social Affairs. https://bit.ly/3Hntfpb

Wallis, H., & Loy, L.S. (2021). What drives pro-environmental activism of young people? A survey study on the Fridays For Future movement. Journal of Environmental Psychology, 74, 101581. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvp.2021.101581

Wamsler, C. (2020). Education for sustainability: Fostering a more conscious society and transformation towards sustainability. International Journal of Sustainability in Higher Education, 21(1), 112-130. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJSHE-04-2019-0152

Willis, R. (2020). Too hot to handle? The democratic challenge of climate change. Policy Press. https://doi.org/10.46692/9781529206036