Futures education: Curriculum and educational practices in Australia, Spain, and Chile





Acting socially, curriculum, primary education, secondary education, futures education, critical thinking


The images of the future among young people have been conditioned by the stories present in the media, films, books, and also in school. Educational curriculums are made up of a selection of knowledge that privileges some ways of understanding the future over others. Young people often imagine a future that is in economic, social, and/or climate crisis. However, they also imagine a bright future for themselves, detached from the future they imagine for society. In this article, we present a qualitative analysis of the curriculums of Australia, Spain, and Chile, together with interviews with teachers from these countries. We investigate the presence and absence of futures education in these curriculums, their degree of development regarding futures education, and make a first analysis of the influence of futures education in schools. To do this we identify four dimensions: situate in time, anticipate, imagine alternative futures, and social action. The results show that, while the Australian curriculum explicitly includes education for the future, the Spanish and Chilean curriculum include it only tangentially. In addition, the socio-cultural context of schools and the will of the teaching staff are elements that determine the implementation of futures education in the school context.