Imagination, education for the future and democratic culture: Educational policies in the Iberian Peninsula




Education for the future, education policies, public policy, citizenship education, democracy, and teacher training


In a historical moment, where the future is considered a threat, it seems highly relevant to teach the ability to imagine desirable futures. In line with this, Education for the Future (EF), from the Anglo-Saxon tradition, represents a reference to give a response to negative images about the idea of the future. On the other hand, the competences for democratic culture defined by the Council of Europe provide the basis for the elaboration of a theoretical framework that includes the imagination of democratic and sustainable futures as one of its main conceptual axes. Given this theoretical context, this study analyses official documents of public policies carried out in the Iberian context, to examine the treatment of the idea of future in education systems. Specifically, three levels of public policies have been studied: state educational laws, primary education curricula and institutional teacher training policies. The public policies have been analysed using the normative method of content analysis, with a syntactic sampling strategy, calculating the absolute and relative frequency of the units of analysis. Results show that there are few references to the construction of the concept of the future in public policies and suggest that the opportunity to educate others on the imagination of desirable futures may be being wasted.