Subject: Scenario Planning in Education

Scientific Area:



27 Hours

Number of ECTS:




Overall objectives:

1 - Presupposing that the target audience consists of teachers, teacher educators, educational administrators and other (future) responsible, directly or indirectly, for the educational policy at local, regional or national level, this course is intended that the students are able to: Know some thinkers of the past who dared to dream;
2 - Discuss the teaching professionalism and the political responsibility associated to it;
3 - Understand the systemic approach and the macro view of education;
4 - Recognize the social changes and their interactions with the educational phenomenon;
5 - Understand the acceleration of change;
6 - Detect emerging trends and dynamics (driving­forces) at the level of society;
7 - Recognize the use of scenarios as a tool for decision making;
8 - Understand education in its relation with the anticipation of the future;
9 - Build future scenarios in education;
10 - Recognize the role of the educator who participates in the design of the future


1 - Change and innovation: convergence and divergence;
2 - Emergence of modern society: the break with medieval tradition; Renaissance; Reform; French Revolution; Industrial Revolution;
3 - School as a product of modernity;
4 - Malaise of the modern school;
5 - The contemporary paradigm shift: radical modernity; late modernity; liquid modernity; hypermodernity; postmodernity;
6 - Some challenges of postmodernity: complexity; relativity; globalization; fragmentation; chaos; multiculturalism; uncertainty; indeterminacy;
7 - Characterization of postmodernity at economic, political, organizational and personal levels;
8 - Some utopias and dystopias (Plato's Republic and Atlantis; Tower of Babel; Messiah; Utopia, by Thomas More; New Atlantis, by Francis Bacon, Lost Horizon, by James Hilton; Brave New World by Aldous Huxley, 1984 by George Orwell);
9 - Future shock and its dynamics at the present time;
10 - Technique of scenario planning: matrix, axes, quadrants, driving forces; future scenarios


Chermack, T , 2006 , Scenario Planning in Organizations. How to create, use and assess scenarios , San Francisco: Berrett­Koehler Publishers, Inc.
Fernandes, M. R. , 2000 , Mudança e Inovação na Pós­-modernidade , Porto: Porto Editora
Fortuna, C. , 1997 , Cidade, Cultura e Globalização , Lisboa: Celta Editora
Giddens, A , 2002 , As consequências da modernidade , Oeiras: Celta Editora
Hargreaves, A. , 1998 , Os professores em tempos de mudança. O trabalho e a cultura dos professores na idade pós-­moderna , Alfragide: McGraw­Hill de Portugal
Huxley, A. , s.d , O admirável mundo novo , Lisboa: Edição ?Livros do Brasil
More, T , 1997 , Utopia , Mem­Martins: Publicações Europa-­América
Morin, E , 1992 , Introduction à la pensée complexe , Paris: ESF Éditeur
Ralston, B., & Wilson, I. , 2006 , The Scenario Planning Handbook. Developing strategies in uncertain times. , Ohio: Thomson
Toffler, A. , 1970 , Choque do Futuro , Lisboa: Edição ?Livros do Brasil?

Assesssment methods and criteria:

Classification Type: Quantitativa (0-20)

Evaluation Methodology:
Apart from the theoretical exposition and clarification of concepts by the teacher, with the use of slides projection, the methodology is also based upon the reading of short texts followed by their discussion in pairs, group and plenary. The reading of long texts takes place primarily outside the classroom sessions. The course also includes a practical component in which the students, organized in groups, and based on the theoretical foundations worked beforehand, draw future scenarios in a given learning situation they have to choose (pre­school, school or extra­school, teacher training or educational management, etc.). For the assessment, it follows Model E of the Student Learning Assessment Regulations of the University of Madeira: an individual written work on future scenarios, with an academic article format, to the training necessary for the further elaboration of the dissertation.