Pallarés, M., Chiva, O., López Martín, R. & Cabero, I. (2018). La escuela que llega. Tendencias y nuevos enfoques metodológicos [The school of the future: Trends and new methodological focuses]. (Juan Carlos San Pedro Velado)

Pallarés, M., Chiva, O., López Martín, R. & Cabero, I. (2018).

La escuela que llega. Tendencias y nuevos enfoques metodológicos [The school of the future: Trends and new methodological focuses].

Barcelona: Octaedro. 116 pp.


Thinking about the school of the future is inevitably connected to the conceptualization and critical analysis of the school and the current context in which it exists.


Many of the ideas collected in this work relate to the forced transformation of the school, resulting from a social context in crisis. It goes without saying that Spain is currently passing through a period of change with unknown outcomes, which relates to the end of what could be regarded as its political adolescence and the abrupt acquisition of certain levels of democratic maturity. This period of reassessment could be a strict consequence of the chronological course of historical development, but it could also be the case that the turbulent global social, economic, and political context offers a situationthat is useful for encouraging people to take civic responsibilities in all of these spheres. The large hegemonic platforms for thinking have, with their arguments, occupied these spaces which, in other countries, were marked by a variety of approaches emanating from civil society. Contrasting with the period of dictatorship, we are now witnessing to the dawning of proposals that are independent and autonomous from the official story and which are gradually starting to occupy these spaces. In the field of education, in this way, there are many initiatives for change and transformation that are trying to turn education in Spain on its head from a global or local perspective.


In this situation, La escuela que llega, the title chosen for this book by Marc Pallarés Piquer, Oscar Chiva Bartoll, Ramón López Martín, and Ismael Cabero Fayos, provides an analysis that is entirely necessary for unlocking these emerging foundations, which will undoubtedly decide the future changes in the educational system in general and the school as an institution in particular. A review of the value of the text’s analysis is needed because too often in the face of similar challenges, problems have been presented in a restrictively brief way, and ad hoc solutions for each of the parts discerned have been established or suggested in an interested or disinterested way. The result of this exercise of adding or confronting questions and partial solutions has often resulted in constructs that completely lack harmony or continuity which those of us in the classroom have had to bear, with disenchantment or even resistance.


This work’s approach establishes, throughout its development, a search for a common thread to act as a pattern in the construction of a systemic logic when attributing meaning to each of the actions that, from different areas of responsibility, can and should be implemented as part of the challenge of updating the path, habits, and customs of our current school system.


This exercise of analysis starts in the first chapter by proposing an interwoven fabric of basic topics in a hypothetical conversation with the future. Based around on the urgent need to build a responsible body of citizens and the demand for a collective effort to improve coexistence, other significant needs in the area of education are clarified and expressed successively, such as the need to establish responsibility for maintaining the welfare state, the commitment to educational excellence and quality, the challenge presented by an increasingly digital society, and the urgent need to adopt a new paradigm for lifelong education and improvement. All of these are aspects that, projected from the present day, will shape the immediate future of the school that is coming.


Based on these assumptions, the text establishes various questions in light of which there are undoubtedly multiple positions and proposals for action: Will the educational institution exclusively have to exercise a monopoly on learning and building knowledge? With what other areas of experience should it be connected? Can technology or its implicit paradigm of effectiveness replace the old educational demands and their fundamental objectives? Can the systemic or technological narrative crush the individual and gloss over the necessary process of exploration of each of the figures involved? Will we be able to ensure that a culture of risk, flexibility, and innovation permeates the current static school culture and provides its structure? Can current theoretical-practical formats, which are disconnected from reality, be replaced with others that deepen real cross-cutting active learning? Will we be able to convince the inhabitants of an institution that is resistant to change of the personal and professional advantages involved in following the path of experimentation and innovation? Will we be able to prioritise the construction of coexistence above an easy commitment to simple knowledge acquisition? These are questions our teaching institutions must find answers for in the immediate future.


Raising these questions and possible answers to them drives and connects the reading of the successive chapters of the book, where we can appreciate the authors’ ongoing effort to bring the recurring academic commonplaces towards the analysis proposed in the outline at the start of the work. In this harmonious and rounded development, it is easy to identify as an activist in the proposal for change and for responding to the challenges presented but, at the same time, the great responsibilities and commitments to accept are outlined ever more clearly as are the complex and dynamic territory in which education moves, and the need to raise all of these questions as connected challenges without the option of a partial or specific response and which require effort and dedication.


In its implicit conclusion, the ending inevitably addresses teacher training and the total maladjustment of the current focus to the problems and challenges to be addressed. Many more answers than questions are apparent when reading this section, which complements the rest of the book, and the truth is probably, in the view of the authors, that most of the challenges we face depend on rethinking adequately the lifelong training that every teacher should receive and lead. The claim that the safe havens where teaching life currently tends to take refuge, and on whose treacherous coasts we often run aground, must inevitably give way to more ambitious and lengthy routes is, in my opinion, a symbolic summary of this work as a whole. A task in which autonomy, flexibility, team work, and professional honesty are proposed as the best guarantees.



Juan Carlos San Pedro Velado