Certain looming revolution with the educational curriculum. The Ministry of Education is already undertaking the announced renewal of teaching in schools and institutes. This is one of the core aspects of the school, which, however, has not been greatly changed for years and years. It is about designing what we should teach in pre-university education and how. Education has some ideas in this regard that can be summarized as: less amount of content to memorize (so extensive that it is usual that there is no time to complete the syllabi), and more skills, that is, “knowing how to do”. Fewer watertight teaching compartments (closed subjects) and more transversality (areas of knowledge).
In general, the Ministry wants a more flexible and open curriculum. That it is not as much on top of the teachers as the current one, marking practically every content that they must teach, but that it leaves more room for maneuver in class. East open hand It is for everyone: the central government keeps less part of the curriculum (60%, which falls to 50% in the communities with a co-official language) and the autonomous communities gain weight (up to 40% or 50% depending on the language) and even the centers, which will be able to manage up to 5% of the curriculum for the first time. The role of the communities will be key in this development, explains a person involved in the process: the freedom that is granted or not to the centers and teachers to adapt the curriculum to their own reality will be directly related to the margin that the autonomic development of the regulations let them.
The change, pending the concretions that do not yet exist, comes with a certain controversy. Like almost everyone in Education. The institutional position of the unions is in favor of change, or at least of its spirit while the concretions arrive. Many individual teachers –difficult to quantify their number, although they are very active in claiming it– are uneasy about what they understand as a step backwards: less knowledge, less demand, they say.
What else do we know about the turnaround that Education poses? The Ministry has assembled a committee of experts and has prepared basic documents with which to start working with the autonomous communities. The first meeting was held this Thursday. These texts, of a very technical nature and advanced by The country, show some first lines of action that will articulate the curriculum. The minister, Isabel Celaá, will publicly present the master lines of the new curriculum this Friday.
Among the main novelties that appear in these texts is the so-called Basic Education Exit Profile, which will mark the basic competencies that each student must have at the end of ESO (there is another intermediate step, at the end of Primary, called Profile of 6th grade. Primary education). This exit profile will go down to the specifics of what students should learn, articulated around eight basic competencies that Education defines as “the foundations of lifelong learning and they become the ultimate benchmark for obtaining the degree of Graduate in Compulsory Secondary Education ” [aunque aplica también al resto de titulaciones de la etapa obligatoria, como la FP]. They are: linguistic communication; multilingual; mathematics, science and technology; digital; personal, social and learning to learn; citizen; enterprising; and in cultural awareness and expressions and are taken from documents prepared by the EU and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
What is this change from “knowing” to “knowing how to do” in a practical way? A language teacher explains it after clarifying that in reality in some subjects, like his, this has been done for a long time. “I think it is better understood from an evaluation point of view,” he says. “Instead of taking exams in which the student has to add a series of acquired knowledge, they have to be put into practice to solve specific problems.”
Each of the competences that will be required of the students is later landed in a series of “competency descriptors that specify and contextualize the acquisition of key competences,” read in the Education documents. One of the texts devotes a wide space to describe some of these items that the students will have to master. For example, in the competence in mathematics, science and technology, a student who completes secondary school must know how to “transmit the most relevant elements of scientific, mathematical and technological processes, reasoning, demonstrations, methods and results clearly and precisely, in different formats (graphs, tables, diagrams, formulas, diagrams, symbols …), including the mathematical-formal language, with ethics and responsibility “.
How these competencies are fulfilled is what remains in the hands of the communities and, with their permission, the centers. The legislative process that will conclude with the creation of the curriculum has three levels. First, the Ministry of Education approves so-called minimum decrees with the basic contents of each subject or field of knowledge. Later, the Autonomous Communities develop these decrees in more detail and finally each center will have to adapt it to its reality. How far the regional governments enter will depend on the particular scope of action of the centers, one of the novelties that Lomloe incorporates. In any case, reflects a teacher, “it is very important to create the conditions for teachers to be able to assume that specificity and land the curriculum in its context,” she explains in relation to working conditions, from the training itself to the schedules or the ratios of students in class.
What does not appear to be changing is the global development of the spiral curriculum, which is already taking place. That is: the contents are taught progressively as students advance through the educational system, which allows them to assimilate different issues each at their own pace. Throughout the courses, content is repeated, but at the same time it is expanded. A secondary school teacher explains the reason for this design: “The idea is to establish a continuum in each learning that is respectful with the students, so that each one consolidates certain knowledge at their own pace. For example, when one learns to write, he writes each time in a more complex way. The same with reading: each time you will be reading more complex texts “.
The road is long and the goal is for the new curriculum to come into effect from the 2022-23 academic year. The direction has been set and the first steps have been taken towards a change that is intended to impact the school. And all this under the threat of rights to repeal the law if they have the possibility.