Although it is always difficult to gauge the moods of a body made up of more than half a million teachers with different sensitivities and attitudes, it can be said that the new educational curricula have raised at least some blister. The texts that the Ministry of Education has presented to the communities incorporate a system change with respect to the Lomce that it will not be new for all teachers –many of them already work under these more competency parameters–, but they can catch up with others. The new texts go from content marked down to the last millimeter in the Lomce, from the content lists, to more open curricula in the Lomloe in which the focus is placed on what is known to be done with the knowledge that one has.
The new history curriculum calls for the first time the uprising of 1936 “coup”
Criticisms, perhaps amplified by social networks, have been accumulating, although in recent days the noise level has been lowered, possibly waiting for the development that the autonomous communities have to make of the minimum curricula proposed by Education (the autonomies correspond to between 50% and 60% of the curriculum depending on whether or not they have their own language) finish drawing the whole picture. Even so, critics see failures: content curricula are emptied, the door is opened to the use of methodologies without scientific evidence behind, the requirement is lowered, the rule of three does not appear, the Roman numerals or the Catholic Monarchs and the lack of definition it opens the door for each community to do something different, it is argued, among other issues, against this (nuclear) part of the Lomloe.
There are also those who, like the Pedagogical Renewal Movements, reject the curriculum as a whole because they do not respond to their idea that the school should focus on the development of the person and train critical citizens and not on the professionalization of the student body as, they claim, the current ones advocate, according to the secretary of the federation, Charo Hernández.
“I think that some of the reluctance that we hear about the new curricular proposals is built from the headline of a news item, and they demand what already appears in its development,” reflects Guadalupe Jover, a Secondary Language and Literature teacher and a of the people who have contributed to create the curriculum for their subject. “If I had to point out the main cause of resistance to change, it would be the lack of shared training in specific didactics,” he argues, bringing up the issue that most concerns all the teachers consulted to prepare this article: the essential training what teachers will need to face the change and what remains to be seen will be received, especially for the next year, when the curricula begin to enter the classroom.
Enrique Guerrero, professor emeritus and advisor, is also convinced that the reluctance will gradually disappear. “There is a virtual movement very interested in carrying out this change, but many people also fear it because they have no training to be able to do it. When I face something with which I feel safe, the first thought is to reject it because I do not know how to do it. But I think people are going to enter as things become clearer, “he says and alludes to another issue for which the Ministry of Education is being criticized: it has not communicated the intention of the new curricula, where it wants to go with this methodological change.
The one on Language and Literature is one of the most controversial can raise due to the weight of the subject and its implications, but not the only one. History is another of the most ideological subjects and susceptible to being criticized depending on whether or not such specific knowledge has been included among what should be taught. “What is not reasonable, but is being done in many cases, is to conceive History as a story that is told and must be learned,” says Ramón López Facal, professor of Didactics of Social Sciences at the University of Santiago de Compostela and also a collaborator –not an author– with the curriculum. “You have to be able to question this story based on how it is constructed, teach students to work with contradictory sources, which is fundamental and is what is done in many other countries.”
Syntactic Analysis and the Rule of Three
Criticisms of the new system can be summarized in this excerpt from the book The contempt of knowledge, by Rosa Cañadasll, Albert Corominas and Nico Hirtt: “Due to its current relevance because, although its origin dates back to the nineties, lately the concept of teaching as a tool for creation and renovation of what some economists call “human capital.” Hand in hand with this conception of teaching, supposedly pedagogical theories are increasingly making their way more generally that disparage the acquisition of knowledge and extol the acquisition of skills, preferably transversal. (…) If knowledge does not have a place in school except to the extent that it can be used in the development of a competence, that is, the performance of a task, that immediately excludes a whole category of knowledge that , for various reasons, they cannot be the object of a task in the school context “.
In this line, the reproaches to Education would go that certain elementary knowledge has not been consigned black on white. Each specialist will have their own specific criticisms, but some examples that have sounded could be the exclusion of Roman numerals from mathematics texts, that the Catholic Monarchs do not appear in History or the commotion that was mounted because the focus is more on learning to communicate, in general, than on parsing, always waiting for the communities to develop, and land more, the minimum curricula of the ministry.
“From the point of view of Mathematics, the fact that there are no certain subjects in Primary is more political noise than anything else,” says Pablo Beltrán-Pellicer, Professor of Mathematics Didactics at the University of Zaragoza, who addresses the uncanny absence of the rule of three: “It is a very procedural learning. Now it appears in Primary and is an aberration from the point of view of didactics. In Secondary it does not appear. We associate that the rule of three is useful because we use it to calculate in contexts of discounts or cooking recipes and we justify it. But there is ample mathematical research literature that explains that this rule induces problems because it generates other obstacles “, he maintains while defending that” proportionality continues to be the curriculum “and what it touches is” approach it from arithmetic, giving meaning to numbers “.
This teacher shuns a curriculum in the form of a “list of techniques for solving specific problems”, which he sees as positive to replace by “mathematical objects and situations that give them meaning”. Of issues like the introduction of the socio-emotional in Mathematics It generates some doubt that it is done exclusively through the introduction of references for girls, “only one factor and not the one that has the most importance”, and is in favor of “trying to build mathematics together, in an environment of participation that generates discussions between groups and creates a climate that favors the treatment of gender or equity issues in class “.
Jover refers to the criticisms in Language and Literature for the supposed reduction of the syntactic analysis. “Those who become defenders of syntax do so by claiming its relevance to improve reading comprehension and written expression. And precisely that, ensuring that transfer, is what the new curriculum aims to do, in which there is a whole block of knowledge referred to specifically to the reflection on the language “, exposes. This teacher recalls that the change is not even so novel – “there are many teachers and centers that have been working in this line for many years” – and that these approaches “are consistent with the latest laws”, although in these ” There was not always coherence between the proposed objectives, the contents and the evaluation criteria “, which in the end are the ones that mark the teachings.
More examples. In the subject of History there is also an important change in method. Professor López Facal explains that the anomaly was what was done before: “A story in which it corresponds to learn something that someone says, a truth that is in the books and the authority. In empirical sciences this idea went to hell with late twentieth century. Physics is not taught that the laws of physics are these, but to learn how they work and question them “.
The same is now intended to be done with History. “For the first time, elementary things that are in other countries are incorporated, such as that it is more important for a student to learn to know how a historian works than to learn a string of heroic or anti-heroic facts. History is only useful if it is useful for the present. , for life, not a history of antique dealers who classify things, “rejects the listings.
And the formation?
This is a problem that everyone agrees on: it will be very difficult to implement these curricula effectively if a teacher training plan is not articulated. “No matter how much law it may be, it will be a dead letter if it is not accompanied by a professional development plan,” says Beltrán-Pellicer, which would ideally be accompanied by a regional curriculum development “in which guidance, examples of activities are shown” to connect knowledge to specific issues, as proposed in the curriculum. “If there are no resources and training, the same will continue to be done,” he warns. A little bit what happened to the Logse: it proposed major methodological changes, but since it did not provide resources, such as adequate ratios or time for coordination, nor were teachers trained to apply them, it was left in borage water.
Jover also believes that “the reservations” that are being manifested are related “not so much with the curricular changes as with other factors”, among which he lists “the necessary didactic updating, the lack of time for said training and being able to take the reins of classroom schedules “.
Guerrero agrees and anticipates an added problem: “I don’t know if at the level of Spain there will be enough people who have a clear idea of the programming and application of the regulations” to train others, he explains. Regarding possible difficulties in scheduling classes, this emeritus proposes “to hold two or three sessions in September in the training centers in order not only to program with the new system, but also to hold specific application sessions so that teachers have one or more sessions. two programs that you can directly apply in your class. With this resource, the teachers will probably realize that it will not be so difficult to apply the new regulations when they face a class “.
“The problem of training is complex,” reflects Beltrán-Pellicer. “One of the problems is the few credits that the specific didactics have in the teaching plans and that the practicum may be disconnected. Something similar happens in secondary school, where the little that is seen is in the master’s degree in teaching staff. Said master’s degree improves it. the CAP, but it remains insufficient. In any case, the system suffers from the lack of professional development plans that accompany teachers throughout their performance. Other countries, such as Japan, assume that initial training remains short, and propose actions in this regard “.
Jover concludes positively: “I think that a large part of the teaching staff is in tune with the methodological changes pointed out and that the ball is in our court. And that is why I am optimistic,” he expresses his faith in the teaching staff.