In Spain, according to the law, it is guaranteed thirteen years of free public education. Beginning in the infantile
education (3-6) till the end of the secondary education (12-16) and going through the primary education (6-12). Out of those thirteen years only the primary and secondary education are obligatory (ten years).
The Spanish education system has a decentralised management and administration model, so educational powers are shared between the State General Administration (Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) and the Autonomous Communities (Departments for Education).
Most of the schools are public; that means they are fully founded by the government.
In able to be an infantile or primary school teacher you must study a degree called “magisterio” (school-teaching would be the most accurate translation for that term) that is why this article is going to be focused in those two stages.
– The ratio nowadays is around 25-30 students per teacher (it changes depending on the region of Spain you are in)
– All schools are mixed
– Every group has one main teacher which will be with them most of their time teaching Spanish, Sciences, Maths and Arts and Crafts. Then they will have specialists in Music, English (and French if so) and Physical education. (Could happen that the main teacher also is a specialist in one of these areas so he will teach it too to his group)
– Normally the schedule goes from 9:00 till 17:00 with a break a for the lunch and extra activities from 12:30 till 15:30.
Preschool in Spain is divided into two cycles, the first cycle is for children between the ages of 0-3 years old and the second cycle is for children from 3-6 years old. The first cycle of preschool is not free, although there are aid programs for families in need. The second cycle of preschool education in Spain is free for all students. This cycle is often considered as an integral part of the education system. Normally, the first cycle of preschool is taught in special nursery schools or daycares (kindergarten) and the second cycle is taught at primary schools. However, more and more primary schools in Spain are beginning to offer the first cycle of preschool as well.
Primary school in Spain, is the beginning of the government required education in Spain. Primary school is made up of 6 academic school years from age 6 through 12. The system is divided into three cycles of 2 years each. Generally, the first cycle is from age 6-7, the second cycle from 8-9, and the third cycle from 10-11 years of age.
The objective is to give Spanish students a common and solid basic education in culture, oral expression, reading, writing and arithmetic. Required courses include: social studies, art education, physical education, the Spanish language and, if different, the official language of the Autonomous Community, foreign languages and math.
The teaching methodology is directed towards developing pupils and integrating their different experiences and learning styles. Spanish primary education is focused on personalized and tailored classes depending on the level of each child.
Nowadays the Spanish educational system it is integrated in a context of Inclusive Education. It claims that the educative experience should be an individualised process, where everybody is accepted and provided with everything needed according to their needs.
What do we mean by needs? As a difference to past times, needs does not have a negative connotation anymore. Students, with their own particular situation will be helped to develop their capacities no matter what it takes or which situation it is. (This could be difficulties because of personal reasons, diseases, conditions etc; everybody has to be included in the system no matter what it takes with the idea of creating a normalized environment which prepares student for the real world)
It is a moral obligation also, to work in this context, given the multicultural situation that we as teachers will find in our groups in the schools.