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All ESO students will be able to study philosophy next year in Spain

August 03, 2022

Original Article:

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The PP and Vox affirmed a month ago in the Congress of Deputies that philosophy would disappear from the classrooms as a consequence of the new educational curriculum approved by the Government. The truth is, however, that all the autonomous communities will maintain the subject as an elective in Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO). And, in addition, the number of compulsory subjects in the area of ​​philosophy that must be studied throughout secondary school – that is, adding ESO and Baccalaureate – will become three , instead of one as is the case with the curriculum that is still in force this course, approved in 2014 by the PP.

The curriculumIt is the norm that establishes what students must study at each educational stage and how it must be evaluated. The Spanish education system divides the powers to establish it between the Government, which establishes around half of the curriculum ―what is known as the minimum education―, and the communities, which define the rest (50% of the autonomies with co-official and 40% those that do not have it). Both the PP curriculum and the one that will begin to be applied next year leave the decision of whether or not to offer Philosophy in the fourth year of ESO in the hands of the autonomous communities. The wording of the new curriculum contains, however, a symbolic change that helps to understand the scope of the controversy surrounding the supposed disappearance of the philosophical contents of the institutes, when in reality what is going to happen is the opposite:

The curriculum approved by the PP in 2014 mentions a series of optional subjects, including Philosophy, which students can choose in the fourth year of ESO, but leaves the decision in the hands of the autonomous communities "and, where appropriate, of the educational centers". to implant them. In fact, a region governed by the PP, Castilla y León, did not initially incorporate the elective Philosophy in its regional curriculum, approved on May 4, 2015. But a year later, through an order, the Board, by approving a block of so-called autonomic free configuration subjects (that is, optional), included among them a so-called Philosophy Workshop, described in its regulations as "a practical subject in which students must work on their own various philosophical problems that take everyday life as a starting point. “It is not about”, continues that order published on June 16, 2016, “of making a theoretical development that students must memorize; the claim is very different: that the student himself, with the guidance of the teacher, investigates, analyzes and evaluates the philosophical solutions given to the different problems and draws his own conclusions”.

The new curriculum decree approved by the Government in March (which will begin to be applied in September in odd courses and a year later in even courses), for its part, includes a list of a dozen elective subjects in the fourth year of ESO (such as Biology, Physics and Chemistry, Music and Latin) that all centers must offer (a formula, the compulsory offer, which did not use the PP curriculum), among which Philosophy does not appear. But it leaves in the hands of the autonomies the decision to add other electives. In the last month, all the autonomous communities have publicly announced or confirmed to EL PAÍS (the last, the Canary Islands, Navarra and La Rioja) that they will offer Philosophy as an elective in ESO next year.

The details of how they will do it, as well as the hours they will have per week, will not be entirely clear until the autonomies approve their own curriculum decrees. At the moment, almost none have even presented the drafts that, after a period of public exposure, allegations and, where appropriate, changes, must be approved by the regional Executives. In any case, the Balearic Islands will advance it one year (it will be offered in the third year), says the general director of Planning, Management and Centers of its Ministry of Education, Antoni Morante, and Murcia will opt for a more practical formula, in the style of the Workshop of Philosophy that has been taught in Castilla y León. Víctor Navarro, General Director of Educational Planning of Murcia,

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All ESO students will study, on the other hand, a new compulsory subject called Education in Civic and Ethical Values. A subject similar to Education for Citizenship created in 2006 by the socialist government of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero and suppressed by the PP, which will mainly be taken care of by the philosophy departments and which covers part of the contents of the old subject of Ethics, one of the traditional subjects of the specialty. Many philosophy professors consider, however, that ethics will not have the space it requires in the new subject, sharing space with content related to sustainability and equality.

The teaching of philosophy in secondary school will be complemented by two compulsory subjects in Baccalaureate. In the first year, students will study Philosophy (which is the only compulsory subject in the entire secondary school with the current PP curriculum). And in the second they will have History of Philosophy. The first year subject will include historical references and approaches made by various authors throughout the centuries, but it will be more focused, citing the new curriculum, on "identifying problems and formulating questions about the foundation, value and meaning of reality and existence human”. Instead, the second year subject will be organized chronologically, from the origin of Western philosophy in Greece to the 20th century, and will add other names to the classic authors of the subject (such as Kant, Marx and Nietzsche),


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