In Spain we are well used to counting, from time to time, with a new educational law or, at least, with the reform of a previous one. That is precisely what has happened with the latter, the Lomloe, which, due to a strange carom, has modified the law that the Lomce already rectified at the time. Although I do not deny that the change may be for the better, there are many of us who call for the drafting of an “educational pact” that allows us, not only teachers but the entire educational community, to have a vision of the future and, above all, , assume that we are working to achieve something that can take time.
In this new law, just out of the oven, we would necessarily have to differentiate between two aspects: the pure legislative and the curricular. With the first I mean the entire development of the law that deals with aspects such as what subjects are going to be taught in each course, what content is included in each of them, etc. On the other hand, the curricular aspect is the one that encompasses everything that the different subjects are going to contribute to the education or learning of the students.
Everyone knows that laws are written with a special and exclusive language, and Lomloe was not going to be less. Almost the entire section that I call “legalistic” must be read at least a couple of times to understand the meaning with which it is written. Starting from that first reading, we are already seeing that new terms are introduced or that others that we already knew are repeated. Objectives, competencies or evaluation criteria already sounded familiar to us from previous laws, however, the appearance of others such as “exit profiles” or “specific competencies” are new concepts. A priori, this can provoke rejection in teachers who, once again, observe that the bureaucratic aspects of the laws reduce the quality (or are detrimental) of the pedagogical aspects. Although this terminology is explained in the development of all the regulations, there is no clear rationale for its appearance. That is to say, you don’t see the “why” it is there. Indeed, they are new curricular elements that must be known, but sometimes what they do is disperse attention on what really worries a teacher: having a clear vision of what must be achieved in the development of the educational process.
In this sense, there are issues that are not at all clear, especially in the part of the articles that, as I said before, is more legalistic than pedagogical. The confusion between evaluation and qualification or the treatment of the diversity of the student body continue to be a pending issue on the part of the developers of educational laws. An attempt has been made to take a step in this direction, but it is so short that teachers are not going to understand what the spirit of change is.
However, there is an important change if we compare this law with the previous one, and it is the totally competence vision of education. With the previous law, the acquisition of content was marked more than the development of skills. It is true that these were present, but in a more nominal than effective way. On the part of the teaching staff, the interrelation of curricular development with the marked key competences was not clearly seen, which led to the question: “Do you work by competences?” or a phrase that was repeated ad nauseam in any training course for teachers: “How to evaluate by competencies?”. In this new law we could see the relationship between what we do in class and what the curriculum asks of us as final objectives.
Topics such as suppressing grades, placing evaluation criteria at the center of all our work instead of content or repeating the course have sometimes provoked rejection and, other times, applause. But precisely where all these voices against the regulations come from is the ambiguous Solomonic decisions that make the teacher have a bittersweet feeling and do not share: the suppression of grades, but not completely, the elimination of repetitions of course, but not quite or the distinction between evaluation and qualification, but not quite. This implies that a large part of the teaching staff does not share (do not endorse) its development.
This is where all those voices against this regulation come from. A certain part of the teachers believe that the numerical grades are necessary and that they transmit the results of an evaluation in a satisfactory way and others, on the other hand, think (and in this section I include myself) that an evaluation in which they are given is preferable. tell the students the specific aspects achieved or in expectation of improvement, that is, a more qualitative than quantitative evaluation is preferable. They are different ways of thinking and understanding education. If it is already difficult to agree with the teachers, it seems to me an impossible task to agree with the different political parties to carry out that educational pact that I mentioned.
But leaving aside the pros and cons of this law, there are aspects of the Lomloe that have gone unnoticed, for example, the introduction of the principles of the UDL (Universal Design for Learning) in an attempt to facilitate the learning of all the students have not been sufficiently commented or valued. Both on the part of the teaching staff and many media outlets have focused on purely anecdotal aspects: whether such content has disappeared from the curricular design or that such development has been limited or that the level of teaching is being lowered. I applaud that, on the part of the ministry, the curricular section has been written by teachers, it remains said. I also understand that the drafting of a law, especially in its articles, must have a legalistic language, appropriate to law and drafted in a specific way. But there we find a problem. Those of us who dedicate ourselves to teaching in these stages are not lawyers or lawyers accustomed to handling that jargon. We are teachers, and we handle ourselves with a language that has nothing to do with what is put in a BOE, unless you are a teacher where your preparation requires handling the regulations.
By this I mean that we need a bit of clarity in the development of regulations. I think that on the part of the ministry, and as a complement to the publication of the regulations, a document should have been drafted in which all this development was clarified. For example, to be clear about all the interrelationships that exist between the different elements, or how to arrive at a qualification from a competency work where a qualitative evaluation is established. The drafters of the law should not stay only in the legal design of the articles, but in offering teachers, and the entire educational community, a plain and understandable wording. And in that, the ministry has an “insufficient”.
Although it is true that teachers should change their thinking and thus put into practice all the new ideas that are proposed, once again, we are faced with an educational reform that is going to burden us with more bureaucracy if possible, to the detriment, of course , of our pedagogical work. Teachers need to let us work. I know that it is difficult, and that what the rule says is one thing and “what I can do in class” is another. It is true that putting the development of the legislation into practice is going to cost work, but it will not be impossible if a series of conditions are met: elimination of superfluous bureaucracy (such as giving qualitative notes every quarter because that is what the law says and also a numerical grade, which is what some communities are proposing), limitation to an adequate ratio or, failing that, to value co-teaching, or adequate training for the development not only of the curriculum, but of all the aspects that have What to do in a class.
Of course, I know that teachers, in spite of everything, are going to give more than one hundred percent of our possibilities. And I know this because that is precisely what we have been doing, reform after reform, adapting ourselves to what is dictated from time to time by laws that are more political than pedagogical. We will adapt, even if it takes time, and we will bring to our classrooms not only the regulations, but also the spirit of them: the personalization of learning and the attempt for our students to develop their full potential to the maximum.
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