Introduction of socio-ethical school subject causes controversy in Spain

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school subject proposal

MADRID – Minister of Education Isabel Celaá wants to introduce the school subject ‘Valores Cívicos y Éticos‘ in the primary education curriculumCurrent societal and social issues must therefore be open to discussion at a young ageThathowevercreates some controversy. 

Under the new Spanish Education Act (LOMLOE), the Community Sense and Ethical Values ​​course offers primary school children the opportunity to deal adequately with current ethical issues and problems. Last week, the Ministry of Education sent the proposal for the introduction of this school subject to the autonomous regions. 

These in turn can provide comments or suggestions before agreeing to the document. “Special attention will be given to emotional education and education in ethical values. Primary school pupils are taught about gender identity. And are encouraged to adopt an active empathic attitude and respect for minorities and the diversity of personal identities. Attention is also paid to the multicultural society, migration, climate change and the rejection of gender violence,” the document states. 

More attention to social themes 

According to the newspaper La Razón, the new education law provides education in text comprehension, oral and written skills. It also focuses on audiovisual communication, digital skills, development of creativity, and scientific and entrepreneurial spirit. Likewise, attention should also be paid to effective sex education, gender equality, peace, responsible consumption, sustainable development, and health education. According to the proposal, primary school pupils should be ‘stimulated in the development of their autonomy and philosophy of life’. 

‘Totalitarian scum’ 

Subjects such as arithmetic and mathematics are given a ‘social-emotional’ approach. As such, this has been misguided by the Partido Popular, Ciudadanos and Vox. Together they objected to this and dismissed the minister’s proposal as “madness, crazy farming and an initiative by scum”. 

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Vox leader Santiago Abascal reacted most strongly to the proposal when he Tweeted. “Hands off our children, totalitarian scum! No arithmetic with gender perspective, no indoctrination into historical amnesia, no sex education for young children, no attack on families, no lesson in hatred of Spain!”

Ana Pastor of the PP dismissed the minister’s proposal as “boundless nonsense”. And suggested it must have been devised by someone who is well lost. 

Mathematical thinking in solving everyday problems 

The new education law aims to make clear with the gender approach to math and mathematics students that women have also made important contributions to this subject in the past. But students must above all be stimulated in logical thinking so that they can make adequate comparisons and get a feel for measures and proportions. Only then can data be interpreted correctly. The emotional focus should be on the development of resilience and the recognition of emotions. Students then see that making mistakes is part of the learning process, that they have to persevere despite the mistakes and then experience satisfaction from a successful solution. 

By learning to organise data and interpret it correctly, children can also apply this mathematical skill to solve problems that arise in everyday life, the document says. 

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