I will say it in a whisper, because perhaps to Anna Simó or some manager this may seem like an unglamorous idea. I sincerely recommend that you go to Soria to learn from its educational system. In this evil of many that this year PISA has become, at least the people of Castile-Leon can rub shoulders with the best in Europe, while what happens in Catalonia is something to cry about.
Forget Finland, it sinks in PISA. The mirror breaks. We always have that city on the banks of the Duero, and it is closer than Helsinki. In 2015, the Nordics began reforms that changed the inertia of success consolidated in the 70s and 80s, when the school served to teach, evaluate, train and establish knowledge. There were drastic cuts, they got involved with digitalization, more unmotivated teachers and goodbye to happy arcadia. Does the music sound familiar to you?
Now the Government of the Generalitat, finally, seems to recover common sense. “We have to go back to the basics,” he says to himself. A truth like a temple and a nice euphemism for an uncomfortable reality: part of the pedagogical innovation has failed. I do not question that this is bad 'per se', the learning dynamics can be updated, but it cannot be applied with a ruler or as a dogma of faith. There are teachers who do not understand why continue down that path when what happened before, and allow me the simplicity of the analysis, worked. Writing, reading and calculation, three basic items in the school wardrobe.
It is written quickly: 24% of Catalan schoolchildren do not understand what they read when they go from primary to secondary school. Therein lies the real fracture. Much is going wrong in Catalonia if its 15-year-old students are one grade behind what they were 10 years ago in reading, and a half in mathematics. Furthermore, the 'gap' between the results of the public and the concerted is growing, which is worrying.
It is an unmitigated tragedy. Don't tell us the story that you didn't know because here we have been living in educational mediocrity for years. Covid came to exacerbate a downward trend since 2018. And the excuse of immigration (invoked on a Tuesday, and under the terms “poverty and segregation” on a Thursday) does not explain everything, only part. Talking about the shortcomings with which foreigners enter the system, their academic performance and the impact on the class as a whole should not scare anyone, although these shortcomings will only be mitigated with more resources and more school reinforcement, as is the case with children with special needs or learning disorders.
What cannot be fixed with money is what, how and with what methods it is taught. Discontent spreads among teachers. For another day we leave the issue of teacher training, initial and continuing, as well as ratios in the classroom. Teaching professionals feel at the mercy of political whims, legislative swings and pedagogical experiments. Meanwhile, they are not allowed to even think that there are 5-year-old children, or kids who search, lest the children grow up unhappy.
The teacher has gone from being just a 'master' to acting as a bureaucrat, coach, psychologist, police officer, technological consultant, social worker... for teenagers who, in the best of cases, are distracted by a fly and who are At worst, authority slips away from them.