Baccalaureate students may take the Selectividad with a failed subject if they meet a series of conditions and the team of teachers decides so. And exceptionally, the stage may be organized into three courses, instead of the traditional two. These are two of the main novelties contained in the draft decree that will regulate the Baccalaureate from next year and to which EL PAÍS has had access. The norm adapts these post-compulsory studies to the new framework created by Lomloe, the educational law approved in December.
In ESO (Compulsory Secondary Education) the repetition of the course will no longer be determined directly by the number of failures, but in Baccalaureate it will. From the first course to the second, it will be possible to pass with a maximum of two pending subjects, as at present. But in second, “exceptionally”, it will be possible to graduate and, therefore, go to the Selectividad, with a pending subject as long as the teaching team considers that the student has achieved the objectives of the stage; has not missed class in a “continuous and unjustified” manner; who has taken the subject exams, including the extraordinary test, and their average grade in the entire Baccalaureate, including the failed subject, reach at least a five.
Similarly exceptionally, the Baccalaureate may be organized in three academic years. The possibility, which the autonomous communities must specify, will be given in the following cases: that the students simultaneously take professional music courses or “accredit the consideration of a high-level or high-performance athlete”; that require “educational attention different from the ordinary one due to presenting some specific need for educational support”, or those “that allege other circumstances that, in the opinion of the corresponding educational Administration (that is, of the autonomous educational authorities), justify the application of this measure”.
The communities, which have a good part of the competences in the matter, must “provide the necessary means” so that the students who require “an attention different from the ordinary one” (for example, those who present a functional diversity) “can reach the objectives of the stage” following the principles of “normalization and inclusion”. The methodological and evaluation adaptations that are carried out in the case of these kids “will not be taken into account in any case to reduce the grades obtained.”
The draft of the new decree, which is expected to be approved in the coming weeks, after the autonomous communities and organizations such as the State School Council have ruled on it, increases the autonomy of educational centers. The institutes will “develop and adapt” the Baccalaureate curriculum (that is, what will be studied in each subject and how it is evaluated) “adapting it to the characteristics of the students and their educational reality”. The centers will be able to introduce “experimentations, pedagogical innovations”, different forms of organization, extensions of the school calendar and school hours as long as the community authorizes it and other regulations are respected, such as labor.
The families of the students, while they are minors, “must participate and support the evolution of their educational process, collaborating in the support or reinforcement measures adopted by the centers to facilitate their progress.” The Baccalaureate may be partially taught in foreign languages, but admission to centers supported by public funds must respect the criteria established by Lomloe, among which “language requirements” may not be included.
New approach and new subjects
The stage will be organized into five modalities, instead of the current three: Science and Technology; Social Sciences and Humanities; artistic Music and Performing Arts; Artistic Arts, Image and Design, and the so-called General, which offers a broader spectrum training, designed for those who have not decided at the beginning of the stage what they are going to continue studying at the end of it or who plans to opt for a path to which is convenient a more general training. The 42 planned subjects, including common subjects, compulsory for each modality and electives, follow the new competency-based educational approach that presides over the entire educational reform underway in Spain. A change that aims to prepare students not so much to know how to repeat content in an exam as to be able to apply what they have learned, in line with the doctrine promoted in recent decades by the EU and the OECD. Its implementation will be staggered: the next course in first year of Baccalaureate and the next, in second. The new curriculum is also transversally inspired by the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and incorporates “the gender perspective”.
Seven new subjects appear in the curriculum. Four of them correspond to the new General Baccalaureate and form its backbone, offering students open and interdisciplinary visions of the respective fields of knowledge to which they belong. Of these four, two are compulsory, General Mathematics (in the first year), General Sciences (in the second year), and two other electives of the modality: Cultural and artistic movements and Economics, Entrepreneurship and Business Activity.
The other three completely new subjects are largely the product of the decision to separate the two great fields that until now were part of the Artistic Baccalaureate when, in reality, they are very different. These are dramatic literature, technical drawing applied to plastic arts and design, and artistic projects. The subjects that already existed are also undergoing changes, in some cases far-reaching. In the History of Philosophy, a common subject for all students in the second year of Baccalaureate, along with the names of Plato, Hobbes, Marx and Nietzsche, figures such as Hypatia of Alexandria and Hanna Arendt appear in the curriculum, or the promoters of the first feminist wave Mary Wollstonecraft and Olympe de Gouges.
Among the goals of the stage are that students develop “the capacities that allow them to exercise democratic citizenship” and acquire “a civic conscience inspired by the values of the Spanish Constitution, as well as by human rights”; “consolidate a personal, affective-sexual and social maturity”; “promote effective equality of rights and opportunities for women and men”; “strengthen reading, study and discipline habits as necessary conditions to take advantage of learning and as a means of personal development”; master Spanish and, where appropriate, the other co-official language of their territory, and have “a responsible and committed attitude in the fight against climate change and in defense of sustainable development”.
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