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Spain:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

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Spain:Historical Development

Spain:Main Executive and Legislative Bodies

Spain:Population: Demographic Situation, Languages and Religions

Spain:Political and Economic Situation

Spain:Organisation and Governance

Spain:Fundamental Principles and National Policies

Spain:Lifelong Learning Strategy

Spain:Organisation of the Education System and of its Structure

Spain:Organisation of Private Education

Spain:National Qualifications Framework

Spain:Administration and Governance at Central and/or Regional Level

Spain:Administration and Governance at Local and/or Institutional Level

Spain:Statistics on Organisation and Governance

Spain:Funding in Education

Spain:Early Childhood and School Education Funding

Spain:Higher Education Funding

Spain:Adult Education and Training Funding

Spain:Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisation of Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Assessment in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:Primary Education

Spain:Organisation of Primary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Primary Education

Spain:Assessment in Primary Education

Spain:Organisational Variations and Alternative Structures in Primary Education

Spain:Secondary and Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Organisation of General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Lower Secondary Education

Spain:Vocational Lower Secondary Education: Basic Vocational Training cycles

Spain:Organisation of General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in General Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Organisation of Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Teaching and Learning in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Assessment in Vocational Upper Secondary Education

Spain:Post-Secondary Non-Tertiary Education

Spain:Higher Education

Spain:Types of Higher Education Institutions

Spain:First Cycle Programmes

Spain:Bachelor

Spain:Short-Cycle Higher Education

Spain:Second Cycle Programmes

Spain:Programmes outside the Bachelor and Master Structure

Spain:Third Cycle (PhD) Programmes

Spain:Adult Education and Training

Spain:Distribution of Responsibilities

Spain:Developments and Current Policy Priorities

Spain:Main Providers

Spain:Main Types of Provision

Spain:Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning

Spain:Teachers and Education Staff

Spain:Initial Education for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Conditions of Service for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers Working in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Initial Education for Academic Staff in Higher Education

Spain:Conditions of Service for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Academic Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Initial Education for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Conditions of Service for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Continuing Professional Development for Teachers and Trainers Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Management and Other Education Staff

Spain:Management Staff for Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Staff Involved in Monitoring Educational Quality for Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Education Staff Responsible for Guidance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working with Schools

Spain:Management Staff for Higher Education

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Higher Education

Spain:Management Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Other Education Staff or Staff Working in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Quality Assurance

Spain:Quality Assurance in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Higher Education

Spain:Quality Assurance in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Educational Support and Guidance

Spain:Special Education Needs Provision within Mainstream Education

Spain:Separate Special Education Needs Provision in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Higher Education

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in Higher Education

Spain:Support Measures for Learners in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Guidance and Counselling in a Lifelong Learning Approach

Spain:Mobility and Internationalisation

Spain:Mobility in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Mobility in Higher Education

Spain:Mobility in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Early Childhood and School Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Higher Education

Spain:Other Dimensions of Internationalisation in Adult Education and Training

Spain:Bilateral Agreements and Worldwide Cooperation

Spain:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments

Spain:National Reforms in Early Childhood Education and Care

Spain:National Reforms in School Education

Spain:National Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning

Spain:National Reforms in Higher Education

Spain:National Reforms related to Transversal Skills and Employability

Spain:European Perspective

Spain:Legislation

Spain:Institutions

Spain:Bibliography

Spain:Glossary

Curriculum of intermediate vocational training

Vocational training is the type of provision which is closer to working life and the labour market. Its wide range of training programmes, modular nature and flexibility, including distance provision through Internet, make it a highly attractive training option.

On the basis of a common structure defined for the academic organisation of vocational training provision, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, after consultation with the Autonomous Communities, establishes the corresponding vocational training qualifications, as well as the basic aspects of their curricula. Following this, different qualifications and their related core curricula for the whole State have been approved.

The Autonomous Communities have added to these basic regulations, establishing, for their respective territories, the curricula of the training cycles corresponding to the various qualifications available.

Educational institutions develop such curricula by drawing up their yearly general programme, whose objectives, contents, evaluation criteria, sequencing and methodology must respond to the characteristics of the student body as well as the training possibilities which are available in the surrounding area.

(2002 Act on Qualifications and Vocational Training; 2011 Sustainable Economy Act and Act completing the Sustainable Economy Act).

Structure

It is organised into different training cycles, which are made up of vocational modules, vary in length, and include theoretical and practical contents corresponding to the different professional fields.

It allows to combine learning with the demands of students' social, labour and family circumstances.

The training cycles refer to the National Catalogue of Vocational Qualifications. The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport and the Ministry of Employment and Social Security, after consultation with the General Council for Vocational Training, are in charge of approving the vocational qualifications and competence units included in the Catalogue and adapting the different vocational modules to the qualifications and competence units.

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, at its own initiative or at the request of the Education and Employment Authorities, the General Council for Vocational Training or social and economic agents, revises or updates vocational qualifications or creates new ones, in order to offer a provision that responds to people’s qualification needs and the prospects of economic and social development.

The vocational qualifications of the National Catalogue are organised into occupational families sharing common professional competence. At present, there are 24 occupational families in the Catalogue:

  • Physical and Sports Activities
  • Administration and Management
  • Agrarian
  • Graphic Arts
  • Trade and Marketing
  • Building and Civil Work
  • Electricity and Electronics
  • Machine Manufacture
  • Hostel Industry and Tourism
  • Personal Image
  • Image and Sound
  • Food Industries
  • Extractive Industries
  • Computing and Communications
  • Installation and Maintenance
  • Wood, Furniture and Cork
  • Maritime-Fishing
  • Chemistry
  • Health
  • Security and Environment
  • Sociocultural and Community Services
  • Textile, Dressmaking and Leather
  • Transport and Vehicle Maintenance
  • Glassworks and Ceramics.

Each family comprises different basic, intermediate or advanced training cycles. For more information, see Vocational lower secondary education: basic vocational training cycles and Short-cycle higher education.

Intermediate vocational training cycles respond to a professional profile and help to improve vocational qualifications as well as to prepare students for exercising other professions.

Curriculum

The curricula of the different training cycles adapts to the requirements of the National System of Qualifications and Vocational Training.

The curricular contents of the training cycles are organised into different types of vocational modules:

  • vocational modules which are specific to each training cycle
  • work placement vocational module
  • one or more vocational modules related to employment guidance and labour relations and the development of the entrepreneurial spirit.

The education authorities of the Autonomous Communities may organise the teaching of the vocational modules into training units of a shorter duration in order to promote lifelong learning.

  • vocational modules of each training cycle
    • composed of theoretical-practical knowledge areas, according to the professional competences, which must include those defined in the competence units and the social and personal skills aimed to be achieved
    • will, o will not, be adapted to the competence units of the National Catalogue of Vocational Qualifications, depending on their nature
    • include priority areas: information and communication technologies, the languages of the countries of the European Union (EU), teamwork, health and safety, and those included in the EU guidelines and, in particular, those related to the development and strengthening of basic skills
    • where the professional profile of the training cycle so requires, training must be included in specific vocational modules. In the rest, it must be included as a cross-curricular topic or in accordance with other solutions the education authorities may provide as regards languages.
  • work placement vocational module
    • non-employment nature
    • students evidencing work experience relating to the respective professional studies may be exempt from this module
    • the Royal Decrees establishing the different vocational training qualifications must determine the vocational modules which must be completed in order to take the work placement. In general, all the modules studied in the educational institution must have been successfully completed
    • depending on the type of provision, the specific characteristics of each training cycle and the availability of places in companies, the education authorities may fix another temporality for this module
    • this module currently represents a 20%.
  • vocational modules related to employment guidance and labour relations and the development of the entrepreneurial spirit
    • information on employment opportunities, setting up and management of companies and self-employment, job organisation and relations at work
    • basic legislation on labour regarding equal opportunities and non-discrimination of disabled people
    • rights and duties derived from relations at work, in order to facilitate access to employment or reintegration into the labour market
    • this training can be provided in one or several specific vocational modules, which may also be included as a cross-curricular topic, according to the professional profile. It must address the characteristics of each occupational family or the relevant productive sector(s).

The education authorities might establish that educational institutions offer intermediate vocational training students the following voluntary subjects, in order to facilitate their transition to other types of provision:

  • Comunication in Spanish Language
  • Communication in Foreign Language
  • Applied Mathematics
  • where appropriate, Communication in Co-Official Language
  • any subject related to the advanced vocational training cycle the student wishes to have access to.

The duration of the training cycle is 2 000 hours, divided into one and a half or two academic years, although its organisation into a year and a half is more frequent.

The regulations for each training cycle specify the total length of the training cycle, as well as the minimum number of hours required under each vocational module. This timetable, which is set for the whole State, accounts for 55% -in the Autonomous Communities with two co-official languages- and 65% -in those where Spanish is the only official language- of the total timetable established for the training cycle in question.

Vocational training provision can be rendered more flexible and therefore be full-time or part-time, classroom-based, distance or part-attendance, or offered for a specific period of time during the year, so that students can combine education and training with work and their personal situations do not stop them from studying and being trained.

Dual vocational training

The foundations of dual vocational training in Spain were regulated at the beginning of November 2012. It comprises a series of mixed, employment and training, actions and initiatives for workers to become professionally qualified through work-linked training schemes which combine work with training within the framework of vocational training for employment or vocational training of the education system.

The training activity of the training and learning contract is also considered as dual vocational training.

Types of dual vocational training

Training at the training institution

It combines and alternates training received at the training institution and work at the company.

Training with the participation of the company

Companies provide training institutions with spaces, facilities or experts to teach, fully or partially, certain training or vocational modules.

Training at an authorised or accredited company and at a training institution

Certain training or vocational modules are taught at the company, in addition to the ones taught at the training institution.

Training shared between the training institution and the company

The company has been authorised by the relevant education authority and/or accredited by the corresponding employment authority to provide this type of training, and is attached to the institution with which it shares the training. The training institution and the company work in partnership and participate, in different proportions, in the teaching and learning processes at both the company and the institution.

Training at the company

The company must have adequate facilities and technically and adequately trained staff so that the professional competence or qualification can be accredited, without prejudice to the need to undertake periods of additional training at institutions of the network of vocational training institutions. It must also be accredited to provide training cycles and/or be an accredited provider of training leading to the award of certificates of professional experience.

Source: Drawn up by Eurydice Spain-Spanish Network for Information on Education (National Centre for Educational Innovation and Research, Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport) on the basis of regulations.

Aim of dual vocational training of the education system:

  • that people become professionally qualified, by harmonising teaching and learning processes between training institutions and workplaces. The conditions and basic requirements for its development by education authorities are regulated by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport
  • the joint participation of educational institutions and companies if there is not a training and learning contract
  • participating institutions must be authorised to teach training cycles, have established an agreement with companies of the relevant sector and their dual vocational training project will be implemented in a productive environment which satisfies the conditions necessary.

Objectives of dual vocational training:

  • increase the number of people who can obtain a post-compulsory secondary education certificate through vocational training provision
  • achieve greater motivation among students reducing early school leaving
  • facilitate integration into the labour market as a result of closer contact with companies
  • increase the link and shared responsibility between the business fabric and vocational training
  • strengthen vocational training teachers’ relation with the companies in the sector and promote the exchange of knowledge
  • collect qualitative and quantitative data facilitating decision-making regarding the improvement of the quality of vocational training.

Characteristics of the training programme:

  • the education administration authorises the dual vocational training project, establishes the conditions of the agreement between the educational institution and the collaborating company and authorises it. This agreement specifies the programme for each vocational module, the activities to be carried out both at the institution and the company, their duration and the criteria for their evaluation and grading. If more than one Autonomous Community is involved in the implementation of a project, it is the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport which authorises it
  • the company participates in a minimum of 33% of the training hours established in the qualification. This percentage may be increased
  • the duration of the training cycle can be extended to 3 years
  • before developing their training at the company, students have to receive the training required
  • the training activity of the company and the institution is coordinated and controlled on a monthly basis, with both the institution and the company monitoring and tutoring students
  • student evaluation is the responsibility of the teachers of the educational institution, taking into account the contributions of the trainers of the company and the results of the placement activity.

Apart from the training programme, the agreement between the educational institution and the company includes:

  • the number of students participating
  • grants
  • the working hours and schedule at the institution and the company
  • the conditions to be met by companies, students, teachers and tutors
  • the student and teacher insurance required to cover the training.

In the 2013/14 academic year, the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport monitored the dual vocational training projects implemented, providing the following relevant data:

  • the number of students increases by over 200% in 2014 as compared to 2013, from 4 292 to 9 555 students. The most significant increases have taken place in the Autonomous Communities of Catalonia, Castile-La Mancha and Valencia.
  • in 2014, all the Autonomous Communities had implemented these cycles.
  • in 2014, 375 educational institutions are going to develop dual vocational training projects, a 218% more than in 2013. The regions of Catalonia, the Basque Country, Andalusia, Valencia and Castile-La Mancha deserve special mention, with more than 40 institutions developing these projects
  • the number of companies participating in dual vocational training projects has increased from 513 in 2013 to 1 570 in 2014. The Canary Islands, Castile-La Mancha, Murcia and Valencia are the Autonomous Communities where the number of collaborating companies has increased most.

As for the promotion of quality and innovation in vocational training, the Act on the Improvement of the Quality of Education proposes as the fundamental principle of the education system the need for collaboration among all members of the educational community in order to achieve quality education, giving priority attention to factors promoting quality and innovation in education, and which are part of the activity of educational institutions, through experimentation, teamwork, educational renewal and educational and vocational guidance.

For more information, see Quality assurance in early childhood and school education.

Teaching methods and materials

Teaching methods

The Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport recognises the freedom that educational institutions have to draw up their own methodological proposals, which must observe the following general principles:

  • attention to diversity
  • students’ access to common education
  • the promotion of the necessary measures in order to develop academic supervision, the development of guidance and the regulation of specific solutions to cater for pupils with special learning difficulties and highly-gifted students.

Characteristics of teaching methods in intermediate vocational training:

  • they should integrate the relevant scientific, technological and organisational aspects in order to provide students with a global overview of the productive processes of the professional activity in question
  • the Autonomous Communities, in the exercise of their power to draw up the syllabuses and define the vocational training qualifications of the different specialisations, establish the lines of action of the teaching/learning process in order to achieve the objectives of the different modules each qualification comprises, which describe the necessary teaching methods and materials
  • educational institutions have pedagogical autonomy to define and develop the curriculum established by the relevant Autonomous Community. In their school development plan, they define the specific teaching/learning methodology they consider most appropriate to meet the characteristics and needs of their students
  • the Teachers’ Assembly is the body responsible for planning, coordinating and deciding on teaching aspects
  • at classroom level, teachers, in accordance with what has previously been mentioned and in the exercise of their academic freedom, are free to choose the methodology, materials and didactic resources they deem most suitable to ensure the development of their students.

Materials

Textbooks and teaching materials do not require previous authorisation from the education authority. In any case, they must:

  • be adapted to the scientific rigour adequate for the pupils’ age group and to the approved curriculum set by each education authority
  • reflect and encourage respect for the constitutional principles, values, liberties, rights and duties, as well as for the principles and values included in current educational legislation and the Act on comprehensive protection measures against gender violence, to which all educational activity must adapt.

The supervision of textbooks and other curricular materials is part of the regular process of inspection carried out by the education authority of all the elements included in the teaching/learning process.

The textbook selection process follows the following guidelines in all educational institutions:

  • Pedagogical Coordination Commission of each school: it prepares a report on the textbooks that are considered most appropriate, which is supervised by the School Council and the Teachers’ Assembly
  • teachers are responsible for the final decision
  • if the School Council does not agree with this decision, suggestions can be made for the Teachers’ Assembly to consider them.

Intermediate vocational training students’ may receive financial assistance towards the costs of textbooks and other school materials. For more information, see Early childhood and school education funding. Pupils’ homeworkoutside school hours is not regulated in any official document; it is each teacher who organises it.