The importance of Philosophy in the curricula of France, Italy, the United Kingdom or Israel

The final approval of the compulsory secondary education (ESO) curriculum decree this Tuesday in the Council of Ministers has revived criticism from teachers of the subject. It will be the autonomous communities that decide whether or not to include it as an elective in this course. In addition, the new regulation introduces in ESO a new compulsory subject related to the area called Education in civic and ethical values ​​that will be taught by Philosophy teachers. In the World Tabletoday we ask our correspondents how this subject is taught in other countries.

We analyze everything with Antonio Delgado (correspondent in Paris), jordi barcia (correspondent in Rome), Sarah Alonso (London correspondent) and Maria Gamez (Jerusalem correspondent)

In France, Philosophy associations ask for more hours for the subject

“In France the Philosophy maintains a daily prestige. It’s not just a professor thing, it doesn’t sound pedantic to use a bit of Philosophy in everyday vulgar language”, describes Antonio Delgado, RNE correspondent in Paris.

High school students give four hours of Philosophy a week if they take the “general way”the normal institute modality, and two hours a week if they are in the “technological pathway”a path more oriented towards Vocational Training: “between two and four hours in any case”, describes Delgado.

In general, an attempt is made to foster a critical spirit, the ability to articulate discussions and present organized ideas. “The Philosophy teachers’ associations are upset because they think that there are only a few hours that are taught,” she says.

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In the UK there is hyper-specialization from very early on

Until the age of 16, the equivalent to what ESO would be in Spain, “there are common subjects and then in the electives there are subjects such as education for citizenship, psychology or sociology,” says Sara Alonso, London correspondent for RNE. “At that moment perhaps Philosophy enters in a cross“, value.

In the United Kingdom you can complete the entire academic journey possible “without having heard of Plato, Descartes or Kant“. Between 16 and 18 years old, there are no compulsory subjects or itineraries. In this last stage they only study three subjects: “It is a pre-university where they are trained in the subjects that are going to be examined in the equivalent of Selectivity”. “They hyperspecialize from a very young age“Alonso poses.

Italy plans to expand philosophy studies in its classrooms

For now, the idea of increase the hours of Philosophy in the Italian educational plans “they seem to be green and have not yet been made public”, assures Jordi Barcia, RNE correspondent in Rome. However, the Minister of Education has given clues: “Students must be taught to ask questions and not just to press a button“, has specified.

The change would affect Technical and Vocational Secondary Schools, in which Philosophy had not been taught until now. “Everyone who studies in high school has a base in the humanities in which they have this subject”, adds Barcia.

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Israel stands out for having several types of educational approaches and models

“The ultra-orthodox men they dedicate their lives to the study of Torah because for them it is the instruction manual of the world. For this reason, they dedicate total and complete devotion to studying their sacred book,” explains María Gámez, RNE correspondent for the Middle East.

A Bank of Israel report 2020 He claimed that since the 1970s the curriculum in ultra-Orthodox schools has been reducing subjects that can help get a job such as mathematics, English or science. “These deficiencies in basic education and the fact that they marry and have very young children means that they have a very high dropout rate: only 15% go to university and 25% in the case of women,” says Gámez.

On the other hand there is the official educationwhich has several models and which reflects the multicultural nature of Israeli society. public state schools, where most of the children go, are the ones that have a system similar to the Spanish one. “Then there are the religious statewhich are also public but emphasize Jewish studies and their traditions,” he says. “There are also the arab schoolswhere education is given in Arabic and they emphasize its history, the Muslim religion and its culture,” he adds. “There is no lack of Private schools often managed by various religious and international groups,” he says.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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