Spain opts for Nordic education model
9 November 2007, MADRID - Between creating elites or improving educational standards overall, the West seems to have opted for the latter.
9 November 2007
MADRID - Between creating elites or improving educational standards overall, the West seems to have opted for the latter.
"We cannot confuse efficiency with excellence, if by excellence we mean an education system that is able to form elites and look after them.
An efficient and equitable education system is, in the final analysis what we mean by a system based on quality, able to address different needs, and also high achievers," says the World Bank's leading education consultant Juan Manuel Moreno.
There are a number of different models for secondary education throughout the developed world. The United States is a "hypermarket," says the OECD's Francesc Pedró. "Pupils have a wide range of programs, from hairdressing to mathematical analysis.
Those who opt for more academic subjects at high school go to university: it depends on the pupil and their family," he adds.
In the British model, says Pedró: "Pupils focus on two or three main subjects, but choose the level they prefer: again, responsibility for performance is down to the student and their family."
In Scandinavia, diversity is the goal. Teachers must adapt their lessons to students' individual needs. "Spain has adopted the Nordic approach, but lacks investment and training," says Pedró. Finland spends 6.1 percent of GDP on education; Spain spends 4.8 percent.
The German model consists of separating children when they reach 11, and sending children to schools oriented toward university, and others toward vocational studies. Some argue that this kind of segregation should not take place at such an early age.
[Copyright EL PAÍS, SL. 2007]
Subject: Spanish news