About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 1074-1087
Publication year: 2010
ISBN: 978-84-614-2439-9
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 15-17 November, 2010
Location: Madrid, Spain

NORMATIVE DEFINITION AND SOCIAL PERCEPTION OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN SPAIN

A. Gentile, F. Arias

Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) (SPAIN)
In the mid nineties social and policy attention was focused on the improvement of quality in education through more effective training and formative processes. Different international indicators (i.e. PISA from OCDE and Eurydice from EUROSTAT) show a fall in the quality of teaching and of school performance in Spain with a weak matching between compulsory learning and labour market. School failure and school bulling are further problematic issues for the Spanish education system and can be also considered as indicators of social exclusion among teenagers.

Spanish educative institutions have to face deep social changes that affect the productive system in times of crisis as well as social cohesion and young people quality of life. In this context, it is crucial to explore the new meanings of quality in education starting with its current features and from the position of those social actors directly involved in this field: policy makers, professors and pupils’ parents. According to this goal, our study raises both a global view about education and an analysis of quality in primary and secondary education (for children in the age cohort of 6-18 years old). Our main topics are: a) the perception of education quality change; b) the meaning of education in his instrumental, expressive and assessed aspects; c) the shared accountability between families and education system; d) the critical and conflictive aspects referred to school failure and risks behaviours among youngsters; e) the specific roles of all the actors from civil society which belong to the “education community” and look for best practices, wider participation and full integration of pupils in their formative process.

From an institutional point of view we present the education system and the legislative references to the concept of quality that have been recently renewed with the Ley Orgánica de Educación (2006). This Law -still in force- establishes new tools and structures related with the idea of “quality” in primary and secondary education at a national level. Within this framework, we study the social image and the discursive construction of quality expressed by parents and professors. We emphasize our main research topics through the exploitation of six focus groups of parents and professors and ten in depth interviews to parents’ association members and policy makers collected in the report n.2785 “Social Image of Education in Spain” realized by the Spanish Sociological Research Centre (CIS) in 2008. These data sources allow us to develop a qualitative study using the opinions, comments and judgements that parents and professors offer about the quality of education in this country.

This study is inserted in the current social and political discussion about a new social agreement to develop updated standards of European Union quality in education within the Spanish system. Our analysis combines the objective frame (in normative terms) and the subjective discourses (assessments, perceptions of change, expectations and criticisms) about current educative issues. We compare the meaning of the recent institutional reforms about quality education with its social representation and outline the strong and the weak points of the Spanish education system from a descriptive and interpretative approach.
@InProceedings{GENTILE2010NOR,
author = {Gentile, A. and Arias, F.},
title = {NORMATIVE DEFINITION AND SOCIAL PERCEPTION OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN SPAIN},
series = {3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2010 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-614-2439-9},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {15-17 November, 2010},
year = {2010},
pages = {1074-1087}}
TY - CONF
AU - A. Gentile AU - F. Arias
TI - NORMATIVE DEFINITION AND SOCIAL PERCEPTION OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN SPAIN
SN - 978-84-614-2439-9/2340-1095
PY - 2010
Y1 - 15-17 November, 2010
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 3rd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2010 Proceedings
SP - 1074
EP - 1087
ER -
A. Gentile, F. Arias (2010) NORMATIVE DEFINITION AND SOCIAL PERCEPTION OF QUALITY EDUCATION IN SPAIN, ICERI2010 Proceedings, pp. 1074-1087.
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