8.3.3 Intercultural education
From the academic year 2007-2008to the year 2014-2015, the subject "Education for citizenship and human rights" was part of the general school curricula. There was strong opposition from families with children in religious schools and from the Catholic Church, with the argument that the state should not introduce a compulsory subject aimed at the moral upbringing of students. The subject, taught at the primary and secondary levels, focused on the improvement of reciprocal understanding and the promotion of tolerance. The new Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (8/2013 Organic Act) replaced this subject with courses on "Social and Civic Values" and "Ethical Values" at primary level from the academic year 2014-2015 on. Both subjects will be an alternative to the compulsory subject of "Religion" in primary and secondary levels, and are aimed at transmitting values that promote personal freedom, responsibility, democratic citizenship, solidarity, tolerance, equality, respect and justice, as well as help to overcome any kind of discrimination. The development of that Act in 2014 has detailed the contents of the basic curriculum of primary education, and the basic competences to be acquired in compulsory secondary education and upper secondary level.
Beyond the curricular framework, there are intercultural education programmes at the national and regional levels. At the national level, the Resource Centre for Attention to Cultural Diversity in Education (CREADE) is a Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport project, which is designed to respond to the concerns of professionals in the educational and social spheres with regard to cultural diversity and all its implications. It aims to provide a place for dialogue and reflection, where people involved in education in its broadest sense can find reference material, educational material, ICT tools, bibliographies, experiences, research and, in general, resources for educational action or social intervention from an intercultural perspective. Along with its work collecting and processing information and resources on intercultural information, and maintaining and updating its portal, CREADE organises other important lines of action: supporting research into intercultural education through the organisation of prizes and grants for research; creating a Study Committee to identify and analyse good educational practices; carrying out case studies; analysing legislation and educational policies; formulating initiatives and developing projects; providing guidance and training for educational centres and working teams; and publishing materials and resources of interest to the educational, social and cultural spheres (for more details see: https://www.educacion.gob.es/creade/index.do). As well as this general programme, the Ministry run or has run other intercultural education projects such as:
At the regional level, there also exist numerous initiatives related to the intercultural focus of education, the reception of immigrant pupils, the implementation of organisational and curricular measures, linguistic and cultural support, attention to immigrant families and training of teaching staff (for more details about regional initiatives see: https://www.educacion.gob.es/creade/IrASeccionFront.do?id=131).
For more information, see our Intercultural Dialogue section.