The purpose of this paper is to analyze the circumstances that have conditioned the development of education in Spain from the enlightenment to the present day.
Multidisciplinary scientific approach that combines the interpretation of the legal texts with the revision of the doctrinal and theoretical contributions made on the issue.
From the beginning of the nineteenth century, the history of education in Spain has been marked by constant fluctuations between the reactionary instincts, principally maintained by the Catholic Church and the conservative social classes, and the progressive experiments, driven by the enlightened and the liberals first, and the republicans and the socialists later. As a consequence of that, the fight for finishing with illiteracy and guaranteeing universal schooling underwent permanent advances and retreats, preventing from an effective modernization of the Spanish educative system. On the one hand, renewal projects promoted by teachers and pedagogues were inevitably criticized by the ecclesiastical hierarchy, obsessed with the idea of preserving the influence of religion on the schools. On the other hand, successive governments were weak in implementing an educational policy which could place Spain at the level of the other European and occidental nations.
At the dawn of the twenty-first century, although the country has overcome a good part of its centuries-old backwardness, increasing economic difficulties and old ideological splits keep hampering the quality of teaching, gripped by neoliberal policies which undermine the right to education for all. The reading of this paper offers various historical clues to understand this process.
Giménez Martínez, M. (2015), "Great projects and crude realities: Advances and retreats of the educational policy in contemporary Spain", History of Education Review, Vol. 44 No. 2, pp. 186-202. https://doi.org/10.1108/HER-11-2013-0020Download as .RIS
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