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Critically evaluate the education of the child in your country of placement, from primary school through to the end of third level studies and compare it with that of our own country.

Critically evaluate the education of the child in your country of placement, from primary school through to the end of third level studies and compare it with that of our own country.

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An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Kealan Watters. Originally submitted for Erasmus at Other, with lecturer Paul Anthony in the category of Teacher Education
An essay for the 2012 Undergraduate Awards (International Programme) Competition by Kealan Watters. Originally submitted for Erasmus at Other, with lecturer Paul Anthony in the category of Teacher Education

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Published by: Undergraduate Awards on Aug 31, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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07/25/2014

 
Abstract
 This assignment identifies the similarities and differences betweenthe education system that takes place in the Andalucia region of Spain and with the Northern Ireland curriculum that is currentlybeing implemented in primary schools the whole way through topost-primary education.While teaching and attending lectures in Spain I have been given aninsight to their education system and how in ways it is similar toours and is also struggling in parts. I would like to address thisassignment with a follow-up written task which should answer thequestion of ‘If the education system in Spain and Northern Ireland isfailing in parts, why is nothing being doneabout it quick enough?’ Itfeels as though our education system is under constant scrutiny andis compared to that of Finland for exaple who have a brilliantsystem. It is only when I went to Spain that I realised that oureducation system isn’t that different from others.I feel that this assignment shows how we are similar to that of Spainin regards to the set-up of schools, ages within streams of class andsubjects that are offered at certain ages.
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Critically evaluate the education of the child in your countryof placement, from primary school through to the end of third level studies and compare it with that of our owncountry.
 To gain an understanding of this question while studyingabroad in Huelva (Spain), I chose to take up a course calledCurriculum Making: Innovation and Development which was takenby Jose Bautista. It began with him introducing the way in which theSpanish Education system operates i.e. how the various types of schools are divided and how the structure within each of them aredelivered. The main school structure in the Spanish Education issimilar to ours at home in Northern Ireland; you can see this belowin the table I have drawn up.As you can see in the table above, students who wish to stay inschool for as long as possible, both in Spain and in Northern Ireland,will leave at the same age at 18 years old before beginningUniversity. Within each of the different stages of school it doessomehow differ between the two countries which I am going todiscuss in this assignment.In the first structure of the Spanish Education system we haveInfantil, which is Nursery School in Northern Ireland. However, in
AgeGroupSpainAge GroupNorthern Ireland
0-5 yrsEducacionInfantil3-4 yrsPre-School (Nursery)6-11yrsEducacionPrimeria4-11 yrsPrimary School12-16 yrsEducacionSecundariaObligatoria12-16 yrsSecondary/GrammarSchool17-18 yrsBachillerato 17-18 yrsLower/Upper 6
th
Form
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Spain, Educaion Infantil is divided into two separate age groupswhich are; 0-3 years old and 3-5 years old. At Infantil, studentsdevelop physical and mental skills as well as taught social andpersonal values. Students are also taught the alphapbet withinInfantil. This somewhat differs in Northern Ireland only slightly in thesense that students are not taught the alphabet when in NurserySchool. This may be because students begin Primary School a lotearlier in Northern Ireland and are taught the alphabet then. Inconclusion though, students are being taught values and thealphabet at a similar age in similar environments in both countries.In Primeria (Primary School for N.I.) the system is categorisedinto three cycles which is seperated into every two year period. It issimilar to how we have our different Stages i.e. Foundation, KeyStage 1 and Key Stage 2. All classes are of mixed ability and they donot separate students within classes. The subjects in which thestudents must be taught are; Spanish language, Maths,Conocimiento del Medio (A general knowledge subject whichincludes science, Geography, History, general and local knowledgeand social awareness; similar to WAU) P.E, Religion, Art and asecond language which is usually English. I feel that it is somewhatof a similar curriculum to the one in Northern Ireland in terms of what is taught, however it may be taught quite differently e.g. nolearning through play, shared reading, mental maths exercises etc.However I do believe that our Curriculum should introduce alanguage at this level of Education. As we now live in a multi culturaland diverse society (world), we should be able to communicate witheach other instead of having the one common language. Children atthis age are much more able to retain and remember information;therefore an additional language would be a huge advantage in thechild’s education and life.
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