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Ariadne Pfad:


Education in Catalonia in the Context of the Conflict over Independence

A water colour painting showing the anti independence protests in Barcelona, 08.10.17. The water colour shows people with Spanish flags (with and without emblem), Catalan and EU flags.
A water colour painting showing the anti independence protests in Barcelona, 08.10.17. The water colour shows people with Spanish flags (with and without emblem), Catalan ("Senyera") and EU flags. Pro independence supporters will use another version of the Catalan flag, the socalled Estelada.
Copyright: Roberto Plà Aragonés alias Fotero, La Manifestación CC BY-NC 2.0

Whenever it comes to national, cultural or regional identity, education plays an important role and is the cause of conflicts. The reason is that identities are developped at an early age and school plays an important role in developping them. This is also obvious in the conflict that flared up again in 2017 concerning Catalonia's strive for independence from the rest of Spain.

School as a concrete location was the scene of a further conflict: Schools were meant to be used as polling stations during the referendum for independence on 01.10.17. The referendum was considered illicit by the Spanish government. For this reason, supporters of Catalan independence feared that the police would prevent the  schools' use as polling stations and they  occupied them in the run-up to the referendum. Parents and children, i.e. the schools' students took part in the occupation. The following evacuation by the police was partly criticised for its overuse of force.

Hence, you can say that education in Catalonia is one of the key subjects when it comes to independence issues. Meanwhile, the Spanish government dissolved the local Catalan government. Elections for a new Catalan government will take place on 21.12.17. On this occasion, Education Worldwide provides a small insight into education in Catalonia.

Education in Catalonia

Website of the Catalan Education Ministry. Unfortunately, this website is only available in Catalan. To get an idea of the site's content, you can have a look at the English thematical pages of the Government of Catalonia ("Generalitat de Catalunya"): "Education and [...]

Statistical data on education, provided by the Statistical Institute of Catalonia. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

A SlideShare presentation on the educational system of Catalonia by the Department of Education of the "Generalitat de Catalunya" (government of the autonomous region of Catalonia). The statistical data used in this presentation are taken from the years 2005-2006. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

"For Catalonia and Spain, public perception is that the PISA reports show that their education systems are underperforming. The goal of this chapter is to quantify how much of the Catalan and Spanish PISA score can be attributed to the education levels of parents and what part must instead be explained by other factors." [Abstract: Site editor's information].

This OECD report analyses the role of Catalan universities in supporting social, economic and cultural development in the region of Catalonia. The website provides the full report, an executive summary as well as many more informations and links on higher education in Catalonia. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

"In this article ['The History of Education in Catalonia: Liberal Tradition and Conceptual History'] the authors reconsider the relationships and links between intellectuals from Barcelona and Madrid within the framework of the liberal tradition and from a perspective that draws on the history of education as a reference. They comment on the connections and exchanges generated [...]

Education & Independence in the Media

The online magazine Catalan News provides news from and about the region of Catalonia in English and for an international readership. We link to articles tagged with "education". Catalan News is part of the "Agència Catalana de Notícies, ACN", the Catalan press agency, which is majority-owned by the Catalan government. [Abstract: [...]

The online magazine Catalan News informs about a statement of the former Catalan Education Minister Clara Ponsatí. Ponsatí, like the rest of the Catalan government, was dismissed by the Spanish central government after the severe conflicts concerning the Catalan independence movement. Ponsatí and several other former members of the [...]

When it comes to identity and national feelings, the issue of education is never far away. The online magazine Catalan News discusses accusations of “indoctrinating” children made by some objectors to the independence movement in Catalonia.

Catalan News provides news from and about the region of Catalonia in English and [...]

The Spanish Ministry for Education has requested a 'detailed report' on the content of the textbooks used in Catalonia. The analyse was carried out by the Catalan teacher organisation “Action for Secondary Education Improvement” (AMES) (Acció per a la Millora de l'Ensenyament Secundari). They concluded that the books emphasize the [...]

Article by the German radio broadcast Deutsche Welle on the question of how identity and language ae related to education and school in Catalonia. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Article in the online magazine Times Higher Education about the possible consequences of Catalan independence on higher education. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Article in the online magazine The Atlantic on the relation between education, language and national identity in Catalonia. The article contains many links to other sources (media, science, statistics). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Education & Language

Regional dossiers aim at providing a concise description and basic statistics about minority language education in a specific region of Europe. Aspects that are addressed include features of the education system, recent educational policies, main actors, legal arrangements, and support structures, as well as quantitative aspects, such as the number of schools, teachers, [...]

The article was published on 22.04.2014 on the blog "Euro Crisis in the Press" which is run by the London School of Economics and Political Science. The authors argue that in their opinion the current language policy in Catalan schools is unfair as Spanish-Castilian speaking students were disadvantaged by the almost exclusive use of the [...]

This publication by the Catalan government sheds a light on 30 years of the "Language Normalisation Act 7/1983". This act was one of the first important steps towards a revival of the Catalan language which had been repressed under the Spanish dictatorship of Franco (1936-1975). [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

Education & National Identity

This PhD thesis was written in 1998 in the context of a broader study on "Children's beliefs and feelings about their own and other national groups in Europe". It deals with the construction of national / regional identity as a developmental process from childhood to adolescence in Catalonia, Spain. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

Chapter 5 of this PhD thesis of 2012 analyses the impact of schools and parents on national socialisation and construction of identy in Catalonia, Spain. In contrast to other studies, the author thinks that school influence is overestimated compared to parents' influence, socio-economic status or immigrant versus native status. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide].

In this article we analyze how a group of Catalan students (aged 11-13, N = 245) narrate the history of Catalonia and we compare their narratives with the official Catalan narrative. From an interpretative approach, we collect data by requiring the students to write down what they remember about the history of Catalonia. The research is conducted by means of narrative analysis [...]

Literature & Debates

The German Education Portal is Germany's biggest provider of bibliographical data from literature in the field of education and educational research. You can also search the database ERIC and the catalogue of the Library of Congress, two of the biggest international providers of bibliographical data. [Abstract: Editors of Education Worldwide]

Spain; international
Debats d'educació (~ debates on education) is a discussion forum on educational issues with the aim of improving education in Catalonia. The speakers come from Catalonia and abroad, they address the public in general. The website provides videos, audios and text based documents. Videos and audios on education in Catalonia [...]

From November 2016 to May 2017, the "Generalitat de Catalunya" (government of the autonomous region of Catalonia) invited researchers to publish 6 papers on the "Future of Education in Catalonia". These papers were discussed online and in face-to-face workshops. They are also available in an English version:

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Last Update: 28.02.2018  -

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