Print this Page
Print this Page

A new programme encourages students in their last two years of education, as well as teachers, to develop an active interest in heritage.

Show all Profile-News...

Spain/ 8.3 Arts and cultural education  

8.3.2 Arts in schools

Arts education in Spain is a complex field. At compulsory education level, students come into contact with arts education through areas of the curriculum or through projects that involve different levels of government (see the Spanish profile in

Until the implementation of the new 8/2013 Organic Act in the academic year 2014-2015, at primary education level, arts education covered mainly two areas: visual arts and music, but also incorporates dance and theatre. The contents were divided into four areas: "Visual Arts Observation", "Expression and Artistic Creation", "Listening; and Interpretation" and "Musical Creation". The compulsory time to be spent on arts education accounted for, approximately, 105 hours per each of the three cycles that constitute primary education (two years each). However, the new act considers arts education as a specific subject and its implementation will depend on the regulation and programming of educational administrations and schools.

In Compulsory Secondary Education(ESO), until the implementation in the academic year 2015-2016 of the new 8/2013 Organic Act, the subjects "Visual Arts Education" and "Music" are compulsory in the first three grades (105 hours per each) and are optional in the 4th grade (70 hours per each). In the first three grades, the contents of the subject "Visual Arts Education" are divided into five areas: Observation; Exploration and Discovery; Audiovisual and Multimedia Environment; Expression and Creation; and Reading and Appreciation of Artistic References. In the fourth grade, the contents are also divided into five areas: Common Processes of Artistic Creation; Fine Arts Expression; Graphic Arts and Design; Image and Sound; and Objective Description of Forms. With respect to the subject "Music", during the first three years the content is divided into the following four areas: Listening; Interpreting; Creating; and Musical Contexts. In the fourth year, three areas are covered: Listening and Musical References; Musical Practice; and Music and Technology. The new act, which considers all artistic subjects as specific, includes in the first three courses, the following topics: Music; Visual Arts and Audiovisual Education and Classical Culture, to which is added Performing Arts and Dance, in the fourth course.

At upper secondary level, until the academic year 2015-2016, there is a course in arts and humanities, which is a prerequisite for higher education courses. In this secondary school course, the arts are divided into two branches: "Fine Arts, Design and Image" and "Performing Arts, Music and Dance". The first area includes the following subjects: Audiovisual Culture; Artistic Drawing I and II; Technical Drawing I and II; Design; History of Art; Graphic and Fine Art Expression Techniques; and Volume. And the second area: Music Analysis I and II, Applied Anatomy; Performing Arts; Audiovisual Culture; History of Music and Dance; Universal Literature; and Musical Language and Practice. With the new act, the first course of the modality of arts includes two core subjects (Arts Fundamentals I and Spanish Language and Literature I) that are compulsory for all pupils; three core subjects (Contemporary World History; Universal Literature and Audiovisual Culture I), that are optional, and six specific optional subjects (Technical Drawing I; Artistic Drawing I; Volume; Applied Anatomy; Musical Analysis I; Music Language and Practice). The second course has three core subjects (Arts Fundamentals II; Spanish Language and Literature II and History of Spain), that are compulsory; three core optional subjects (Audiovisual Culture II; Performing Arts and Design) and, finally, six specific optional subjects (Technical Drawing II; Artistic Drawing II; Musical Analysis II; History of Music and Dance; Picture and Sound and Techniques of Visual Expression).

Vocational education prepares students to work in a professional field, such as arts and crafts, graphic arts or glass and ceramics. Such courses tend to be organised into intermediate and higher training cycles.

With respect to arts education (special scheme), which comes between secondary school and university level training, varies in terms of qualifications, the organisation, the type of system and the educational centres that teach the courses. Such courses tend to be organised into intermediate and higher training cycles and include areas such as dramatic arts, visual arts and design, dance, music, and the conservation and restoration of cultural goods.

According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2014 published by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, in the academic year 2012-2013, a total of 377 360 students were enrolled in arts education (special schemes). This figure represents an increase of 0.9% over the previous year. By sector, 82.8% of students were enrolled in music, 8.8% in dance, 7.8% in visual arts and design, and the remaining 0.6% in drama. With respect to the general scheme, in the academic year 2012-2013, a total of 31 597 students were enrolled in the arts in upper secondary education and 23 521 were involved in the cultural field of vocational training. These figures account for approximately 5% and 3.8% of upper secondary education and vocational training respectively.

Beyond the curriculum framework there exist diverse institutional initiatives aimed at promoting artistic activity in the education system. Thus, the National Plan of Education and Heritage was approved in April 2013 by the Council of Cultural Heritage. It promotes programmes in the area of formal education through the implementation of contents of cultural heritage in the curricula, the improvement of learning material related to students' competences in heritage matters and the promotion of teacher training on the social, cultural, economic and identity values of cultural assets. In 2014, the International Network of Heritage Education (RIEP / INHE) was created with the participation of members from 15 countries.

Among the initiatives carried out by the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport in 2014, the contest "Tú eres la llave / You are the Key" was launched with the aims of encouraging students in the last two years of compulsory secondary education to discover, share and create in relation to European cultural heritage through Europeana, as well as approaching teachers to its possibilities as a tool for innovation and educational creativity in the 21st century. On the other hand, the Ministry collaborates with the Spanish Agency for International Co-operation and Development, and the National University of Distance Education, in "Open_ed", an educational and free programme with activities throughout the year, which is addressed to students (from primary to University), and educational professionals, and all those interested in contemporary art.

For its part, the Documentation Centre on Theatre of the Ministry maintains the site, where there are several microsites intended to be active learning resources. For instance, there is the section "Teatro para ti / Theatre for you" that displays learning material for secondary education, and there are 3 microsites for young people and theatre: "Ver, hacer teatro / Watch, do theatre", "Leer, escribir teatro / Read, write theatre" and "Teatro infantil / Theatre for children".

In 2014, the Coca-Cola Foundation has celebrated the 54th Edition of the "Coca-Cola Contest Jóvenes talentos – Premio de Relato Corto" and since 2004 awards the "Buero Prize of Young Theatre", together with the Spanish Ministry. In 2013, an agreement between the National Institute of Performing Arts and Music and the Universia Foundation to promote access and progress in the academic and professional training of students with disabilities created the programme "Hefesto Scholarships", now in its second edition. In addition, there are a number of school programmes undertaken by the main cultural institutions, many of them set up by the current National Centre of Innovation and Educative Research (formerly the National Centre of Information and Educative Communication ). Most of the co-operation between schools, cultural institutions and the third sector, however, is facilitated by the regional authorities.

Chapter published: 24-06-2015

Your Comments on this Chapter?