5. Arts and cultural education
Last update: February, 2019
During the governance of the Popular Party (2011- June 2018), education, culture and sport were the responsibility of a single Ministry. Thus, arts education in Spain has been, for the last eight years, the responsibility of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport, though the Autonomous Communities could also develop basic legislation and were in charge of implementing it.
One of the traditional problems in Spain has been the lack of integration of arts education into the general education system, which has affected the training of professionals and also the general population as potential audience.
The approval, in November 2013, of the Organic Law for the Improvement of Educational Quality (8/2013 Organic Act) involved changes in the organisation of artistic education in the academic year 2014-2015, initially at primary level. The act introduced a differentiation between core subjects (common to the whole territory, with a minimum weight in terms of teaching hours of 50%, and with contents set by the central administration) and specific subjects - whereby Autonomous Communities and educational administrations and schools have greater autonomy to set schedules, content and final programming of artistic disciplines. The act also introduced audiovisual education at the levels of compulsory secondary and upper secondary education and removed the possibility of studying performing arts at upper secondary education.
Nevertheless, the effectiveness of regulations depends on how such plans are put into practice in terms of time allocation, permeability between academic subjects and artistic disciplines, progress between the various cycles, and on the specific regulations implemented by the Autonomous Communities beyond the minimum national core curriculum.
For an updated vision of the Spanish education system, read the OECD Education Policy Outlook for Spain (2015).
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.
At the primary education level, the 8/2013 Organic Act considered arts education as a specific subject and the implementation depends on the regulation and programming of educational administrations and schools.
Regarding Compulsory Secondary Education (ESO), the 8/2013 Organic Act considers all artistic subjects as specific and includes the following topics in the first three courses: Music, Visual Arts and Audiovisual Education, and Classical Culture. The course Performing Arts and Dance is added in the fourth course.
At the upper secondary level, there is a modality in arts, which is a prerequisite for higher education courses. With the 8/2013 Organic Act, the first course of this modality includes two compulsory core subjects (Arts Fundamentals I and Spanish Language and Literature I); three optional core subjects (Contemporary World History; Universal Literature and Audiovisual Culture I); 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 compulsory core subjects (Arts Fundamentals II; Spanish Language and Literature II and History of Spain); three optional core subjects (Audiovisual Culture II; Performing Arts and Design); and 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).
According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2018 published by the Ministry of Culture and Sport, in the academic year 2017-2018, a total of 398 474 students were enrolled in arts education (special schemes). This figure represents an increase of 1.2% compared to last year – the increase observed in previous years continues. With 82.5% of all arts education enrolments, Music Education proved to be most popular, followed by Dance Education (9.4%), Visual Arts and Design (7.3%), Drama (0.6%) and Master’s in Arts Education (0,1%). During the academic year 2016-2017, 34 196 bachelor students were enrolled in arts education, which represents 5.3% of all bachelor students in Spain.
Beyond the curriculum framework there exist diverse institutional initiatives aimed at promoting artistic activity in the education system. For example:
- the National Plan of Education and Heritage, approved in April 2013, promotes programmes in the area of formal education through the implementation of cultural heritage contents in the curricula, the improvement of learning material related to students’ competences in heritage matters and the promotion of teachers’ training on the social, cultural, economic and identity values of cultural assets;
- the programme Educación para el cine. Cine para la educación / Education for Cinema. Cinema for Education, included in the Culture Plan 2020 of the Secretariat for Culture, promotes the inclusion of curricular subjects related to cinematography and audiovisual in formal education, as well as in business schools;
- the programme EducaFilmoteca / Educa Spanish Film Archive promoted by the Spanish Film Archive and AulaFilm aims to approach cinema to young population;
- the programme Hefesto Scholarships promotes access and progress in the academic and professional training of students with disabilities;
- the incorporation of the Hora diaria de lectura / Daily Reading Hour in schools under the territorial competence of the Ministry of Education, Culture and Sport;
- the programmes Encuentros Literarios / Literary Meetings and Por qué Leer a los Clásicos / Why to read the classics? draw authors to secondary schools.
Most co-operation between schools, cultural institutions and the third sector, however, takes place outside the formal curricular framework. Some philanthropic institutions fund those initiatives, as the Art in the Community Programme by the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation or Edu Caixa by ”la Caixa” Foundation. Partnerships between cultural organisations (public and private) generated new initiatives related to the mediating role of cultural institutions. A format that is gaining popularity in Spain is the residency of artists in schools with the objective of permeating all the teaching-learning processes. These initiatives are sometimes promoted by cultural institutions with a cultural mediation role. For instance, the TEA in Tenerife promotes Un/a Artista Viene a Vernos [An artist comes to see us], a programme for creators-educators to incorporate contemporary art and creation in the whole processes of teaching and learning in primary education. The private sector also tries to promote innovative actions in formal education, with the development of a model for resident artists at schools like the initiative Exprimento Limón in Madrid.
Last update: February, 2019
With respect to higher education, arts courses are offered within and outside of universities, as university qualifications or higher-level arts education. Almost all of the students who take arts courses at university level, studied arts at secondary school. In this respect, fine arts is the only university degree in Spain that has a specific secondary school qualification.
University studies are organised into undergraduate courses (bachelor's degrees) and postgraduate courses (master's degrees, postgraduate programmes, doctoral programmes, etc.). The qualifications that can be obtained are officially recognised in the entire Spanish state as University-specific degrees. The so-called “Bologna Process”, that started in 2005 with pilot schemes in some areas and in both university cycles, officialised these undergraduate and postgraduate courses in 2010. In terms of fine arts courses, the Spanish universities offer degrees in fine arts, design and conservation and restoration.
In 2011, the Ministry of Education approved the Royal Decree 707/2011 that creates the specialty of Flamenco in the higher training cycle of Music, within the scheme of arts education. With this new specialty, the Ministry sought to ensure the preservation of an art traditionally linked to oral transmission.
According to the Cultural Statistics Yearbook 2018, students enrolled in university courses related to cultural professions increased to 18.362 in the academic year 2016-2017, which is 12% of university education.
In the last ten years, there have been many higher education programmes for professionals employed in the cultural industries. Catalonia was one of the first Autonomous Communities to cater for the sector. For many years now, the Pompeu Fabra University has offered Master's programmes in animation, design, film and audiovisual, publishing and editing, sound and music computing. Also, it provides several postgraduate diplomas, for example, in editing and creating video games and global music business.
The University of Barcelona offers Master's programmes in cultural management, artistic mediation, management of cultural institutions and companies, world heritage and cultural projects for development. For many years, it has been providing postgraduate diplomas in international cooperation and cultural management, performing arts, festivals production and management, creative territories, cultural tourism and the design of cultural projects.
The Open University of Catalonia, in collaboration with the University of Girona, offers a Master programme in cultural management. The International University of Catalonia offers several Master programmes in arts and cultural management, as well as postgraduate programmes in cultural management and creative cultural industries.
The Carlos III University of Madrid offers a Master's degree in film and television and in tourism management of cultural and natural resources. The University of Valladolid has a Master's degree in economics of culture and cultural management. At graduate level, the University of Barcelona launched a degree in communication and cultural industries for the first time in the academic year 2011-2012 and the University of Huelva offers a Degree in Cultural Management since 2012-2013.
Last update: February, 2019
Decisions around the provision of extra-curricular arts activities are made at a local level, often by schools themselves. They design the content of their own extra-curricular activities, although the education authorities may give financial aid. In addition, many municipalities provide artistic and cultural activities for children and young people through schools of music, theatre or dance, which cover a part of the extracurricular activities of these groups. In general terms, Spain views extra-curricular arts activities as an informal method of contributing to the development of pupils, rather than making a direct contribution to their curriculum studies.
At national level, since 2009, a group of state-owned museums organises activities within the “Cultural Christmas for Families Programme” with the aim of linking culture to leisure time and making it accessible from an early age on. In 2013, the Ministry launched workshops for children (“I have a plan”) in several museums of the capital aimed at educating children between 8 and 12 years on the importance of taking care of cultural heritage. More recently, the art centre Tabacalera in Madrid has launched the programme Tabacalera/Educa, which is a research and learning space for contemporary art.
In general terms, the initiatives carried out by the Ministry in this area have been rather modest, being mostly held in their own cultural facilities (museums, auditoriums, theatres, libraries, etc.). These initiatives offer educational activities that disseminate cultural heritage and bring culture closer to children, young people and families. They are aimed at completing the lifelong training of citizens and contributing to increase the number of future consumers of culture.
Last update: February, 2019
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.
There is an ongoing reform of vocational training in Spain with the competencies in the area under the new Ministry of Education and Vocational Training (created in July 2018). All the information is disseminated through the site. The curricula are organised around 24 fields that correspond to the REFERNET European Framework (for details see here). The following fields are related to the cultural and creative industries: graphic arts; arts and crafts; sound and image; informatics and communications; wood, furniture and cork crafts; socio-cultural services to the community; textile, fashion and leather; glass and ceramics.
The National Institute of Qualifications describes the process by which workers can obtain recognition, assessment, accreditation and documentation of their professional qualifications (for details see here).
The number of students who were studying vocal training in the cultural sphere was 27 204 during the academic year 2016-2017. This number is equal to 4.3% of the total number of students in vocal training.
Outside the general educational system, the Institute of Cultural Heritage of Spain runs the School of Historic Heritage in Nájera (La Rioja). The Institute organises courses to train specialists in the preservation, conservation and management of cultural goods. The Institute also focuses on research and the dissemination of criteria, methods and techniques to preserve and transmit cultural heritage.
Other initiatives are the Public School of Cultural Training in Andalusia and the Andalusian Institute for Cultural Heritage. The regional government runs the Public School of Cultural Training that offers a lifelong, professional training in three areas: artistic, technical and management. The Andalusian Institute of Cultural Heritage offers a similar programme in collaboration with other agents.
Professional associations also provide lifelong training programs to their members: for example the State Federation of Associations of Cultural Managers (FEAGC) and the Spanish Association for the Heritage Management (AEGPC).