Las materias pedagógicas / Pedagogical subjects

(Article published in No. 20 of the magazine Doce Notas. February-March 2000)

A simple look at the musical study plans prior to the LOGSE reveals the more than scant attention that they paid to pedagogical training: non-existent in the 1942 plan, it was reduced in the 1966 plan to two subjects in the degree superior (two years of "Teaching Practices" and one of "Specialized Pedagogy") and, of course, to its null presence in the intermediate studies leading to the different Titles of Professor, which is surprising if one takes into account that said degree not only authorized –and continues and will continue to authorize, by virtue of the equivalences with the new established qualifications- for the teaching of elementary and middle grades, but that it was easily obtainable in full adolescence or early youth, which placed its possessor closer to passive than active pedagogy, since his intellectual and human maturity was still several years away from being achieved.
Little has been written, in my opinion, about the negative effects that the teacher training granted in its day to that Title of Professor has had for our teaching: without even the guarantee of a Baccalaureate studies, its holders have been able to present themselves and win, through tests that are more attentive to assessing the technical and interpretive aspects than the didactic ones, the different competitions-oppositions and selective procedures for admission to the current Professorate of Music and Performing Arts, as well as in the now extinct Auxiliary Teachers of Conservatories of Music, Declamation and Higher School of Singing, both as career and interim civil-servants, as well as in the analogous estates of the different local Administrations, and to be hired by authorized private music and dance centers. As a result, professionals who are undoubtedly highly qualified for the world of interpretation have accessed another very specific one, that of teaching, without having received throughout their studies the slightest indication of what a child is, or about the different factors that affect learning, not even about the basic considerations of teaching their own instrument.
And as always happens, everywhere there have been cases in which this lack of pedagogical training has not been a problem, compared to others characterized by the most absolute failure in the teacher-student relationship (not fully guaranteed in its full goodness either). by the teaching qualification, because said relationship is full of complex variables impossible to systematize). But, in any case, it is indisputable that the full inclusion of artistic education in the educational system that occurs with the approval of LOGSE obliges them to comply with requirements similar to those demanded for the rest. Requirements that not only refer to the academic organization and the structure of the new studies, but also to aspects that, such as teaching qualifications, must be rigorously controlled to the same extent that they must be solidly guaranteed in the training itself.
One of the greatest innovations -not to say revolutions, a much more appropriate term when compared to the panorama that, fortunately, we left behind- presented by the new regulation of the higher level of music education is that of the establishment of a higher degree of Pedagogy that, in general, must include, at least, two modalities or options: one, dedicated to the Pedagogy of singing and the different instrumental specialties, and another referred to the Pedagogy of language and Musical Education. The latter has been developed in the Curriculum Order of the Ministry for Education and Culture -the only one, by the way, approved to date, barely eight months after its full implementation- in three submodalities, which are nothing more than training itineraries more adjusted to the different professional profiles to which they are addressed: Musical Language, Music Teaching in Secondary Education, and Early Music Education.
From this basic framework, the curricular design of the new specialty is developed in its different options and itineraries, which seeks to make the training as complete and versatile as possible, in order to adequately meet the changing demands that the new teachings suffer in contact with a professional world to which not only should they not be alien, but should serve as a reference and contrast at all times.
As is logical, higher graduates in the different modalities of the Pedagogy specialty will be able to access teaching directly, as they are logically exempt from carrying out additional studies of didactic qualification, as is the case in the university world with the current C.A.P. (pedagogical adaptation course), soon to be replaced by new studies leading to a professional title of didactic specialization, given that these will have formed an integral and consubstantial part of the curriculum of the chosen option. Something quite different is the case of those who, having studied any non-pedagogical specialty (such as composition, conducting, musicology, or any instrumental specialty) and having obtained the corresponding higher degree, wish to access teaching at the time.
In such a case, the Law is crystal clear, establishing that the established pedagogical subjects must necessarily have been completed. At present, the General Directorate of Educational Centers of the Ministry fpr Education and Culture is working on the preparation of a draft Royal Decree project in which the minimums will have to be established from which the different educational Administrations will develop their own regulations (determination of the subjects for each speciality, as well as their content and course load), which, of course, must be duly approved so that the subjects studied in an Autonomous Community qualify without further formality to teach in any of the rest.
When said draft is made public and disseminated among the different teaching and professional sectors, it will be time to critically analyze it from these very pages. Until then, it will be good for the reader to have the clear idea that, from its approval, pedagogical subjects will be an essential requirement for access to teaching in its different administrative situations (professors -career and interim- from public and private centers). And although logically they will always represent a small part of a complete pedagogical training, their demand will come to alleviate to a large extent the most notable lack of some teachings that, along with the century, leave and fortunately never return.