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February 2015: The Catholic education curriculum in Spanish schools

In most Western countries, religious education is a battlefield between the religious and the secular. In the case of Spain, the presence of religious education in the curriculum of public schools raises great controversies and is the cornerstone of the debates between secularists and those who claim a greater presence of religion in the public sphere.

The passing of the new curriculum for Catholic religious education in primary and secondary education in Spain in February 2015 is generating heated debates. The most controversial issues are related to the incorporation of creationist references, as well as the incorporation of praying skills to the evaluation criteria. Scientists, philosophers, and other intellectuals have criticised the new curriculum for being dogmatic and denying some of the well-accepted scientific premises about the origin of the cosmos. Other criticisms revolve around the central role that the Catholic Church plays in designing the curriculum and appointing the religion teachers who are paid through the state budget.

Moreover, opponents to the existence of such a confessional subject also denounce the choice system as inappropriate. Students have to choose between two alternatives: Religious Education and Social Values. For the opponents to this system, all students should be exposed to what in the past existed as “Citizenship Education”.

D 2 April 2015    AJulia Martínez-Ariño

CNRS Unistra Dres Gsrl

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