Lifelong Learning Programme

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Science Secondary Teachers' Training Perspectives in Spain

Antonio Jesus Torres Gil

Colegio Santo Tomas de Villanueva (Spain)

[email protected]


This workshop offers a brief review of those abilities Science Secondary Teachers working in Spain need to acquire as well as a description of the current system of teachers' initial training programmes along with some evaluative comments on this system after its first year of implementation. After analysing our teachers' initial training, a review on lifelong training by means of educational research is provided which focuses on a) main difficulties found by teachers and b) teachers' needs for training on ICTs in order to use them in the classroom properly and not only as part of their initial training but also in daily practice.

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Comments about this Paper

Your comments are welcome

Date: 2014.10.05

Posted by J.A. Martín-Lagos (Spain)

Message: This is an interesting paper about which abilities are necessary for Science Secondary teachers in Spain. The document shows aspects of Sciences teachers that can be really useful for Secondary teachers in the current context. In this document the autor make a brief description about initial training programmes describing their weaknesses and strong points. In a second part, the autor takes in consideration that lifelong training and the use of ICTs in their professional activity is an essential need for teachers and suggests the inclusion of a specific and compulsory training course that enables teachers and students on an adequate and extensive use of ICT tools according with the actual state-of-the-art. We should not forget the importance of the role of teachers and ICTs in education. From my point of view, this article is interesting and relevant and it has enriched my view of the teaching of Sciences.

Date: 2013.11.25

Posted by Mehmet Polat Kalak (Turkey)

Message: This paper is significant because it refers to the demanded abilities of Secondary Science Teachers working in Spain. Also, it gives information about the recent initial training programmes of teachers together with supportive and evaluative feedback.
This paper states in ‘’Lifelong Training through research and ICTs’’ that learning is a lifelong procedure even for teachers. Considered from different perspectives, nowadays, lifelong learning is an inevitable aspect because of researches and the progress in technology, i.e. ICT. Also the position of the teacher changes, instead of being a source, more or less they alter to a strategist for learning, evaluator and supporter for the student’s learning procedure.
This research also mentions that only knowledge about particular science subjects is not sufficient enough. It is adamant that the knowledge should also contain information about the history and their origin. Also the relationship between the branches should be known such as the relationship between science and technology and the context between society. In other words, besides of technical knowledge there should also be pedagogical and psychological knowledge.
Another aspect is, the Masters program which is been explained in the application gives the impression that it is not an essential part of the teacher training program but this should definitely a ‘’must’’ component for the program. Consequently, it can lead to an ineffective teaching process in schools.
To sum up, the report gives important information about the status of teachers – especially science teachers in Spain. It provides opportunities for interactive teaching and contains developmental suggestions towards a more efficient teaching procedure in science subjects. These suggestions can also be considered in general. I personally, want to know the results after implementation of these suggestions over several years. The possibility of success seems high, in my opinion.

Date: 2013.06.20

Posted by Françoise Derwa (Collège Sainte-Véronique) (Belgium)

Message: The paper is relevant because it offers a brief review of those abilities Science Secondary Teachers working in Spain need to acquire as well as a description of the current system of teachers' initial training programmes along with some evaluative comments on this system after its first year of implementation.
The document analyses spanish teachers’ initial training, and it provides a review on lifelong training by means of educational research which focuses on the main difficulties found by teachers and on teachers´ needs for training on ICTs in order to use them practically and properly in the classroom.
The part of the paper that underlines the most relevant issues for chemistry teachers is in my opinion the third section of the document entitled “Lifelong Training through research and ICTs”.
This part indeed starts taking in consideration that lifelong training is an essential need for teachers continuing affirming that being immersed in the information era, an essential aspect in teachers´ training is the use of ICTs in their professional activity.
The Information and Communications Technologies are considered in this paper like a fundamental instrument that need to be integrated in the educational system and like a new important method able to better motivate the students.
Still some teachers have no confidence with such a technological instrument so a specific training is essential.
The paper promotes a very interesting thesis assuming that “the future inclusion of ICTs in teaching will lead to a change in the role of teachers; they will stop being a source of information to become an evaluator and a designer of learning situations as well as a facilitator and someone who provides students with learning resources”.

Date: 2013.06.16

Posted by Alberto Regis (Italy)

Message: This paper contains an interesting description of the training system adopted in Spain for the initial training of teachers, as well as for teachers’ continuous training. It especially refers to science teachers.
The paper starts from the idea that an appropriate science teacher training have to be considered as a priority. The author raises an essential question: which have to be the knowledges for a science teacher to guarantee an appropriate professional practice? It is necessary a deep knowledge about scientific subjects but it is not enough; it is also necessary a knowledge about the scientific ideas history and their origin, about the interaction between science, technology and society; and it is essential a pedagogical competence to examine in depth the educational research. Some studies started from the first year of a new master degree about teachers training (started in 2009-2010). This master degree was divided in 3 modules for a total amount of 1500 hours. The third module provides for a reflection about acquired competences at the end of the master. In particular, it is important that from the end of the first year have been underline weak and strong points. It is advised as essential the permanent teacher training with the aim of a productive approach to teaching. Furthermore, the teachers engagement in educational research activities will be the key to reach a better teaching practice. Despite that, it it not clear the difference between educational research and teaching approach: so, it is not in evidence the specific development of each subject basic ideas. This aspect could be clarified because it could be the reason of the inadequate teachers participation in the educational research. From the author’s point of view, it is possible that current research strategies about training science doesn’t answer to teachers interests and it could be necessary a less academic approach and more appropriate to solve learning problems (those problems that teachers meet every day at school during their profession. The final reference to ICT technologies seems generic and seems that the teachers training about the use of this tools is not adequate compared with the importance that this type of tools have from the point of view of communication. On the other hand, ICT technologies seem to have an essential part in the future of teaching. Maybe, with strategy it will be change the tool.

Date: 2013.05.31

Posted by Doumkou Fotini (Greece)

Message: This is a short paper which focuses mainly in the teacher training perspectives and does not give specific information in the state of the art, ie the actual situation. It is written in a concise and quite clear manner and in my opinion it is useful for the debate.
As a primary school teacher, my basic concern is mostly related to the knowledge of content since in our undergraduate education we have had several courses related to pedagogy and psychology. However, chemistry (and physical sciences) tend to be difficult subjects for primary school teachers to approach and usually the problem starts from insufficient knowledge of the content.
The Masters program in teacher training described in the program seems like a promising tool for increasing the effectiveness of the science teaching. I got the impression however that it is still optional; such a program should definitely be a prerequisite for certification as a teacher. I think that specifically for primary school teachers, such a program would be really very useful if it concentrated on the physical sciences textbook since it is not possible for us to suddenly become chemists. It would be nice, if we were given the possibility to understand correctly the basic scientific knowledge that we need to pass on to the young pupils and at the same time trained in practical simple experiments. ICT applications could be very useful for science teaching in primary education, as also noted in the paper, however the teacher should be trained not only in their use but also on how to really exploit them didactically in order to achieve the required educational result, for example help young kids increase their logical reasoning ability via the use of interesting and fun activities. Fun should be the means to an end.
The suggestions made in the paper are quite useful and it would be interesting to follow closely their success rate and applicability in the years to come.

Date: 2013.05.29

Posted by Fernando Hernandez-Mateo (Spain)

Message: In the present paper a brief review of the abilities required for nowadays Science Secondary Teachers working in Spain is reported based essentially in recent contributions made about this topic. On this basis, the author underlines the already claimed necessity of a lifelong and collective training based on research and innovation and, also, in the use of ICTs in the professional activity of Science teachers’.
Regarding the lifelong training issue, some of the difficulties encountered by teachers to be involved in educational research (short time available, educational shortages, lack of interest, scarce culture of collaborative work) are pointed together with some suggested solutions. Particularly, the introduction of everyday science approach is highlighted as a case of success that is in line with similar results found in other countries and educational systems owed to their attractiveness for both teachers and students. A wider implementation of this approach is, therefore, highly desirable.
On that concerning the use of ICTs in the lifelong learning and also in the teaching practice are adequately claimed as essential. In this concern, the difficulties encountered for teachers in the information era are not surprising considering the lack of an adequate formation. The suggestion of the inclusion of a specific and compulsory training course that enables teachers and students on an adequate and extensive use of ICT tools according with the actual state-of-the-art is mandatory.

National Reports on successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry The national reports on chemistry successful experiences to promote lifelong learning for chemistry are now available on the related section of the project portal. The reports presents examples of successful experiences in the partner countries and the results of testing of ICT resources with science teachers.