Mathematics teachers want the new university entrance exam, which will be implemented in 2024 and whose model the Ministry of Education plans to have ready this June, to be more homogeneous and allow the use of calculators, as is the case in Portugal, France and other European countries.
On the occasion of the School Day of Mathematics that is celebrated today the 12th, the president of the Spanish Federation of Societies of Mathematics Teachers, Onofre Monzó, asks in an interview with EFE that the new Ebau incorporate “criteria that can be homologated for all of Spain,” something that is not happening now”. “It would be an opportunity to do it with the new model that is being worked on”.
It is not about having a single exam throughout the country as some are asking, “that would not be good either,” warns Monzó, in whose opinion it is essential to ensure that both students and teachers have “a rewarding experience learning and teaching mathematics. be that this class is a trauma for some and others”.
Regarding the use of calculators in the Ebau, Monzó explains that each autonomous community does it in its own way and recalls that in Spain there is a single university district. (Students are tested in their region, but can then choose to study at any university in the country.)
For example, Castilla-La Mancha allows graphing calculators; in the Valencian Community the latest generation scientific calculators can be used and in others only the old scientific calculators can be used, explains Monzó, who emphasizes that this discipline does not consist of doing many operations but knowing which ones are correct in each case.
In his opinion, in the 21st century “it makes no sense to put doors on the field” and he considers it more logical to follow the path of Portugal -which has a part of the exam with a calculator-, Italy or France.
Regarding the entry into force next year of the new teaching curricula, in the odd courses of ESO and Baccalaureate, the president of the Federation believes that there will be no difficulty in its application by teachers.
The competence approach, he adds, has been included in Spanish law for decades. “What is having competences? Understanding, judging and being able to use concepts in mathematical and non-mathematical contexts. What is new is the way it is called.”
“What is the problem? Although this was already in the laws and in the decrees, reality tells us that very few people were doing it,” he explains.
Looking ahead to the next academic year, “the difference between what the teachers are going to do and what they used to do is minimal. Basically, it hasn’t changed that much, what’s more, the ideas of didactics on which they are based are not new and many teachers They have been doing it for years; what they will have to adjust are the new competitions and the name with which they are named”.
Monzó also reflects on how little textbooks have changed in the last thirty years: “They should be turned around. Many have remained in what they sell and in what they have, they have remained in their publishing projects”.
On the other hand, it announces that the next XX congress for the learning and teaching of mathematics will take place from July 3 to 6 in Valencia and will bring together some 700 teachers.
These scientific conferences (JAEM) are organized “by teachers for teachers, where statistics, university and non-university education, teacher training and proven experiences and practices will be discussed.
“It cannot be that the students go to class with fear and frustration and that the teacher goes to class without having a good time. And that is what we are going to talk about at the congress”
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