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EACEA National Policies Platform


6. Education and Training

6.7 Skills for innovation

Last update: 7 January 2021
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  1. Innovation in formal education
  2. Fostering innovation through non-formal and informal learning and youth work

Innovation in formal education

The Organic Law of Education (Ley Orgánica de Educación, LOE), establishes "advancement and promotion of research, experimentation and educational innovation" among the guiding principles of the education system[1], and establishes that the educational Administrations will promote research and innovation programmes[2]. It also recognizes the relevance of the teachers’ work in the field of innovation, as well as the need to have means and incentives for educators [3]. Later the LOE, the Organic Law for the Improvement of Education ((Ley Orgánica para la Mejora de la Educación , LOMCE), introduces the curricula in Primary education, Compulsory Secondary Education, and Baccalaureate, and the curriculum in basic VT, where the key competencies are developed.

These Key Competencies (Competencias Clave) or skills for innovation, in the Spanish educational system, are listed and described through the order ECD/65/2015, 21st of January, (Orden ECD/65/2015, de 21 de enero).  These are, in terms of innovation: Learning to learn, Social and civic skills, Sense of initiative and entrepreneurial spirit, and Cultural awareness and expressions[4](Aprender a aprenderCompetencias sociales y cívicasSentido de la iniciativa y espíritu emprendedor, and Conciencia y expresiones culturales). The article 5 of the abovementioned Order states that these competences must be integrated in the different curricular areas and they must be developed in all fields of education (formal, non-formal and informal) throught all levels of teaching (ISCED 1 to 3) and long-life education.

The National Center for Innovation and Educational Research (Centro Nacional de Innovación e Investigación Educativa (CNIIE), is the institution from where the main innovation projects (Proyectos de innovación) in national Education are implemented. The Autonomous Communities also legislate and define innovation projects in Education [5]. In all these regulatory provisions, both at the national level and at the sub-national level, the contents and pedagogical methods are established.

The Francisco Giner de los Rios Award for the improvement of educational quality (Premio Francisco Giner de los Ríos a la mejora de la calidad educativa), rewards the teaching work that contributes to develop the individual and social capacities of the students, that enable the personal, social and environmental knowledge, the development of their autonomy and the acquisition of coexistence values and skills that benefit in the development of instrumental learning, especially in the development of key competencies and skills that facilitate incorporation into the professional and social world.

Fostering innovation through non-formal and informal learning and youth work

Among the main programs and projects of educational innovation in the non-formal and informal field, is the Scientific Culture Project (Proyecto Cultura Científica) for the promotion of scientific culture and the development of analytical capacity of individuals. The project is managed by the National Center for Innovation and Educational Research (Centro Nacional de Innovación e Investigación Educativa, CNIIE) and has a budget of 90,000€. 

The Project (Proyecto, whose desire is to convey to young people an enthusiasm for reading with it being understood as a positive transversal tool for their lives, is part of the Multi-literacies Project (Proyecto Alfabetizaciones Múltiples), which is described in point 6.8 Media literacy and safe use of New media, of this chapter.

Some Autonomous Regions, within the framework of non-formal education programs, develop key competencies development programs such as social and citizen skills, or cultural and artistic competences [6], aimed at citizens from 16 years of age. For its part, the Youth Institute (Instituto de la Juventud, INJUVE), carries out numerous initiatives in the field of non-formal education, such as the Young Talent Programme (Programa Talento Joven), the Young Creation Programme (Programa Creación Joven) that offers grants between 3,500€ to 7,000€, or The National Young Entrepreneurs Contest (Certamen Nacional Jóvenes Emprendedores) provided with a budget of 200,000€ in the year 2019.

[1] Article 1 of the LOE (Organic Law of Education).

[2] Article 102 LOE.

[3] Articles 104 and 105LOE.

[4] For further information on the subject addressed in this point 6.7 Skills for innovation, see the report of the European Commission/EACEA/Eurydice  the development of key competencies in the school context in Europe: challenges and opportunities for policy in the matter (2012). (El desarrollo de las competencias clave en el contexto escolar en Europa: desafíos y oportunidades para la política en la materia (2012)).

[5] See Projects of educational innovation in Castilla-La Mancha, or Navarre (Proyectos de innovación educativa en Castilla-La Mancha, o Navarra).

[6] Programmes for the development of basic competencies in Castilla and León.