ByME Biology and Geology1
In accordance with Royal Decree 1105/2014, of 26 December, which establishes the core curriculum for compulsory secondary education and baccalaureate level.
Contributing to developing key competences5
Overall stage objectives17
Cross-curricular elements and values education18
Attention to diversity19
Evaluation of teaching practice21
According to Royal Decree 1105/2014, of 26 December, which establishes the core curriculum for compulsory secondary education and baccalaureate level, during compulsory secondary education the subject of Biology and Geology must help the student to assimilate the basic skills and knowledge to allow them to acquire a scientific culture; students must identify themselves as active agents and recognise that their actions and knowledge will influence the development of their environment. This stage is designed to cement previously-acquired knowledge, to build on knowledge and skills each year that allow students to be respectful citizens to themselves, each other and the environment, with the material that they use or that is available to them, be responsible, be able to have their own criteria and maintain the interest that they have for learning at the beginning of their school career. During the first cycle of compulsory secondary education, the material is structured around living organisms and their interaction with the Earth, particularly emphasising the importance of environmental conservation for all living organisms. During this cycle, the subject also focuses on a core of health and health promotion. The main objective is for students to acquire the skills and competences to allow them to look after their body both physically and mentally, as well as assess and act critically towards information and social attitudes that may negatively impact on their physical, social and psychological development. It is also designed for them to understand and value the importance of conserving the environment due to its impacts on health. In the same way, they must also learn to be responsible for their daily decisions and the consequences that these have on their health and their surrounding environment, and understand the value of research in medical advances and the impact on people's quality of life. At the end of the stage, the student must have acquired the essential knowledge included in the core curriculum and the scientific method strategies. Reading, speaking, writing, public debating and audiovisual communication skills will be strengthened during this stage. Similarly the student must develop an attitude conducive to reflecting on and analysing significant and current scientific advances, their advantages and ethical implications that occasionally arise, learn and heed basic rules for safety and use of material in the laboratory.
The project is based on the following methodological principles of teaching-learning:
• Appropriate selection and sequencing of content. The method structure facilitates the relationship between concepts and content to reinforce topics covered.
• Meaningful learning. Any learning for the student is presented, as far as possible, based on knowledge from experiences that the student already has, facilitating learning how to learn. In this sense, an inductive methodology must be favoured, which allows the student to learn the theory for themselves from different activities, so that learning is as intuitive as possible.
• Functional approach. The student must be encouraged to look at the practical and critical aspects of what they have learnt.
• Student motivation. The need for the student to adopt an active role in the teaching-learning process is satisfied through a proposal that attempts to convert learning into a motivating experience. For this reason, among other items, a meta-cognitive question is included at the beginning and the end of each unit, encouraging the student to become aware of the point of learning and that which they have achieved.
• Progress and reinforcement of learning. The process of teaching-learning must strike a balance between reinforcing assimilated learning and introducing new items. It is paramount that the relationships between different contents are always sought, as well as the link between these and the real and everyday life of students.
• Attention to the diversity of different learning styles of students. In order for the teaching staff to adapt the teaching-learning process to the diversity of the classroom and the different learning styles of each student, this project must provide teachers with an extensive and varied set of materials and teaching resources. These include, in addition to the student's book and the teaching guide, material for attention to diversity and evaluation and an e-book, which includes multimedia resources, interactive activities and a test generator. Various educationally-innovative proposals are offered based on group work, problem-solving and encouraging entrepreneurial competence.
Contributing to developing key competences
According toOrder ECD/65/2015, of 21 January, which describes the relations between the competences, contents and assessment criteria of primary education, compulsory secondary education and baccalaureate level, key competences are an essential element in the educational process given that the process of teaching-learning has to be aimed at the personal, social and professional development of citizens. In this sense, the most significant considerations of this order regarding the integration of key competences in the educational curriculum are reflected below.
The competences are conceptualised as "know-how" which is applied to a range of academic, social and professional contexts. To enable the transfer to different contexts, understanding the knowledge contained within the competences is essential as well as its links to the practical skills and abilities it involves.
Learning by competences encourages learning processes and motivation, due to the close relationship between their components: the concept is learnt at the same time as the procedure for learning it.
The definition of key competences according to the European Union has been adopted. It is considered that "key competences are those which all individuals need for personal fulfilment and development, active citizenship, social inclusion and employment". Seven key and essential competences have been identified for the welfare of European societies, economic growth and innovation, and the knowledge, abilities and essential attitudes linked to each of them have been described.
The curricular review takes the new learning requirements very seriously. Learning based on competences is characterised by its transversality, dynamism and comprehensive nature. The competence-based teaching-learning process must be employed across all knowledge areas, and by the different authorities that make up the educational community, both in formal and non-formal and informal areas; its dynamism relates to the fact that the competences are not acquired at a given moment and seem invariable, but involve a development process through which individuals acquire greater levels of performance in their use.
Description of key competences
1. Linguistic communication
Competence in linguistic communication is the result of communicative action within certain social practices, in which the individual acts with other partners and through texts in a variety of modalities, formats and media. These situations and practices can involve the use of one or various languages, in different environments and can be individually or group-based. The individual uses their repertoire of different languages, which may be incomplete but adjusted to the communicative experiences they are exposed to throughout life. The languages used may have been acquired in different ways over various periods and therefore, constitute learning experiences in the mother tongue or in foreign or additional languages.
This overview of competence in linguistic communication linked to certain social practices offers an image of the individual as a communicative agent that not only receives, but produces, messages through languages for different purposes. To assess the relevance of this statement in educational decision-making is to opt for active learning methodologies (task-based and project-based learning of problems, challenges, etc.), either in the students' mother tongue, or an additional language or a foreign language, in comparison to more traditional methodologies.
Competence in linguistic communication also represents a way of knowing about and coming into contact with cultural diversity that involves enriching own competences and acquires particular relevance in the case of foreign languages. Therefore, an inter-cultural focus in teaching and learning of languages significantly contributes to the development of students' competence in linguistic communication.
This competence is, by definition, always incomplete and constitutes a continuous and lifelong learning objective. Therefore, for satisfactory language learning, it is vital that contexts in which languages are used in a rich and varied manner are created, with regard to the tasks to be performed and the possible communicative exchanges, texts and partners.
Competence in linguistic communication is extremely complex. It is based primarily on knowledge of the linguistic component, but also how it is produced and develops in specific communicative and contextualised situations. The individual needs to activate their knowledge of the pragmatic-discourse and socio-cultural components.
This competence requires interaction with different skills, given that it is produced in many types of communication and in different media. From speaking and writing to the more sophisticated forms of audiovisual or technology-based communication, individuals participate in a complex framework of communicative possibilities thanks to which they extend their competence and their ability to interact with other individuals. For this to occur, this range of communication types and media requires more complex literacy, as part of the concept of multiple literacies, allowing the individual to participate as an active citizen.
Competence in linguistic communication is also a fundamental instrument for socialisation and harnessing of educational experiences, as a privileged way of accessing knowledge inside and outside of education. It development depends largely on whether the different types of learning occur in different contexts (formal, informal and non-formal). In this way, reading as a basic skill is especially relevant in an educational context for extending the competence of linguistic communication and learning. As such, reading is the main access route for all areas, and therefore, contact with a range of texts is fundamental for accessing original sources of knowledge.
The competence in linguistic communication is part of a framework of attitudes and values that the individual puts into operation: respect for coexistence; actively exercising citizenship; development of a critical spirit; respect for human rights and pluralism; the concept of dialogue as a primary tool for coexistence; conflict resolution and the development of affective abilities across the board; curiosity, interest and creativity in learning and the recognition of skills inherent in this competence (reading, conversation, writing, etc.) as sources of pleasure related to personal enjoyment and whose promotion and practice are essential tasks in the reinforcement of motivation towards learning.
2. Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology
Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology bring on and strengthen certain essential aspects of education that are fundamental for life.
In a society where the impact of mathematics, science and technologies is crucial, reaching and maintaining a level of social wellbeing requires personal decision-making and behaviours that are closely linked to critical ability and reasoned and reasonable perspectives. Mathematical competence and basic competences in science and technology contribute to this:
a) Mathematical competence involves the ability to apply mathematical reasoning and its tools to describe, interpret and predict different phenomena in context.
Mathematical competence requires knowledge about numbers, measurements and structures, as well as mathematical operations and representations, and the understanding of mathematical terms and concepts.
The use of mathematical tools involves a series of skills that require the application of mathematical principles and processes in different contexts, that may be personal, social, professional or scientific, as well as make reasoned judgements and follow lines of argument in performing calculations, analysing graphs and in mathematical representations and the manipulation of algebraic equations, including digital media wherever appropriate. This skill includes the creation of mathematical explanations and descriptions that involve the interpretation of mathematical results and reflection on their contextual suitability, as well as determining whether the solutions are appropriate and make sense in the situation in which they present themselves.
It deals therefore, with recognising the role that mathematics plays in the world and using concepts, procedures and tools to apply it to resolving problems which may arise in certain situations throughout life. Activation of mathematical competence requires the learner to be able to establish a profound relationship between the conceptual knowledge and procedural knowledge involved in resolving a certain mathematical task.
Mathematical competence includes a series of attitudes and values that are based on rigour, respect for data and veracity.
b) Basic competences in science and technology are those which bring the physical world closer, allowing responsible interactions with it through both individual and collective actions aimed at conserving and improving the natural environment and which are decisive in protecting and maintaining society's quality of life and progress. These competences contribute to the development of scientific thinking, as they include the application of methods of scientific rationale and technological skills, which lead to the acquisition of knowledge, comparison of ideas and application of discoveries for the wellbeing of society.
Competences in science and technology enable responsible and respectful citizens to develop critical judgements on scientific and technological facts that occur over time, either in the past or at present. These competences basically have to enable students to identify, plan and resolve daily situations, both personal and social, at the same time as be challenged by and resolve scientific and technological activity problems.
Suitable development of competences in science and technology requires tackling scientific knowledge or know-how relating to physics, chemistry, biology, geology, mathematics and technology, which arise from concepts, processes and interrelated situations.
It also requires the promotion of skills that allow technological machines and tools to be used and handled, as well as the use of scientific data and processes to reach an objective; in other words, identify issues, resolve problems, arrive at a conclusion and take decisions based on tests and arguments.
These competences also include attitudes and values related to the adherence to science and technology's ethical criteria, interest in science, support for scientific research and the assessment of scientific knowledge; as well as a sense of responsibility for the conservation of natural resources and environmental matters and the adoption of an appropriate attitude for a physically and mentally healthy life in a natural and social environment.
3. Digital competence
Digital competence involves the creative, critical and secure use of information and communication technology to achieve objectives related to work, employability, learning, the use of free time, inclusion and participation in society.
This competence also includes adaptation to the changes introduced by new technologies in literacy, reading and writing, a new set of knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary today to be competent in a digital environment.
It requires knowledge related to specific basic language: textual, numeric, iconic, visual, graphic and audio, as well as guidelines for decoding and transfer. This involves knowledge of the main I.T. applications. It also involves accessing information sources and processing; and the knowledge of rights and freedoms of people in the digital world.
This competence also requires the development of various skills related to accessing information, processing and use for communication, creation of content, security and problem solving, in formal, non-formal and informal contexts. The student has to be able to regularly use technological resources available to resolve real problems efficiently, as well as assess and select new sources of information and technological innovations, as they appear, depending on their use for performing specific tasks or objectives.
The acquisition of this competence additionally requires attitudes and values that allow the user to adapt to technologies' new requirements, assess their suitability and adapt them for their own purposes and be able to interact socially in this regard. It involves developing an active, critical and realistic attitude towards technologies and technological media, assessing their strengths and weaknesses and respecting ethical principles in their use. Digital competence similarly involves participation and collaborative work, as well as motivation and curiosity for learning and improvement in the use of technologies.
Therefore, the appropriate development of digital competence requires:
- Information: this involves understanding how information is managed and how it is made available to users, as well as the knowledge and handling of different search engines and databases, knowing how to select those which better respond to the information requirements.
- It also involves analysing and interpreting information obtained, comparing and assessing the content from media in terms of its source validity, reliability and suitability, both online and offline. Lastly, digital competence involves knowing how to transform information into knowledge through suitably selecting different storage options.
- Communication: this involves being aware of the different digital media and various communication software packages and of their functioning as well as their benefits and drawbacks in terms of context and who they are aimed at. At the same time, it involves knowing which resources can be publicly shared and their value, in other words, knowing how technologies and media can allow different forms of participation and collaboration in creating content for a common benefit. This entails the knowledge of ethical issues such as digital identity and rules for digital interaction.
- Content creation: this involves knowing how digital content can be created in various formats (text, audio, video, images) as well as identifying programs/applications that adapt the best to the type of content to be created. It also involves contributing to knowledge in the public domain (wikis, public forums, journals), bearing in mind copyright guidelines and licences for use and publication of information.
- Security: this involves knowing the various risks associated to the use of technologies and online resources and current strategies to avoid them, which entails identifying the appropriate behaviour in the digital environment to protect personal information and that of others, as well as recognising the addictive aspects of technology.
- Problem-solving: this dimension involves knowing what makes up digital devices, their potential and limitations with regard to achieving personal goals, as well as learning where to seek help for resolving theoretical and technical problems. This involves a diverse and well-balanced combination of the most significant digital and non-digital technology in this area of knowledge.
4. Learning how to learn