La gestión de la autonomía pedagógica en los centros educativos de la provincia de Huelva

  1. Pablo Javier Ortega Rodríguez
Supervised by:
  1. Francisco José Pozuelos Estrada Director

Defence university: Universidad de Huelva

Fecha de defensa: 23 July 2020

  1. Jurjo Torres Santomé Chair
  2. Francisco de Paula Rodríguez Miranda Committee member
  3. Carolina Moreira da Silva de Fernandes de Sousa Committee member

Type: Thesis


School autonomy is a relevant factor in improving education quality. From the General Education Law in 1970 to the LOMCE in 2013, Spanish Educational System laws have advocated for pedagogical autonomy in order to adapt the curriculum. In Andalusia, Article 5 of the Order of March 17, 2015 states that schools have pedagogical autonomy to develop and suit the curriculum to students’ needs and the characteristics of the socio-cultural context. The aim of this PhD thesis was to research how pedagogical autonomy is managed in educational practice. The general focus was to look into what primary school teachers in the province of Huelva do to specify the curriculum to fit both students’ needs and the characteristics of the socio-cultural context. It has been used different approaches including quantitative and a qualitative methodology. For the quantitative research, it has beeen used a survey method and a Likert scale with 40 items and five levels of response which was evaluated by a panel of experts, validated with a Cronbach Alpha of 0.852 and then applied in public, statefunded and private schools within the province of Huelva. A stratified random sampling was performed, taking into account both the population and the number of every type of school in each region in Huelva. 272 primary school teachers participated in the sample. For the qualitative research, a multiple case studies was carried out in two innovative schools in Spain (El CEIP Tres Carabelas in Huelva and El CEIP San Walabonso in the municipality of Niebla), as well as in the four most active Freinetian schools in Liège, Belgium (L´école Belleflamme, L´école Naniot, L´école Laveu and L´école Beau Mur) which implement updated Freinet techniques. These schools are currently changing the way they operate and are coming up with a new educational project. I have used variety of techniques and tools: in-depth interviews, classroom observations and analyzing official documents and research journals. Quantitative results show a significant correlation between using alternative curricular materials to textbooks and the following five variables: each school´s idiosyncrasies, their proprietorship, the primary-school course taught by the teachers, management roles and professional situations (substitute, temporary/fixed-term contracts). Qualitative results show that teachers in Freinet schools have the pedagogical autonomy to develop the curriculum and achieve the skills established by the WallonieBruxelles Federation and so use Freinet techniques, their own curricular materials and student creations instead of textbooks. In Spanish schools, the curriculum is made up of set skills, but the content is broken down into assessable learning standards, highly detailed criteria and academic courses which restricts teachers’ pedagogical autonomy. The curricula include textbooks which continue to dominate the classroom. However, the conclusions show that distributed leadership, collaboration between teachers and family participation promote pedagogical autonomy within the schools. In Freinet schools, teachers have the autonomy to choose materials and adapt techniques which helps students acquire basic skills. As such, Freinet pedagogy favors attention to diversity, improving educational quality and critical thinking.