The University of Barcelona’s Faculty of Education was established on 4 September 2014 by merging the Faculty of Teacher Training and the Faculty of Pedagogy, as set out in Order ECO/283/2014, of 4 September. Its broad course offering reflects and responds to a diverse professional reality in the field of education and social intervention.
Though it has not existed for long in its current form, the Faculty of Education builds on the long history of the two faculties from which it was formed.
The Faculty of Teacher Training
In 1931 the Normal School of Barcelona (founded in 1845) and the Normal School for Girls (founded in 1861) merged into a single school. The educational model of the new school stressed coeducation, Catalanization, and the goal of improving initial training of teachers. Unfortunately, the victory of Spanish fascists in 1939 put an end to the efforts of the Second Spanish Republic to improve education. The Government of Catalonia's Normal School was shut down, its staff were purged, and male and female students were once again trained in separate schools.
In 1964 the building that houses the Sants School of Teaching was inaugurated, and in 1967 a teacher training plan was approved that eliminated the existing entrance exam but required students to have a higher certificate.
The implementation of the General Law on Education of 1970 led to the 1971 Plan, which required students to have completed the last year of upper secondary school education to enrol in the Normal School. Under the Plan, normal schools became part of the University and were now called “university schools for primary education teachers”.
In the early 1990s the changes to education set in motion by the Basic Law on the General Structure and Organization of the Education System (LOGSE) led to a further extension of compulsory education (to the age of 16) within an inclusive educational system. This change was accompanied by a new plan for initial teacher training that was adapted to the areas of specialization defined by the Law (the 1992 Plan).
In 1996 the school was relocated to the Mundet Campus, and in 1998 it was given the opportunity to offer second-cycle studies in Audiovisual Communication. This was the origin of the Faculty of Teacher Training.
The Faculty of Pedagogy
The University of Barcelona’s Seminar on Pedagogy was launched in 1929 and officially inaugurated in 1930. The advent of the Second Spanish Republic in 1933 led to the approval of the Decree on the Autonomy of the University, which was concerned mainly with Catalan identity, scientific rigour and university spirit.
The Pedagogy Section of the Faculty of Philosophy, Arts and Pedagogy was responsible for nurturing the education sciences; developing higher studies in pedagogy and training secondary and normal school teachers; inspections at the primary level; technical teams in charge of school organization; and head teachers of school groups from the sixth grade up.
The Faculty of Philosophy and Arts went through a dark period from 1936 on. In 1956, however, the first chair in General Pedagogy was established at the Faculty, and in 1987 a decree was published declaring the Faculty of Pedagogy an independent unit within the University of Barcelona.
In 1992 new courses in education were introduced. The focus was on providing general training, with the idea that students could specialize by taking new homologated courses, such as the second-cycle degree in Psychology and Education, or a UB-specific degree in Social Education or Training in Organizations. Finally, in the 2010-2011 academic year, the introduction of a master's degree in Psychology and Education completed the adaptation of qualifications in this area to the requirements of the European Higher Education Area.
The Faculty of Pedagogy was also a pioneer in introducing the teaching of Social Education in the Spanish context. The first postgraduate course in Social Education was taught in the 1988-1989 academic year; in 1991 a royal decree established the diploma in Social Education as an official qualification; and in 1992 teaching in this subject area began at the Faculty.
In 2003 the teaching of Social Work was assigned to the Faculty of Pedagogy. The origins of the University School of Social Work date to 1953, when a chair in Psychiatry was established at the University of Barcelona's Faculty of Medicine. After Social Work became a university diploma programme in 1984, the Barcelona School of Social Workers became affiliated to the University of Barcelona and was renamed the University School of Social Work.