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Spain, also known as the Kingdom of Spain, is made up of , square kilometers and is located on the Iberian Peninsula in southwestern Europe. It borders Portugal on the west and France on the north. Spain is made up of a high central plateau, which is broken up by many mountains and rivers. The population of Spain is estimated to be 39,, people, with a 0.

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There are three major cities: Madrid 4 million people , Barcelona 2 million , and Valencia , In terms of religion, Spain is known to be There are four recognized languages: Castilian Spanish, the official language spoken by 74 percent of the population; Catalan, spoken by 17 percent; Galician, spoken by 7 percent; and Basque, spoken by 2 percent. The Spanish population has a literacy rate of 97 percent.

About one percent of men and two percent of women are illiterate.

During the Franco Period, there was no discussion of cultural or ethnic diversity. Spain believed that Castilian was the only permissible language. In any discussions of Basque, Catalan, or Galician peoples, the lines between ethnicity and nationalism became fused. From the perspective of the National government, Basques, Catalans and Galicians were nationalities within a larger and inclusive Spanish state or nation.

Spain - History & Background

However, for many Basque and Catalan nationalists, there is no Spanish nation but only a country made up of ethnic nations or autonomous communities. These non-ethnic groups are faced with learning and using the languages of these areas. In addition to Basques, Catalans, and Galicians, there is another important minority group, Spanish Gypsies.

Gypsies refer to themselves as Rom and to their language as Romany. Gypsies in Spain are usually divided into two groups: Gitanos Gypsies and Hungaros Hungarians. Historically, Gitanos live in the southwest and central regions of Spain. Traditionally, many have worked as street vendors and entertainers. Hungaros are said to be Kalderash; they are generally poorer and more nomadic than the Gitanos. The exact population of Gypsies in Spain is unknown. Estimates range from , to , The traditional nomadic and segregated lifestyles of the Gypsies have dictated inequitable access to welfare services, housing, and education.

Since the nineteenth Century, illiteracy in Spain had been on the decline. It was estimated that during and , it was between 75 and 63 percent. It had decreased at an important rate to about 15 percent in the s. The highest rate of illiteracy is found in rural areas among women. Spain is in the progress of evolving its economy and integrating into the European Union. It suffered a recession in the s and saw an upturn in However, Spain has also suffered from a very high unemployment rate of up to 25 percent. The GNP is The most significant economic progress has been in the area of tourism.

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With respect to the government, Spain is a parliamentary monarchy ruled by the Chief of State, the King, and a head of government, the president the Popular Party PP. The Spanish legislative system is bicameral and made up of General Courts Cortes a type of national assembly, which is made up of a Senate whose members are directly elected by popular vote, and 51 others appointed by the Regional Legislatures and the Congress of Deputies, also elected by popular vote.

Spain is divided into 17 autonomous communities. Spain, as part of the Iberian Peninsula, is made up of an interplay between a diverse geography, which fostered a series of separate regional communities and a history of foreign invasions. Spain's geography is made up of a central plain, a series of coasts, and substantial mountain ranges.

Iberia, as the political and cultural basis of modern Spain, did not exist in antiquity and only came into being as a series of small kingdoms during the Middle Ages. The indigenous people of Iberia were overrun by Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Celts, and most importantly by the Romans. Iberia or Hispania as the Romans called it, became a late Roman colony. Among all the invaders of the Iberian Peninsula, it was the Romans who brought unity through a series of important cultural reforms.

From the beginnings of the second Punic War B. Changes in the Roman substratum of Iberian culture were brought about through the arrival of Christianity and the invasion of the Visgoths, a Germanic people from northern Europe. The cultural changes, which Spain experienced at this time, were profound, especially in terms of religion. The Visgoths maintained many of the Roman traditions, but only within a Christian context. At the level of language, however, Latin continued as the linguistic substratum. While Latin would eventually evolve into Castilian, Catalan, or Galician, the language of daily life, as well as the language of academic life, continued to be Latin.

Thus, the formal history of education in Spain must begin with the history of Roman education because it established the basis for subsequent educational thought and literature for many centuries. Romans brought their system of education to Spain, and it flourished as in all parts of the Roman Empire. Roman education in Spain took many forms. It usually started with the education of children in the family by parents and relatives or tutors. Fathers frequently educated their sons by using paternal precepts pracepta paterna.

It was often the case that private tutors from distant lands, at times slaves, were also used to educate children. This was especially true in the case of teachers of Greek. Primary and secondary education was in the hands of the pedagogues, preceptors, or magisters. These teachers were in charge of teaching the young the basic notions of language Latin and Greek , as well as with the basics of literature, rhetoric, and philosophy.

There also existed special schools for the specific teaching of grammar and literature.

Teachers in these schools were known as grammatistes and students who attained high levels of grammar were known as grammatikos. Higher education also flourished in Spain from the period of the late Republic onwards. Many famous orators, poets, political figures, philosophers and educators came from Roman Spain. Quintilian was born around A. He was a famous teacher of Latin and rhetoric.

Education Reform in Contemporary Spain (Hardback) - Routledge

During his early years, he studied in Rome and later returned to Spain to teach rhetoric and work as a lawyer advocate. He returned to Rome during his later years. During the fifth century, western and southern Europe experienced large-scale invasions by the Visigoths, Germanic peoples from the north of Europe. These groups were quick to become Christianized, and they took over the control of Roman governmental administration while keeping many aspects of Roman culture.

Education in the Middle Ages became much more formalized in Spain during the Middle Ages with the establishment of monastic schools in the fifth century. It was the primary role of the Church to educate literate clergy for Spanish medieval society. In the Islamic period, Moorish invaders overran Visigothic Spain at the beginnings of the eighth century. Seven years later in , most of Iberia was under Islamic control.

Of all the invasions that Spain was to experience, this was the most significant. The Moors developed a strong military and technologically advanced society in Iberia, which was known for more than eight centuries for its cultural arts and tolerance of beliefs. At this time, Christian, Muslims, and Jews—the principal populations of Spain—lived in comparative harmony. During the second half of the ninth century, and in the tenth century, important Islamic academies were founded in Moslem Spain, especially in the city of Cordoba.

In these academies, education originated mostly from close studies of the commentaries of the Koran and philology. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Judaism developed its own system of education, which was, for the most part, based on the famous Talmudic Schools of the Near East. Important changes to this system arose during the tenth century. During this time, Jewish schools changed emphasis. Spanish Jews, known as Sephardi, were strongly influenced by Islamic educational thought and thus changed their areas of focus to include philosophical, scientific, and linguistic subjects.

Jews made important contributions to Spanish culture during the Middle Ages, but these contributions must be considered within the context of Islamic Spain, especially during the years Important Jewish communities existed in the cities of Seville, Toledo, Burgos, Valeria, and Saragossa, as well as in other cities like Cordoba and Segovia. Lost at School Ross W.

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