Curriculum reforms provide an extraordinary opportunity to review curricula and to undertake the improvement of those issues that require change. These reform processes have been a classic topic in the field of the sociology of education by many sociologists. Without their research and analysis, we would not have the necessary evidence that allows us, for example, to draw attention to the absence of some social groups in the educational curriculum as a reflection of their limited weight and presence in society.

Thus, the absence of sociological content in the proposed reform of the primary and early childhood education degrees that the Ministry of Education has set forth and which is currently in the process of public information is striking. The sociology of education is a discipline that studies educational processes from a social perspective, examining the influence that factors such as culture, social structure, institutions and power relations have on education. Initial teacher training in early childhood and primary education is a field in which it is particularly relevant. I will reference some of its contributions:

  1. It helps future teachers understand the influence that the social context has on education. For example, it can analyze how the social structure of a community or the culture of a society can affect students and their educational opportunities.
  2. It contributes to the analysis of socialization processes, i.e., how individuals learn social values and norms. In initial teacher training, this perspective allows us to understand how educational institutions can be socialization tools and how they can be used to promote a more just and egalitarian society and in the preventive socialization of gender violence.
  3. It is essential for addressing cultural diversity. In initial teacher training, this perspective helps develop strategies for working with students from different cultural backgrounds.
  4. It facilitates reflection on educational inequalities. The sociology of education is also concerned with educational inequalities and how social structure can influence students’ academic performance. In initial teacher training, this perspective can help future teachers develop strategies to reduce educational inequalities and promote equal opportunities and social mobility.
  5. It contributes to the analysis of educational policies and how they can influence education. In initial teacher training, this perspective can help teachers understand how educational policies can affect their teaching practices and how they can advocate for more just and effective educational policies.
  6. It facilitates the development of a critical awareness on education, i.e., an ability to analyze and reflect on education from a social perspective. In initial teacher training, this perspective can help future teachers develop a critical conscience and to question educational practices that do not promote social justice and equity.

These are some of the contributions of the sociology of education to the training of future teachers. It is difficult to understand why it is not considered relevant to include it in their training. The reform process has begun and there is time to correct this mistake which would mean a major shortcoming in the initial training of teachers with consequences for their students.

Por Beatriz Muñoz

Universidad de Extremadura