The Faculty of Education continues the work of a very old teacher training centre, the name of which has changed over the years: from the “Escuela Normal”, to the “Escuela de Formación de Profesorado de EGB” to the “Escuela de Magisterio”.
In the years following its foundation (1849-1856), the small population of Guadalajara provided the centre with a limited number of students, which in addition to the lack interest from local and national authorities in this type of institutions led to the gradual decline of this training centre.
Between 1856 and 1863, teacher training in Guadalajara received a boost with the founding in 1857 of an Escuela Normal para Maestras (for women teachers), and the Escuela Normal for men became a Higher Education Centre. The building was refurbished and equipped with new furniture and teaching tools, new teachers were recruited, and innovative teaching practices were implemented. However, the School continued to suffer from the same problems and a period of further decline began, leading to a gradual loss of public prestige until 1889, when the Higher Education Centre became an Elementary School. In 1901, the school was closed as independent centre, and teacher training for men became a part of the General and Technical Institute (Instituto General y Técnico).
Between 1901 and 1914, the Instituto de Guadalajara was responsible for teacher training for men, with an increase in the cultural content in the curriculum of its programmes. Meanwhile, teacher training for women continued at the Escuela Normal, which improved during this period as a result of recruiting new teachers, the establishment of laboratories and a library, and became a Higher Education Centre in 1905.
In 1914, the Escuela Normal de Maestros regained its independence and a period of improvement, which saw a significant number of new young teachers join from the Escuela de Estudios Superiores del Magisterio (the Higher School for Teacher Training), who undertook significant training work. In 1931, with the proclamation of the Spanish Republic, a new programme was implemented, unifying the women’s and men’s schools, promoting new methodologies and making primary teaching a profession.
During the Civil War, the School lost most of its students and teachers, and it closed in the 1938-39 academic year. In October 1939, the school reopened with a mostly new teaching staff, using a plan similar to the one adopted in 1914. For over two decades, teacher training was based on cultural instruction, at the same time as the secondary school certificate, complemented with some educational subjects, and separate courses for men and women.
Teaching continued in the old building of San Juan de Dios, which was unsuitable for courses that were increasingly in demand. This situation began to change in the 1960s; first, with the move to a new building in 1962 (Plaza de los Caídos) and the implementation of a new more professional Programme in 1967, with access from “Bachillerato” (High School), leading to qualification as a primary teacher.
The General Education Law led to a new Programme in 1971, which was supposed to be provisional, yet remained in place for the longest period of time. This plan made teacher training a university-level “Diplomatura” qualification, added specialist subjects and recruited a number of new teachers, who saw the course as a university degree like any other, and wish to combine its pedagogical, cultural and methodological content.