Last week in Loulé, at a meeting of NERA, the regional employers association, the urgent need to retrain workers and bosses was highlighted. Automation and digitalization is coming. We need to retrain some 30,000 of them. Thus we need updated teachers.
For 60 years, universities have been publishing methods to improve the qualification of teachers. Unlike Portugal, almost all civilized countries delegate primary and often secondary education to regional or local level. Part of the programme is also flexible, since good teaching starts from students’ real world to the abstract, from the specific to the generic. In the USA, counties offer or control primary and high-school.
Same in Brazil, except the vocational, where the states and counties run those schools. In Sweden counties run primary and Län secondary schools. In Germany it is the same with the Länder. In Israel the teacher is personally responsible for the present and future success of each student. These are countries with high productivity, using digital methods.
In these countries the central government offers a mini-support for the building of schools, a continued qualification of teachers, and evaluate results.
"Schools are not for teachers, but for students to learn what is vital to them in real life, in the present and future"
In few countries career progression is automatic, a function of years of service. If a citizen needs a professional service, e.g. a dentist or lawyer, he has several choices. If he’s not satisfied, he looks for another one and the bad professional has fewer clients and earn less. If a principal realises that a teacher's students do not perform well and his former students have difficulties in the following years, he motivates to perform better or dismisses him. Not everyone with a teacher's degree is a good teacher. The union's campaign for promotions by career time and ignoring quality is immoral.
Stanford University's Centre for Education Policy Analysis, and the German Max Planck Institute have for decades published scientific research (e.g. "Teacher Quality" and "Professional Competence of Teachers") to update teacher assessment criteria. In Sweden, vocational schools are also evaluated by local business associations. There, teachers are also evaluated by parents and in many districts by students. Many districts use evaluation by businesses where young people work or universities where they study, after about 2-3 years of high school completion.
In Portugal the school programme does not fit the needs of local companies and institutions; youngsters leave for capitals instead of developing the potential of their regions.
"Cause of success? Practical public schools, with teachers evaluated by civil society"
Here, theorists and teachers influence schools, often for their own benefit, as in this campaign. The JN of 05/05 writes a page on an institute that, with a lot of public money created 120 jobs a year, without saying that the death of start-ups in Portugal in 2,5 years is almost 80%. In Sweden districts create 120 jobs per month, with 30% failures. The union here ignores the €700-800 million required for an unfair, general pay rise. It is almost €200 a year that each taxpayer must shell out for teachers, some hated by many students, who leave school without a chance to work. Or, teachers despised by students who emigrate, not being able to use their talents locally.
YES, WE CAN! EVALUATE TEACHERS FOR UPDATED and CAPABLE YOUTH!