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How to prevent professor day from becoming groundhog day


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The Conversation

Elena Arbués

School of Education and Psychology of the University of Navarra

A new academic year is starting, and as every October 5, the day of the professor. A perfect date to ask ourselves what has changed, what solutions are offered and what new resources are offered to academic staff in the Spanish system educational .

For teachers, it can give us the impression of being like Bill Murray in Trapped in Time. His character, the weatherman Phil, wakes up at 6 a.m. on the same day over and over again: Groundhog Day.

A system educational with symptoms of amarmotamiento

In the case of the Spanish system educational , which cannot be accused of immobility, what is important is to assess whether the proposals are sustainable and effective. That is to say, if they serve to advance and solve the problems for which they have been proposed, or if on the contrary, to continue with the comparison with the movie (in which the protagonist strives uselessly to do something different every time he wakes up on February 2, to try to get out of the time loop in which he is trapped), they do not end up working or solving anything.

One of the great successes is to have schooling for the entire population up to the age of 16. This process culminated in 1999, in application of the LOGSE. Twenty years later, in 2019, the net rate of female schooling at age 16 was 97%, and the male rate was 94.4%. Since then, the system has advanced slowly, without majority agreements, at the pace of events that challenge the educational authorities.

One of those events was the pandemic. Thanks to the enormous commitment of the educational community, status was saved in such a complex scenario. The teachers made a huge work . As of today, we have little information on the progress and investments in components 19, 20 and 21 of the Spanish Government's Recovery, Transformation and Resilience Plan, referring to the national digital skills plan (3,593 million euros), the strategic plan to boost professional training (2,076 million) and the modernization and digitization of the educational system (1,648 million).

Shadows: withdrawal early

Spain continues to be the second European country with the second highest percentage of early schoolwithdrawal . In 2020 it was 16%. Among the proposals to reduce it, promote proposes flexible learning, early detection and individualization of learning. To achieve this, it is necessary to lower ratios and, logically, more academic staff.

Since 2000, the report PISA places Spanish students below the OECD average in three competencies considered core competencies: science, reading and mathematics. In the last report of 2018 the score average of our students was 483 points, significantly lower than the average OECD (489) and the EU total (490).

To improve these results, experts must analyze what it is that students learn and what are the optimal contexts for achieving it. The truth is that in twenty years the measures adopted have not helped to reverse these results.

Access to the profession professor

The first urgent challenge is to improve the system of access to the profession professor. Several programs of study show that the quality of academic staff is one of the factors that most influence student performance. Reforming the selection system, better didactic-pedagogical training and acquiring socio-educational competencies are some of the demands of academic staff.

The fight against harassment

The second urgent challenge is promote a safe school environment. The school plays a protective role core topic in preventing peer violence. The data reflect that the bullying rate stands at 33.6%.

Before the beginning of the new school year, Unicef asks that the figure of the Welfare coordinator be fully developed so that it can carry out its work to ensure the protection of all students. The reality is that the work of the coordinators depends on the will of staff educational . An adequate development of their functions and conditions is essential, providing specific training to the coordinators and generic to the entire educational community.

Technologies in the classroom

The third urgent challenge is digital literacy, a challenge in the face of the technological revolution we are living through. In Education we will not be able to do without digital devices, internet, robotics or artificial intelligence, but they only make sense in the framework of didactics and educational technology, because everything depends on how we use them.

Our students will need to know how these systems work, what they do with our data, develop critical thinking or decision-making skills. In this framework, the role of professor is more important than ever. Without forgetting families, with recommendations on the use of relationship, information and communication technologies (ICT) and the most important aspects of the LOPIVI.

What teachers do

In the meantime, teachers, halfway between realism and idealism, work with their students to really help them grow. Aware that they need them, they look ahead without wondering what will become of them, or what will become of the resources, but what will become of the quality of the Education.

Teachers cannot afford to be pessimistic. The fact that teaching is not as they would like it to be does not make them accomplices. They work to help students learn, to open doors for them, urging them to be responsible and participative citizens in the future.

They know that what will allow us to move forward is more public investment. They deserve that, regardless of the political moment in our country, the necessary resources be mobilized. It is only fair, as we commemorate teacher's day, to recognize their work. In Trapped in Time, it is only when the protagonist learns from his mistakes that he manages to break out of this vicious circle. An appropriate simile to put to our educational authorities.