Systemy Zarządzania w Inżynierii Produkcji 2011, No 2 (2), pp , Nr 2 (2), s Management Systems in Production Engineering THE INFLUENCE OF TEACHERS PROMOTION ON THE QUALITY OF TEACHING

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Systemy Zarządzania w Inżynierii Produkcji 2011, No 2 (2), pp , Nr 2 (2), s Management Systems in Production Engineering THE INFLUENCE OF TEACHERS PROMOTION ON THE QUALITY OF TEACHING CASE STUDY WPŁYW AWANSU ZAWODOWEGO NAUCZYCIELI NA JAKOŚĆ KSZTAŁCENIA STUDIUM PRZYPADKU Joanna GARNCZAREK Wieloprofilowy Zespół Szkół w Tarnowskich Górach Abstract: The ar cle presents the problem of teachers professional promo on and its influence on the quality of teaching in one of the Silesian secondary schools. Therefore a survey was made among the teachers working in one of the secondary schools in the district of Silesia. The results of the research make us think about this problem, incline to reflec on and deeper analysis. All the results are being and will be verified. Key words: quality, educa on, survey, teachers professional promo on Słowa kluczowe: : jakość, kształcenie, ankieta, awans zawodowy nauczycieli INTRODUCTION According to Total Quality Management (TQM) philosophy, quality is something that makes the client do with it, even makes him delighted. When the idea of customer is concerned, it means that educa on stops to be a mission or voca on and it starts to be considered as a market category and it starts to be a service. The teacher stops to be a master for his students. His/ her aim is not only to give them his/her knowledge, but he/ she becomes their service provider, who takes care of their needs. The customer is a student, his/her parents, and the whole society, and they want the young people to be well educated. Of course not always they all have the same ideas and achievements. The term educa on means not only intellectual growth, it is also building students a tudes that are connected with u lity development and func oning in society. The quality of school work and the quality of teaching are almost the same. We can form a defini on of it: the quality of teaching, or the quality of school work is a degree of using students and teachers possibili es in different opera ons connected with pedagogical, educa onal and organiza onal things and material and organiza onal condi ons used for students promo on. We should not consider students final results as a mirror of the quality of school because the measurements results, for example the students final results, do not give us any informa on about their star ng abili es and possibili es of beginning the school and about the condi ons in which the process of educa on was taking place. We also know nothing about other components and educa onal backgrounds. Quality of teaching is one of the components of the quality of school. Tradi onally, it was the quality of teaching that was the main interest of pedagogical supervision, in comparison to psychological or mo va onal condi ons. It is student s development that is considered to be the most important element of the educa onal process, it is learning, not being taught that decides about the degree of teacher s ac vi es and their effec veness of students learning process. School rankings make the quality of schools lower. The schools with high enrolment do not have any mo va on for using all possibili es because the students will always have rela vely good results in their final exams or in their entrance exams to the universi es. False informa on flowing from rankings makes harm to everybody the society, students and schools. That is why the knowledge about the quality of teaching is so important and that is why it should be known by everybody. In 1999, in Poland the reform of educa on was introduced. It became the aim of surveys and the point of interest of many researchers. Its creators wanted to make changes in educa onal process and they wanted to improve the quality of teaching. It is of course func oning ll now, but it is s ll very controversial. There are a lot of mistakes and shortcomings in it. CURRICULUM REFORM IN POLAND [12] Since April 2000, the teachers of all the public schools are subjected to the system of promo on. According to the Teachers Charter, a teacher can obtain the following professional promo on grades: trainee teacher contract teacher appointed teacher chartered teacher 20 Systemy Zarządzania w Inżynierii Produkcji/Management Systems in Produc on Engineering 2(2)/2011 J. GARNCZAREK Wpływ awansu zawodowego nauczycieli na jakość kształcenia studium przypadku A possibility of gran ng an honorary tle of educa on professor is also envisaged for chartered teachers with outstanding professional achievements. For the last 10 years, Polish educa onal system has been undergoing crucial changes. These were ini ated in 1999, when a major reform was carried out, involving profound changes in the school structure, curricula, grading system, and requirements towards students, but also the system of teachers professional development and promo on. The ini a ve for that reform derived from a combina on of a number of significant social and poli cal events: The first and most important of these was the transforma on of the Polish poli cal system, which began in Legisla ve solu ons introduced during that period enabled the crea ng of the first non public (private) schools and universi es. At the same me, they exposed the weaknesses of the Polish educa on system and its extreme subservience to the short term poli cal interests of consecu ve Governments. A na onal debate on the quality of educa on system in Poland, which was then ini ated, could not be separated from reflec ng on the state of the teacher s trade and the ques on of whether teachers were prepared to work in the Europe of the day; Another important reason for introducing these reforms was the acceptance of the Bologna Declara on by the Republic of Poland and the process of adjus ng higher educa on to the requirements specified in this document, i.e. developing such methods of coopera on between academic circles in Europe that would account for the differen a on and autonomy of par cular countries and schools. In this way, Polish higher educa on was included in the trend of thorough structural and content reforms, a process which has not yet ended. In order to produce a sensible descrip on of teacher training in Poland, poin ng to both its advantages and drawbacks, one should start with a short introduc on of the school system structure, together with its formal founda ons. The func oning of schools and teachers in Poland is regulated by two groups of laws. The first is only concerned with compulsory educa on, and encompasses the period from pre school to the Matura examina on. The most crucial Parliamentary Acts for the organiza on of this area of educa on are: The Educa on System Act of 7 September 1991 (with further amendments); The Act of 8 January 1999 on the Implementa on of the Educa on System Reform (with further amendments); The Act of 26 January 1982 Teachers Charter (with further amendments). A separate group of Acts specifies the func oning of educa on on higher level. Of these, the following are to be men oned: The Act of 27 July 2005 The Law on Higher Educa on; The Act of 14 March 2003 on Academic Degrees and Title and on Degrees and Title in the Area of Art; The Act of 8 October 2004 on the Rules of Financing Research; The Act of 17 July 1998 on Loans and Credits for Students (with further amendments). TEACHERS PROFESSIONAL PROMOTION DEGREES [12] Polish system of teachers professional promo on is slightly complicated, and closely interconnected with the system of monitoring and evalua ng the quality of schoolwork. To make this descrip on comprehensible it is important to understand how the responsibili es for organizing and administra ng the educa on are distributed on different levels. The figure below illustrates the structure of that system. The system of teacher promo on in Poland has been grounded on those presump ons, with the last being the most important one: permanent training, an ac ve par cipa on in post diploma studies and other forms of selfimprovement is an important requirement for ge ng promoted in teacher s career in Poland. An important role in that system (or rather on two lower levels of the system) plays a colleague, whose responsibili es are, among others (Teachers Charter 2004): a) to explain the official regula ons concerning teacher promo on system; b) to help in the prac cal part of preparing a plan and metable for personal professional development; c) to monitor the process of execu ng that plan, especially by: presen ng examples of good prac ce (both, by invi ng to observe one s own lessons and by organizing the so called open days in mentor a more experienced teacher, more competent in other classes an invita on to observe other teachers work; evalua ng the classes given by the trainee teacher and sugges ng possible ways of improvement; mee ng with the trainee teacher at least once a month to diagnose his needs and interests, to consult lessons plans and possible methods of conduc ng them, to present new and valuable literature and to give workshops in a par cular area of interest; d) to prepare a first dra of trainee s professional development evalua on; e) to help in preparing all the necessary documents required for the legal process of promo on. Polish system of teacher promo on (professional tles and requirements). TRAINEE TEACHER 9 months (under the supervision of mentor), evalua on of professional development, qualifica on in front of special Commi ee (internal), tle awarded by the head of school (director). CONTRACT TEACHER 2 years and 9 months (under the supervision of mentor), evalua on of professional development and achievements, exam in front of external Commi ee (including 2 experts from Ministry of Educa on), tle awarded by local bodies responsible for running the school. APPOINTED TEACHER 2 years and 9 months (no mentor self responsibility), evalua on of professional development and achievements, Systemy Zarządzania w Inżynierii Produkcji/Management Systems in Produc on Engineering 2(2)/ J. GARNCZAREK The influence of teachers promo on on the quality of teaching case study qualifica on in front of external Commi ee (including 3 experts from Ministry of Educa on), tle awarded by local office of Educa onal Superintendent. CHARTERED TEACHER Teachers with a significant and widely appreciated achievements as well as with more than 20 years of professional experience in teaching (including no less than 10 years from the last level of promo on) can be awarded the honoured tle of School Professor by the Ministry of Educa on (note: School Professor is not the posi on, rather a kind of diploma with no financial consequences). A teacher who just begins his/her professional career can be employed by a school at the posi on of a trainee teacher (although his contract can be only temporary, no longer than 1 2 years). The most important responsibili es of a beginning teacher/pedagogue are the following: 1. to get acquainted with the school s internal structure, tasks and rules of daily func oning, including especially: a) educa onal acts, as well as other regula ons (on na onal and local level) concerning school work, b) documenta on of school work official reports, plans, scenarios, etc., that are used to prove the quality of educa on, c) rules of ensuring safe and healthy learning environment; 2. to observe classes conducted by their mentor and/or other more experienced teachers (at least 1 hour a month) and discuss their structure and quality a erwards; 3. to conduct his/her own classes under the supervision of the mentor or/and the Head of school, and ac vely discuss/ evaluate their quality with the supervisor (again, at least 1 hour per month); 4. to par cipate ac vely in the school s internal system of permanent professional training, forms of which should be strongly connected with the type of his work. The internship lasts for nine months and is supervised by a specially selected mentor, from whom a relevant professional experience is required (it can be an appointed or chartered teacher). It is important to no ce, that trainee teachers responsibili es are very similar to a regular teacher s job: he conducts 18 class hours a month and only a small part of those would be closely monitored and supervised. Other than conduc ng classes, however, the trainee teacher is obliged to prepare and consistently implement a plan of his/her own professional development. The assessment of the teacher s professional achievements for the period of internship is made by the Head of the school, having acquainted himself/herself with the assessment project prepared by the mentor, and having consulted with the parents council. The assessment should be in wri en form and include an instruc on on how to appeal against it. Should the final assessment of professional achievements be nega ve, a re assessment can be made only a er comple ng an addi onal period of nine months of internship. A er receiving a posi ve assessment, the trainee teacher has fourteen days to file an applica on to the Head of the school for qualifica on procedures before a commission especially 164 EUROPEAN DIMENSIONS OF TEACHER EDUCATION Similari es and Differences appointed for this purpose. Members of the commission include the Head of the school, the head of the subject team, the internship mentor and a representa ve of the teachers union. If the teacher is approved by the qualifica on commission, he/she receives the act of gran ng a promo on in rank to a contract teacher from the Head of the school. In case of a nega ve assessment, the trainee teacher may apply for permission to repeat the internship in the same school (available only once), otherwise his/her contract would expire. Another promo on in rank is that of an appointed teacher. Qualifica on procedures at this stage last two years and nine months. They are also based on the plan of personal scien fic development and under the supervision of a more competent mentor with greater professional experience. The principal difference in the procedure consists of the necessity to take qualifica on examina ons before the commission especially appointed for this purpose, whose members include a specialist outside the school. These are: a representa ve of a local body running the school, the Head of the school, three experts from the list of the Ministry of Educa on, and a representa ve of the teachers union. Passing the examina on results in the acquisi on of the rank of an appointed teacher, which is granted by the authority of local bodies responsible for running the school. The highest rank in professional promo on is that of a chartered teacher, the acquisi on of which is condi onal on comple ng post graduate studies and re assessment of the teacher s professional achievements by the qualifica on commission. The tle is awarded by the local office of Educa onal Superintendent. The system of teacher promo on described here is more and more frequently under cri cism. Its major setback is a high degree of formaliza on and bureaucra za on. The number of documents which the teacher must prepare at each stage of professional promo on is very large and the requirements regarding their content and layout are very detailed, but its usefulness in prac ce is very small. In addi on, too much documenta on leads to a situa on where the most important issues, that is the child and its development, become hardly no ceable. The basis for the assessment of the teacher s professional achievements is neither the quality of classes provided by him/her nor what is going on in the classroom, but the quality of the academic achievements of the pupils. Furthermore, the system has li le influence on providing remunera on for teachers, and differences between par cular stages of the teacher s career are small. Teachers themselves cri cize the fact that the promo on route is too short opportuni es are available only for a short period of me, and a er the acquisi on of the rank of chartered teacher, there is in principle no possibility for further development, neither in terms of professional tles, nor in terms of financial profits. Although permanent training is an important condi on for professional career, a er achieving the highest rank of chartered teacher, further training has no impact on wage grades. This has a detrimental effect on the mo va on for professional improvement and is conducive to the phenomenon of occupa onal burnout. PROBLEMS IN POLISH EDUCATION [3, 4, 5, 9, 10, 12] Based on the review of the available literature rela ng to ra ng the quality of teachers work and quality of tea 22 Systemy Zarządzania w Inżynierii Produkcji/Management Systems in Produc on Engineering 2(2)/2011 J. GARNCZAREK Wpływ awansu zawodowego nauczycieli na jakość kształcenia studium przypadku ching we can say that this problem is being analyzed by many researchers. A painful problem of teacher training in Poland is the lack of proper balance between theory and prac ce: Polish teachers are well equipped with general, scien fic knowledge, but their ability to put that knowledge into prac ce is rather low [6]. The problem grows into a cri cal level in secondary school. While elementary educa on is far more advanced in building the connec ons in students minds between theore cal concepts and prac cal skills, the training of subject teachers obviously fails to fulfill its aims. The source of that phenomenon is neither the lack of methodological prepara on, nor the ability to use modern, innova ve methods, or construct lessons plans with respect to students needs. The problem is rather grounded in a great shortage of psychology in prac ce, e.g. understanding psychological sources of pupils behavior, ability to deal with difficult students, etc. Subject teachers are o en aware of this gap in their qualifica ons; when searching for educa onal support, they o en come to their maternal universi es for counseling in a par cular case. Overlie theore cally oriented training results in a great deal of academic, declara ve knowledge, which, unfortunately, is not embedded in procedural and context knowledge [7, 8]. In everyday school life, when put in front of aggressive student s behavior, Polish subject teachers o en become unable to react in a quick and effec ve manner. Trying to save their own iden ty, they would take an escaping or self protec ve a tude; ac vate survival rituals becoming the unhappy prisoners of their own occupa on [6]. In secondary school, where students are in a risky stage of psychological development, being able to sense intui vely the fear or weakness of pedagogues, such teacher s a tude may cause many addi onal problems. Educa on or school administra on, oblige teachers to engage in many ac vi es which are not strictly related to teaching. No other professional group is under so many compulsory obliga ons in respect to lifelong learning, planning their own occupa onal development and producing a number of administra ve documents. At the same me, the teaching profession has considerably lost its social pres ge. Populist comments on teaching as being a supposedly easy and privileged profession are not only hur ul for teachers, but also cause addi onal, overwhelming strain. The Polish teacher becomes more and more red, bi er, and depressed. Not surprisingly, over 52% out of 1000 ac ve teachers seriously considers leaving the profession [11]. Almost the same number expressed the opinion that nowadays it is not worth to be a teacher. The lack of professional advice and help for teachers suffering from occupa onal burnout is severe in Poland. The only way of suppor ng teachers in dealing with permanent stress and redness is a sabba cal year guaranteed by Teachers Charter (once every 5 years of teaching work). On top of that, in Polish pedagogical literature, many examples of a er conference books can be found. Their content, however, though inspiring, is rather difficult to present in a brief
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