Teachers’ credibility. Letter

Posted by Giuseppe D’Angelo – Over time, we have witnessed a progressive decline in popularity and prestige of the pedagogical figure of the teacher, who has lost and continues to lose more and more in reliability and credibility, both from a cultural and ethical point of view – forming. The reasons are many, and we must begin to make a detailed analysis of them.

The lack of training imposed on those who by definition were and are educators of the new generations has led, and will increasingly do so in the near future, to the loss of cultural and ethical authority classically associated with this professional figure . This has led to the spread of attitudes of contempt and indifference towards the work done by teachers, who are regarded by some categories of people as almost babysitters rather than trainers of their children. Last but not least, the “assisted” who allow themselves many liberties and relational trusts, not to mention clearly offensive attitudes, with their trainers.

Attitudes determined by a total lack of respect towards them, stemming from the awareness of the almost total absence of sanctions imposed by the school, things that were once not even easily conceivable. But society develops… However, there is a risk that the public school continuing in this way could become more and more ineffective in its educational function. This may cause future governments to pay less and less attention to its proper economic and educational functioning. In fact, we must consider the climate of strong economic uncertainty (and not only) that we live in today, due to the war in Europe with its not always positive epilogative scenarios, which would lead to a reduction of the expenditure obligation in favor. of the school itself. It is also necessary to take into account the availability of appropriate cultural and educational bypasses, regardless of where they are valid for the training itself, represented by private schools and media “culture”.

In the transformative passage towards new educational and cultural balances, the consequences can be very serious for the new generations and for Italy as a whole. The lack of cultural training and the small number of graduates and graduates can make it difficult to find specific technical and professional people, which we know are indispensable in all sectors of the social structure. Think of the healthcare sector and research and technological innovation to name just a few. We are talking about a social problem that also interferes with the training courses that are carried out at school. When you think about it, at the bottom of it all, there is the search for “quiet life”. Even in school, not knowing how to say no to requests, whether explicit or otherwise, from users and politics has led to the decline in teacher credibility. Illegal requests, of course. Requests made by users who go through “acquaintances”, friends and collateral asking teachers for favoritism and discrimination in favor of their children. Queries that also go through the guidelines given by a certain category of leaders (fortunately not all) and which are widely shared by many teachers in the class council, which point towards evaluative choices with questionable ethics (voting in the ballot) and all for the sake of to “quiet life”. I am aware that it is only utopia to be able to eradicate such behavior.

But reducing its influence on the education of our young is something that can certainly be done. We need to recover the value of scholastic meritocracy, which cannot be separated from a really proper evaluation process. Teachers are a category of highly qualified and highly professional employees and unfortunately cannot be referred to roles for which they have not been trained. Teaching is not only a profession but also a commendable art. It should not be depressed and destroy the teacher’s personality. Teachers must return, more and more, to be the cultural and ethical guide of our beloved country! The decentralization of the functions of the state has over time determined a number of problems in the various state bodies, which has created inefficiencies that are always paid for by the end user. School autonomy, established by Law 59/1997 and by the specific regulation referred to in Presidential Decree 275/1999 and subsequently confirmed and expanded by Law 107/2015, the so-called reform of the good school, together with undoubted advantages associated with autonomy administrative and organizational aspects of the educational institutions, caused a predictable drift with regard to the didactic and educational aspects.

Autonomy has left the individual educational institutions free to prepare plans for the educational offer (originally called POF and then PTOF) with the aim of raising the level of education and skills in accordance with learning styles, preventing and recovering dropouts and school dropouts, creating an open school that guarantees the right to study and equal opportunities for educational success and permanent education for citizens. All these beautiful principles have actually served to trigger a fratricidal battle between schools to grab the increasingly scarce users. In a market of free educational competition, the logic of keeping the workplace close to home becomes predominant, as does the image of a school achieving the highest academic (but not educational!) success. Since the companies in a tender play on the downside by offering their labor at attractive discounts, the individual educational institution tries to find its own “ecological niche” within its area by offering special services to users.

The problem is that what is undergoing a real decline is the real formation of our youth. So in the “competition” for users, the school that offers a more optimal study environment wins. Elements that strongly guide the choice are, for example, the presence of an efficient school canteen as well as the presence of a welcoming and helpful teaching staff from the evaluation point of view. Then there is today’s fashion.

This means that one prefers to go to a certain type of school rather than another, which could instead be more suitable for the student’s potential. Grammar schools are all the rage today. But what do you want? Live and let live. All in pursuit of the “quiet life” that allows you to satisfy everyone’s needs! Why create conditions to face discomfort? Our political class should have understood by now that it is no longer good to decentralize responsibility for school education in this way! If mistakes were made in the past, it would be wise, and not anachronistically useless, to go back on your own decisions.

Those who can make decisions that apply to all should realize that if you want to restore the quality of school education and if you want to restore the credibility of teachers, a first step to take is to establish a maximum limit on the number of new students enrolled in the specific field of study and lower the minimum necessary to maintain managerial ownership, thus effectively reducing the problem of school amalgamation. This would serve to make managers and teachers think more about how to manage a real teaching didactics instead of worrying about how to find users. In short, those who cannot go to one school will choose another, especially if they do not have very clear ideas about where to go and a particular inclination towards certain types of studies, instead of following the fashion of the day. If a political choice of this type were to go against the hoarding principles of the spending review, then just make two simple considerations.

The first is that the cultural formation of the new generations represents the most important economic goals of our governments. In the phase of full globalization in which we all live, Italy must be competitive in all educational and above all scientific – technological aspects if it wants to remain in the context of the most advanced countries.

If this has a cost, it will be a necessary and unavoidable cost. The second reflection is that if it comes to doing a real spending review, we begin to avoid the waste that happens in all sectors of public administration, and to refer to public education, we avoid unfortunate choices such as benches on wheels, anti- covid masks. offered to students that no one uses because they are poorly executed, PON (National Operational Program) and regional POR funds, blown training courses and all guided by the school owners, who, in addition to representing a strange form of economic integration of the salary of some (lucky?) teacher, does not seem to have changed the fate of our students’ school preparation. How much do the consulting companies Invalsi, Indire, Sofia count and cost and how much do mega managers cost?

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