Abandoned and little or nothing heard. This is how most Spanish teachers feel about the management of the Government and the autonomous communities of the health crisis. In a time of as much uncertainty as the one they lived through from March of last year to the end of this same school year, teachers have missed a greater connection with the day-to-day life of schools by politicians, both at the state and regional level. In addition, it reigns in them the feeling of having imposed inconsistent rules and protocols with the evolution of the classes and put the focus on the little training received, having to improvise most of the time.
These are the conclusions drawn from a new study carried out by the digital school search platform My school in collaboration with the research group Fundamentals of Education and Educational Social Responsibility (HEEL) of the Rey Juan Carlos University of Madrid, which includes the opinion of 351 teachers at the end of this school year, perhaps the most atypical in its entire history. Said report, which serves to scrutinize the general perception of the Spanish teaching body during and after confinement, has provided answers based on in the ownership of the center (public or private / arranged), age (from under 30 to over 50) and years of experience (From freshmen in their first year to professionals with more than 15 years of experience).
This very bad opinion that teachers have of management by the Ministry of Education and the regional councils contrasts with the excellent perception they have had of the work of educational centers towards their own staff, students and families. Although in relation to the performance of the institutions, the assessment of the decisions taken rises a little in the post-confinement period, in no case they reach the approval, while in what involves the management of the centers, They border on the outstanding, especially in the private / concerted ones.
As we see in the first graph, only 1 in 4 private / subsidized centers believe that the decisions of the Ministry of Education were correct (25.6%), something that contrasts with the opinion they have about the management of the management of educational centers, where the percentage of agreement reaches 86.2% (in the lower graph). Regarding public centers, the percentage of agreement with the measures taken by the institutions improves only slightly (by 35.5%), while in relation to the decisions agreed by the schools and institutes it decreases with respect to the private / subsidized centers (74.4%). What are these abysmal differences in the perception of the management carried out by public institutions and the directives of the centers?
“A year ago we launched another survey that took a smaller sample and the same result was repeated: the centers approved, but all public institutions failed,” he explains. Ruben Sarmiento, co-founder of Mi Cole and one of the main authors of the study, to El Confidencial. “Everything is due to the sheer improvisation that governments have carried out, giving very unclear guidelines on how they should act. One of the most notable differences is that the centers, unlike the Ministry or the ministries, listened to the demands and doubts of the teachers. Teachers believe that there is a very deep disconnection of public representatives with the educational community, not only in relation to the management of the pandemic, but also in other matters such as the approval of the Celaá Law. ”
Fran Sánchez Becerril
Francisco Ortiz, a member of the FERSE research team, he is more conciliatory; believes, for its part, that this suspense of the institutions is also due to an attribution error fundamental. “It is a very curious psychological phenomenon,” he explains to this newspaper. “The external attribution error It is delegating all the difficulties and mistakes to an external agent, as if your soccer team wins and you think that the whole hobby has won, but if it loses it is the fault of the players. But it is justified, since for a few years they feel abandoned by the public administrations and not recognized in their work “.
One of the keys to such dissatisfaction is the fact that there is no action protocol in place for cases like this. Not only in the face of the contingency of a global pandemic (which was quite unexpected for everyone), but in view of the need to address a new teaching methodology based on tele-teaching and the use of technologies. Before the arrival of the coronavirus, the telework debate was very established in work and business environments, but not in teaching, since it was taken for granted that socialization is one of the unavoidable personal learning processes in childhood. But after having spent a year and a half living with the virus and after so many measures to stop the infections, the schoolchildren deeply regret that there was no telework plan for them too.
“We have lost the opportunity to change things and adopt another methodological approach that will improve the entire educational system”
We all agree that face-to-face education is necessary in the early educational stages for the child to socialize and get in touch with the world. However, The scenario had rarely been raised that teachers of higher courses could telework as in other professions, which has worsened the situation of teachers in recent months. “Many did not have a solid foundation in technological knowledge,” admits Ortiz. “In this section, the youngsters have adapted much better than the older ones, but the absence of protocols on the part of public administrations has made hybrid education, which came suddenly, a nightmare for many “.
When asking teachers if they preferred hybrid education to traditional education, opinions are more than divided. Specifically, those of private / subsidized centers are 35.9% in favor, slightly more than those of the public (34.6%). SHowever, it should be noted that the majority of the former ticked the “indifferent” box (48.2%), as opposed to those of public ownership, in which the three response modes are more divided. The debate remains, therefore, most open; what is clear is that resigned to go back to what was before, after everything learned by force without having the means, support or resources, It’s not the best option.
“You can not open the debate to bet on another educational methodology if social issues such as family conciliation are not addressed”
The URJC researcher gives the example of Latin America, a region in which, unfortunately, the cumulative incidence and lethality of the virus has not yet dropped, forcing countries to adopt longer quarantines. “In America they have been in confinement for two years, which has caused that they have had to address a methodological change and that public administrations had no choice but to bet on it, “says Ortiz. “In Spain, as it has been very fast, punctual and something like a fleeting experience, a roller coaster... we have lost the great opportunity to change things and adopt another methodological approach that would improve the whole system. ”
A pending subject in the middle of an unequal world
“A change in the educational paradigm is necessary,” insists Ortiz. “The confinement has removed the problems that our system already had in a more incisive way. We need a methodological shift that is promoted first from public administrations with incentives to train teachers, and above all to take into account an educational agent who has been kept apart all this time: families. ”
In this sense, the teacher emphasizes the great role that fathers and mothers have played throughout the crisis and the socioeconomic difficulties that many family nuclei have had to overcome to prevent the palpable digital and social divide from greatly harming their families. children. “You can not open the debate to bet on another educational methodology that rescues the lessons learned in the crisis if hot social issues such as work-life balance or social gaps are not addressed that exist in our country and among the different schools, “concludes Ortiz. Otherwise, it is understood, chaos would break out again.