Yes to the evaluation of the teaching activity, but without the risk that the school will be incorporated

The Minister of Education signs the guideline for the year 2022, to “strengthen the evaluation system of schools, school principals and teaching staff” and introduce systematic mechanisms for the evaluation of work in individual educational institutions.
There is also the reaction of teachers: according to statistics, 7 out of 10 are against teacher evaluation.

The National Assessment System (SVN) is developed in three dimensions: the evaluation of school institutions, the evaluation of school management and the improvement of the professional merit of teachers. In particular, the evaluation committee, together with the principal, decides whether or not to confirm the role of newly hired teacher at the end of the probationary course.
However, there is no real way to judge the teacher’s activity during his career.
There are internal rankings for permanent teachers, while for precarious teachers the provincial and high school rankings allow for priority in choosing the location of the school. In both cases, the main requirement to rise in the ranking is seniority, a criterion that is certainly questionable as it does not take into account in any way the quality of the teacher’s contribution.

There is no doubt that it is crucial to check that those who are embarking on the path to becoming a teacher have the right skills and motivation, especially given the complexity of the role.
Teaching is a complex mission.
The teacher must be able to empathize, impartiality in judgments, must know how to listen, educate, correct without humiliating, must have the ability to identify and understand the incredible variety of sensibilities.
The responsibility is very high.
The difficult social situation increases discomfort and makes young people more vulnerable. The percentage of school-age suicides in the last year is remarkable. There are also less pronounced critical situations, which also deserve attention.

The question is delicate.

Now, the recently hypothesized assessment mechanism seems, without a doubt, to be a step forward in ensuring an innovative and balanced school system, in adaptation to the strategies already activated in many other European countries.
The profiles to consider, however, are essentially two: on the one hand, the the need to ensure that schools and their staff meet standards of efficiency and adequacy; on the other, that of to prevent the evaluation from giving rise to a control that harms the autonomy of the institution and, above all, the scientific and cultural freedom of the subject invested with educational functions.

With regard to teachers in training, attention must be paid to professional skills, but also to relational skills, to the ability to enhance the cultural specificities of students and their peculiarities of character. For the purposes of a judgment as reasoned as possible, it is also necessary to put under the magnifying glass the ability of the teacher in itinere to relate to colleagues with proven experience, the suitability to cover functions in the service of proper functioning. of the educational institution, the will to follow an educational path without setbacks, the regular participation in the collegiate bodies, the will to promote innovative activities, while respecting the most virtuous tradition of the Italian school.

It would also be appropriate:
– provide for the creation of committees with the task of evaluating the psychological and motivational profiles of teachers, previously identifying the most appropriate methods to prevent the evaluation from being caged by formalist bottlenecks, to the detriment of any flexibility and excessive rigidities;
– warranty impartiality and objectivity of the evaluationensuring that the composition of the committees corresponds to teachers external to that of the institution to which the examiner belongs, between parents and students chosen by lot;
– Encourage dialogue between teachers and parents, also taking into account the profound change in relations between parents, students and teachers in recent years;
– empower and encourage students to do self-criticism and reflection through the practice of assessment and self-assessment, and encourage classroom discussions between students and teachers, in order to enhance excellence and show the shortcomings.
At the heart of each training itinerary is the learner, the protagonist of a project in which he can never be the object of indoctrination, but a subject driven to enhance a personality in itself articulated and composed. If this is the case, the main interlocutor, for the purposes of a correct evaluation, is precisely the recipient of the courses taught by the subject. From this point of view, it would be desirable to increase the computer systems for anonymous evaluation of teaching and the person in charge of didactic activities.

It should not be an inquisitorial systembut a useful tool to better guide the training offer and promote continuing education, beyond any risk that the School becomes more corporate.
A new opportunity for growth and awareness, then.

Source: Yes to the evaluation of the teaching activity, but without the risk of the school becoming corporate

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