Apertura. Revista de innovación educativa‏

How to improve the quality of education

por Zara Murray (2018-11-15)


That the parents get involved, that not only language and mathematics are measured, that the school is more open are some of the keys proposed by teachers and specialists.

It is the word vedette of the current debates on education: everyone wants to improve the quality of education . But what are we talking about when we talk about quality?

For the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), for example, the quality of an education system is measured through student learning . The instrument par excellence is the PISA test , which measures the performance of students in mathematics, science and reading. In the last available PISA report, in 2009, Argentina ranked 58th among the 65 nations that participated. The figure contrasts with the increase in the educational budget in the last decade, which reached 6% of GDP .

The issue of evaluation is often associated with debates about quality. For Manuel Álvarez Tronge , president of the NGO Educar 2050, "educational quality requires continuous measurement . You need certain and constant parameters to be able to follow up in the short, medium and long term. In this sense, the best indicators to evaluate how we are in quality are the evaluations to the students ". Done Dissertation UK Writing Service

At this point, Cecilia Veleda , co-director of the CIPPEC Education program, warns that not everything is measurable in education, but at the same time emphasizes that "we must generate more and better measurements. For example, improve the indicators that already exist - such as the National Evaluation Operations, which should be censuses - to move towards an Integral System of Educational Informationthat includes indicators on infrastructure, equipment, social diversity of students, etc. ". For her it is not enough to measure the results in Language and Mathematics: it is necessary to observe "the integrality of the system, with a view to installing in the country a culture of evaluation ".

The interviewees agree: the quality of education covers much more than the measurement of the results of the students. Nancy Montes , researcher at FLACSO, points out that the concept "also includes the salary status of teachers, their professional profile, the levels of investment of a society in their education sector, the conditions of infrastructure and equipment, learning achievements in other skills (artistic, sports, scientific, cultural in a broad sense) ".

Veleda proposes to look not only at the knowledge that the school teaches, but also at the capacities it offers to the children: "One of the purposes of the educational system is to give life skills, help the children to build a life project . This implies transmitting capacities for community action, insertion in the labor market, teamwork ". In this line, any evaluation of quality should take into account the capacity of action that the system provides to young people, and not be limited to the results of a multiple choice .

Alicia Cancilieri , director of Primary School No. 8 Bernardo de Monteagudo , Vicente López, agrees: "The quality school is what prepares children so they can transform reality."

From the Manuel Belgrano School in Belgrano, the rector Eutimio Rubio Sáez summarizes: "A quality school is an open school , where the student is conceived as a leader capable of transforming the neighborhood. Where it matters not only the academic, but also the sports, the solidarity, the artistic, the spiritual. In these areas bonds are created between the boys, and a student's belonging is generated , aligned with the institutional values ". An open school is also one in which "diversity is worked on", "there is a fluid dialogue between the teacher and the student" and " technological innovations are incorporated in the service of learning", says Eutimio.

The directors consulted agree that networking is key. Eduardo Toscano , of the Middle School No. 6 Father Carlos Mugica , of Retiro, emphasizes the need for internal networks (team work among teachers, together with tutors and a support team external to the classroom) and external (the link with other schools in the area, with health centers in the neighborhood, tertiary institutions and universities, and companies and foundations). From School No. 8, Alicia Cancilieri emphasizes inter-institutional work . Your school works alongside the Garden N ° 901, which is in the same block, to articulate the two levels. "We want to create an educational center in the neighborhood, so that our students stay in the public school," says Graciela Muñoz , director of the garden.

From the various testimonies it is clear that quality is not so much a result, but a search path: "Quality is a process of continuous improvement , has no ceiling," says Eutimio. And it ends with a definition that puts in the center the links that are woven in the school: " There is no quality without warmth , without the tenderness of good treatment, listening, dialogue and being available for the other".