Fundació Jaume BofillUniversitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC)

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We are celebrating the 10-year anniversary of Debats d’Educació by giving the educational community the opportunity to air its views

Juan Carlos Tedesco
Juan Carlos Tedesco
Pedagogue and former Minister of Education of Argentina

Tedesco studied Educational Sciences in the Faculty of Arts at the University of Buenos Aires and worked as a teacher of History of Education at the National University of La Plata, National University of Comahue and National University of Pampa.
He joined UNESCO in 1976 as a specialist in educational policy of the Draft UNESCO / ECLAC "Education and Development in Latin America and the Caribbean," where he was in charge of research on education and employment.
From 1992 to 1997 he served as Director of the International Bureau of Education of UNESCO in Geneva. He was Director of IIEP / UNESCO, Buenos Aires since its inception in 2005.
He held the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Education, Science and Technology of the government of Argentina during Néstor Kirchner. His successor, Cristina Fernandez, was promoted to the ownership of the Ministry.

The three things I’ve learned

The key is a change in the professional culture of teachers
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The first thing I learned is that changing education is much more difficult than we imagine

There is a general consensus as to the need to change education in order to face the challenges raised by the information and knowledge society. This change, though, does not come about by modifying one variable while leaving all the others intact, nor can everything be changed simultaneously. Educational change is a systemic process. The most difficult aspect is to define a sequence of change, demanding periods which transcend governmental terms and which therefore require agreements and pacts among the various social actors, who are not always prepared to make medium- and long-term commitments.

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I secondly learned that there is no contradiction between change and stability

A glance at international experiences in this field reveals that no one changes outside the context of their traditions. In order to effect change, there must be a stable hard core providing the platform from which to identify innovations and to incorporate them without destabilising the educational system and the actors involved. From this perspective, however paradoxical it may seem, in some cases the best way to promote change is to strengthen the validity of the best traditions.

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Thirdly, I learned that the key is a change in the professional culture of teachers

Many educational changes never get off the page, and do not successfully transform what happens in educational institutions. Changes in laws, curriculums, educational apparatus, the salaries and working conditions of teachers, evaluation systems and other dimensions of education are a necessary condition but are not in themselves sufficient. The key to ensuring that all these changes generate better results lies in successfully introducing a capacity for teamwork, trust in the learning capacity of students, passion for knowledge, commitment and accountability for results as key components of the professional culture of educators.

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