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

Miquel Martínez
Miquel Martínez
Professor of Educational Theory and a member of the GREM Research Group at the University of Barcelona

My name is Miquel Martínez. I am a professor of Educational Theory and a member of the GREM Research Group at the University of Barcelona.

The three things I’ve learned

Teachers must be good communicators, with a wealth of knowledge, interest and curiosity; they must generate warmth and affection...
1

Being a good communicator, with a richness of expression and the capacity to listen and be supportive

We are an information society which is not a learning or a knowledge society for everyone. Interest and wise selection criteria are required in order to learn and to transform the information around us into knowledge. Teachers must be experts at arousing this interest and they must offer pupils tools that will help them make a good selection of the information and build new knowledge. They must communicate clearly, construct arguments of quality and encourage learners to understand, compare and contrast, and desire to know more about what they are studying.

They must also have the capacity to communicate well, to be supportive and receptive in the relationships they develop with families, and to establish educational bonds with pupils. Despite their inevitable asymmetry, these relationships and bonds must be based on recognition, respect and acceptance of the other; they must be formed in a climate that is rich in affection, with stable, but not inflexible frames of reference and precepts; and they must generate the confidence and self-esteem that will spur pupils on to overcome difficulties and to excel.

2

Having in-depth knowledge and an interest in knowing and learning more

Some of the objectives of the educational challenge faced by teachers consist in: preparing pupils to play an informed and active part in their own lives and in public and civic debate; to make what they learn at school relevant to complex contemporary problems; to develop pupils’ capacities for lifelong learning and to prepare them for the world of employment in the knowledge economy/society. On account of these and other educational objectives, an approach towards education and school learning based on the acquisition of knowledge is not valid today. What is required is a focus on extending and creating knowledge. And therefore both the training of teachers at university and their lifelong learning must be guided by this focus. Teachers must have an in-depth knowledge of their disciplines and of the cognitive and social processes that accompany the learning of their pupils.

3

Approaching their tasks with a sense of commitment and personal responsibility, and a willingness to share and work as a team

Complex tasks cannot be approached from a perspective of simplicity, and the task of educating is a complex task. It is one that teachers mainly perform individually, in the classroom, through educational bonds, in the relationships with families, in the group... but it is a task that needs to be tackled as a team. Educating is collaborative work. It is necessary to reflect on our practice, to accept criticism, to establish team objectives and to evaluate their achievement on the basis of common objectives. And this cannot be done unless teachers form part of a team. We must embrace the assumption that education of quality is only possible if our work is of quality, but we must also accept that this is not sufficient; our project and commitment need to be shared, without this meaning the loss of our responsibility.

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