Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile (UC): Education UC inaugurates postgraduate academic year with a talk by the minister of the portfolio

How do we impact the country’s educational challenges? It was the central question of the meeting that brought together authorities, academics and students. Minister Marco Antonio Ávila answered this question in his talk and announced the government’s education route.

The Faculty of Education will celebrate this October 15 80 years connecting the training of teachers with evidence. In this framework, the unit’s postgraduate course opened the 2022 academic year with the seminar “How do we impact the country’s educational challenges?” , which included a keynote speech by the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila , entitled “Towards a change in the educational paradigm”.

That was the color of the celebration, which was focused on debating the future changes and challenges presented by the educational system. In the words of the faculty’s Postgraduate director, Natalia Ávila, and the faculty’s Postgraduate director, Natalia Ávila, “for the first time we are inaugurating the Postgraduate academic year as a whole – with the Master’s and Doctorate programs -, because we believe that the country presents various emergencies that even precede the pandemic and we are forced to attend to it”, mentioning some such as the mental health of teachers, school coexistence and climate change, which have been present in the public debate in recent years. weeks.

Challenges that are part of the commitment of the Catholic University, said the vice-rector for Research of the university, Pedro Bouchon , at the ceremony: “And in this context we are celebrating today the 80th anniversary of the Faculty of Education, which has been in charge to train teachers and professors in the country, with an important emphasis on postgraduate studies, and with the orientation of contributing to public policies and with their training centered on the person”.

” Today we are celebrating the 80th anniversary of the Faculty of Education, which has been in charge of training teachers in the country, with an important emphasis on postgraduate studies, and with the orientation of contributing to public policies and with its training focused on in person.” Vice President for Research, Pedro Bouchon.

Towards the change of educational paradigm
The activity included a keynote speech by the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila, who shared a diagnosis of the main changes that are urgently needed in the educational system.

One of them is the ongoing debate over the Simce test which, for many, puts pressure on schools and teachers. In this regard, the Ministry of Education , in mid-April, announced the submission of a project that seeks to discourage competition in education. “I have never said that we should eliminate the Simce, but this cannot be a condition for a school to close. Whether it is a census or a sample? Let’s discuss it. It is very strange that the state closes its schools,” he noted.

Transformations that are necessary to move towards a change in the educational paradigm that installs educational justice, he assured, with a pedagogical approach based on inclusion, participation and that gives meaning to existing policies. “Why doesn’t a school have decent dining rooms for lunch? Or why doesn’t it have enough teachers to hold classes? Educational justice is much more than that, it is about the possibility that a student during her career feels that she is qualified to do what she wants to do, that she can choose, and not all our students have that possibility”.

Another focus mentioned by the minister was to strengthen public education. “We have a tremendous debt with public education, an abandoned reform… this is the last chance we have as a country to be able to have an educational system that responds to the needs of citizens,” he said, stating that the support of institutions such as the Faculty of Education is fundamental: “All these are transformations that we cannot do alone, we must do it together with the universities, civil society, with unions and social movements, because that is the hallmark of that government, we believe in participation and in the dialogue.

Regarding the new challenges of education, Minister Ávila mentioned – also – the need to move towards a non-sexist education, which implies “having a conversation about power, how teams are structured, making an in-depth assessment of how they understand each other diversities”, and that is part of the objectives of the unit, he said.

” Why doesn’t a school have decent canteens for lunch? Or why doesn’t it have enough teachers to teach classes? Educational justice is much more than that, it is about the possibility that a student during his career feels that he is empowered to do what they want to do, they can choose, and not all our students have that possibility “- Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila.

conversation pane
The entrance requirements to pedagogy careers were one of the topics that marked the conversation panel carried out in the activity. The head of the Master’s in Education, Verónica Santelices ; the head of the Doctorate, Valeria Cabello, and the Minister of Education, Marco Antonio Ávila, and was moderated by Dean Alejandro Carrasco.

For the academic Verónica Santelices, the barriers to access to the teaching career depend on “how we look at teaching quality. The prediction is not very auspicious for the admission tests that we have today in Chile. Nor is it for things like the ranking or the NEM, so we have an interesting space to advance in measurements that go more in detail with respect to the skills that teachers put into play in the classroom.

In this regard, he assured that “we are making efforts, both from the DEMRE and from the Faculty, to develop tests that measure teaching performance much more directly… work from a deeper knowledge of what teaching practice is to incorporate it into these”.

An issue that also concerns Minister Ávila because “it is an issue that not only involves pedagogies, but all higher education, which are access models.”

“The barriers to access to the teaching career depend on how we look at teaching quality. The prediction is not very auspicious for the admission tests that we have today in Chile. Nor is it for things like the ranking or the NEM, so we have a interesting space to advance in measurements that go into more detail regarding the skills that teachers put into play in the classroom.” Verónica Santelices, head of the Master’s in Education.

“How do you access the university? And if it is still just a measurement of a standardized nature. The PACE (or Programs of Access to Higher Education) have shown us to be a fairly fair educational policy that allows a development that in the short term is equaling the performance of students who have admission via admission test. One very important thing is that pedagogies can open up to more combined exercises, effectively with scores and, why not, with other forms of access”, he explained.

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