ERG SES G 02, Secondary School Education
PURPOSE, GOALS AND THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK
The paper about to be introduced belongs to a doctoral thesis sponsored by the Ministry of Education.
The main purpose of this paper is to discover and analyze the phenomenon of school failure in Spain in the Secundary Education level. It will be done through the voice of the principal protagonists of education, specifically in this work we present the data for practicing teachers and retired teachers, to understand and investigate on the possible responsibility of schools and teachers with their teaching didactic -pedagogical. Relying on the learning from the experience of such agents, will be derived improvement measures.
The research is focused on two main aspects:
1) First, the main factors influencing the development of the so-called school failure, since this is actually a process which evolves along the time. Some authors such as Choi y Calero (2013); Jurado y Olmos (2012); Gabarró (2010); CES (2009); Martínez-Otero (2009) y Marchesi y Hernández, (2003) pointed out that some of these factors are mainly familiar (context, socioeconomic level and culture, ethnicity, education value), personal (motivation, effort, self-esteem, intelligence, sex), educational from the school (human and material resources, titularity, partners, groups, school environment, autonomy, familiar involvement, ratio, learning time, flexibility and curricular organization, project of the institution, preventive measures or even the educational investment), and also from the teacher (methodology, classroom management, teacher training, permanent training).
2) Second, the most accurate measures and good praxis adopted to improve the teaching and as a consequence, to reduce school failure from the school and the classroom. According to several researches (Hagelskamp y DiStasi, 2012; Carbonell, 2010; Luzón, Porto, Torres, Ritacco, 2009; Casey, 2002; Cantón, 2002) these measures and praxis are the following ones: headmasters with a strong vision, involved teachers, high expectations from the students, continuous assessment, familiar involvement, teacher-student feedback, respect for the values, beliefs and cultures, teaching the procedure of the received information, carrying out several teaching methods, using tutorials and the department of guidance to diagnose problems and to monitor the student, flexible grouping, education focused on the student and the collaborative work.
Thus we have a first approximation of possible incidents factors in the formation of school failure, and we can also be more accurate at the time of proposing possible preventive measures (didactic-pedagogical proposals).
Consequently, there are five main goals underlying this research:
1- Introducing the point of view of active teachers (with long teaching experience) about the possible influence of the school and the teaching over the school failure.
2- From personal experiences provided by active teachers (with long teaching experience), we will derive didactic-pedagogical actions that can be considered effective not only in the school but also in the classroom so as to avoid school failure.
3- Determining the opinions of teachers (with long teaching experience and already retired) about the studied cases, showing their particular view from their own professional situation.
4- Considering school failure experiences that professionals (currently working) have lived on their own, a) Understanding their considerations about the factors having an impact on the school failure and the possible influence of teaching and school itself; b) Offering suggestions to guide the actions of schools and teachers in the future to avoid, where possible, these failure situations.
5- Learning from the experience of students who lived situations of failure/dropout and are immersed in training activities offered by the educational system connected with the employability.
In order to accomplish the main purpose and the fixed goals of this research, we have applied a qualitative methodology (Flick, 2012). The subjects that participated in the researched are practicing and retired teachers who teach and taught in Secundary Education. They were selected by means of a procedure known as ‘intentional selection’ based on previous criteria, which are: - In case of retired teachers: teaching experience for at least 10 years in High School institutions with high levels of school failure, and having taught at least one instrumental subject (a foreign language, Mathematics, Spanish language) - In case of practicing teachers: 10 years teaching experience, teaching applying the established measures by the legislation for the attention to the diversity, and also teaching an instrumental subject. In order to collect information, we use instruments such as in-depth interviews supported by a semi-structured guideline previously approved by a Judge's’ system. There are open questions focused on the main objectives underlying this research. The interviews take approximately two hours, all the audios being recorded and literally transcribed afterwards. Analysing data, one of the hardest tasks, we applied the analysis of content (Krippendorff, 1997), in which a long detailed reading of transcriptions process was performed. After that, we determined the units of meaning establishing categories and assigning codes. To carry out this task we employed the qualitative programme QSR Nvivo 11 Plus.
In the results, there is a great consensus among retired and practising teachers, so according to their experiences the same problems persist during the last 20 years. That is to say, there is a big necessity of change in order to reduce the school failure. To begin with the most influential factors in the phenomenon of study, the subjects have mentioned the importance of the family, the responsibility of the student himself, the economical crisis influence, and the big social change that we are currently experiencing because of the development of new technologies. According to the individuals also the academic world is responsible for this phenomenon, the continuous changes that the educational system and the academic laws in Spain have been through are essential. They describe the current curriculum as full of abstract and meaningless contents for the students and address to the inefficacy of some legal measures, the type of school and the influence of the principal. At the same time, they assign responsibility to the teachers when having problems programming the schedules, selecting the most appropriate methodology as well as their lack of communicative skills. Retired teachers suggest that these kind of actions are usually carried out by competent teachers who are missing some pedagogical training. Regarding the principal measures proposed from the school, they emphasized the action of the school principal, the curriculum, the groups, the academic environment, the teamwork including other professionals, legislative measures aimed at reducing school failure, family involvement, and the selection as well as the good training of the teachers. From the classroom, by means of the teaching action, they point out the importance of choosing a good methodology, programming the schedule, paying attention to the diversity of cultures, the arrangement of the classroom, the way they transmit the subject, the relationship teacher-student, the teachers’ involvement, the requirements, the expectations and the assessment.
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