TWO NEW TEACHING DEGREES IN SCIENCE WILL BE IMPARTED STARTING IN 2018
WITH THESE PROGRAMS, THE INSTITUTION PLANS TO MITIGATE THE DEFICIT OF TEACHERS IN THAT AREA AND TO STRENGTHEN THE SKILLS-BASED TEACHING TOOLS.
May 26, 2017
High School Teaching in Mathematics and Physics and High School Teaching in Chemistry and Biology are the programs that will impart the Department of Education of our University, starting next year, in response to the needs of the Region and the Country to have teachers in order to overcome the high deficit of them in this area.
The creation of these programs arises after five years of research and reflection in our Academic Institution, around the described scenario, including various reports from international organizations, such as the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) in 2012, according to which, Chile has a 35% deficit in the area of science, the highest number among the member countries of the alliance.
The lack of teachers is remedied by more than 11 thousand non-teacher professionals who were admitted into the school system through express training, which according to the specialists affects the implementation of effective pedagogical practices in the areas of biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. They also warn that, in the absence of radical changes in the short term, the consequences can generate a detachment on the part of the students in the participation of modern knowledge and the contribution to the scientific development of the country.
In this scenario, as a public university, the UTALCA took on the task of training teachers that the country needs for its development.
Both programs, approved by the Academic Council and the Board of Directors of the Corporation, have a strong component of foreign languages (English) - like all the teaching programs taught in the Department of Education Sciences-, and will be located at the Linares Campus, established as a teaching core of the Region.
The Dean of the Department, Rossana Fiorentino, argued that the application of the skills-based learning model will eradicate the traditional science teaching method that the academic authority considers as "passive and with low disciplinary grounds."
"If we do not have good scientists, we will hardly be able to develop and to participate in the evolution of developing countries like ours. This begins in the classroom. In the educational establishments, we do not have specialist teachers who are able to motivate students to enable them to value science. We aspire to reverse this deficit and generate an integration of the teacher and student into science," said the dean.
Carlos Becerra Labra, Director of High School Teaching in Mathematics, acknowledged that the shortage of science teachers was generated for two reasons: "The first of them was because these are programs with some academic difficulty, and the second is due to the low socio-economic valuation of the profession". In his view, "it is the right time to change this reality by training teaching scientists with the highest standards of quality."
Becerra was one of the promoters of both programs with the support of academics from the Institute of Mathematics and Physics, the Institute of Chemistry of Natural Resources, the Institute of Biological Sciences and the Vice President for Undergraduate Studies.
The academic explained that the innovation will come within the study plan, which has four areas of strength: disciplinary knowledge, advance reasoning about logical criteria, the use of information technologies (ICT's) and effective operational proficiency in the English language with C1 level of the European system.
Regarding the inscription of the new programs in the admission system, the director of this unit, which also includes the linking with the School System, Rodrigo Luppi, pointed out that they will be ready in November along with the others.
"We are not guided solely by the PSU admission test, but we also appreciate the pedagogical talent. We want to recover the education by vocation. It is very important for us to assess how they are doing in the teaching-learning process. The linking of the University with the environment is critical in this process in which we want to attract students with the best talent for training the citizens," said Luppi.
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