Friday, November 11, 2011

A hot topic in the town

The opposition spokesman for Bigastro, the socialist Raúl Valerio Medina, has made a press statement about the current management of the School for Adult Education in the town.

According to Medina, the process of choosing teachers for EPA has become “a dedo”. He said that this year, it was done without regard to merit criteria and adds that even the Councillor for Education, Aurelio Murcia, will  be teaching English and Valenciano.

You know that underlies a view that Pamela and I came across several times in our professionals lives which was that “anyone can teach as long as they have some knowledge of the subject”. That is patently not true, good teaching requires so much more than just an understanding of the subject matter.

I came across many good teachers during my 34 years in the classroom along with a few bad ones, they all had adequate subject knowledge. What made the difference was the ability of the good teachers to create an environment in which their pupils both wanted to and were able to learn. That is not a skill that someone off the street can simply acquire by stepping into a classroom.

Our previous teacher, Ana Moya Gomez was good, very good in fact-  she had the skills necessary to create an effective learning environment; our present teacher has yet to prove his worth in that respect. 

The spokesman for the opposition concluded by saying that the mayor, Charo Bañuls, wants "to have an illiterate population that can not answer anything." That is a harsh comment to make which characterises the strong feelings that are being held by the previous teachers who have described the present set up as “pseudo academia”. They say that EPA in Bigastro used to be held in high esteem because of the results that it achieved. Their fear is that standards under the new regime will fall dramatically. Unfortunately, they could well be right. 

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