International Survey in Eight Countries about Teachers and Teaching Profession
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An international team of experts from Belgium, Italy, Poland, Slovakia, Turkey and the USA employed a questionnaire to identify the deontology of teachers from infant to secondary school in eight countries. The survey was implemented between 2004 and 2007. The socio-cultural concept of Verstehen (understanding) as described in the work of Max Weber, points to the clear significance of being a teacher at this time in history. Qualitative and quantitative analysis allow for an understanding that the teacher is exactly that, in any context. The ideal typology of the teacher is the result of training at a university level and working in the school system. Phenomenal differentiations characterise the various situations and broaden the perspective of the study, including an identification of the shared features of the profession. The strong, common core is the responsibility towards fellow teachers balanced out by a weak, yet common note of regret regarding the scant social prestige of being a teacher. There seems to be a lack of communication between the personal and social aspects involved in shaping the professional identity. The social image of teachers weighs heavily on their professional status due to the inevitable political implications it results in and the considerable effect on institutional behaviour. Teachers listen, but they are not heard; teachers are committed, but remain unrecognised; teachers evaluate, but are evaluated in turn. The issue of the social importance of the profession of teachers in our societies emerges as a crucial point in the perspective of educating young generations.
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