Portugal is currently facing the enormous challenge of attracting new teachers to the career, associated with the low demand for courses in teaching. At the same time, the majority of the teaching class is over 50 years of age, while less than 1% of teachers are under 30 years of age. According to recent data from the National Education Council, by the year 2030, more than half of teachers (57%) will retire. Other European countries, such as Germany, Italy and Greece, partners in this project, have an average age of teachers higher than that of the OECD (44 years).
This reality (…) “is very worrying and demonstrates the enormous risk of losing the knowledge accumulated from years of activity by career teachers, which is why the Working Group on Educational Policies of the Union European Union, with whose objectives this project is aligned, seeks to create systemic and creative opportunities to transform the teaching profession, making it more attractive for new teachers and thus avoiding early professional abandonment”.
In this regard, (…) “pay and working conditions are important to attract and retain qualified and high-quality teachers and school leaders, but it is also important to consider, at a political level, career prospects to ensure a high quality teaching, namely through a clear commitment to professional teacher development”. It is in this context that the LOOP – Scaffolding in Teachers Development: Mentoring and Mentors in Induction Programs emerges, within the scope of the competences of the Pedagogical Innovation Center of Casa do Professor, “a project designed with the objective of valuing the work of teachers, not only in the initial phase of your career, but also at different stages of your professional life”, as the project coordinator said.
The support that LOOP intends to promote over the next three years “also covers school leaders, providing for the dynamization of structuring activities, the development of resources and the promotion of community learning networks, a transforming intergenerational vision for the education system. This intervention will materialize in different dimensions, highlighting the access to Mentoring programs, with the objective of responding to the needs of teacher communities, through the implementation of personalized training models”.
One of the initiatives planned for 2023 is an International Conference in Braga [Portugal], the event to disseminate the project’s results, in which the partners that integrate the LOOP project will participate: Colégio João Paulo II (Portugal), CESIE and IPSSEOA Pietro School Piazza (Italy), National Capodistrian University of Athens and 1st Peiramatiko Gymnasio Athinas Greece (Greece) and the Carl von Ossietzky School Center (Germany).
Jorge Soares, President of Casa do Professor, says that “one of the main components of this project, transversal to the institution, is teacher training, an essential factor for the success of students, with which Casa do Professor has been committed for decades, privileging always quality and innovation – either with initiatives at national level, through the Training Center, or on an international scale, through the Pedagogical Innovation Center, an organic unit that has developed innovative educational solutions based on technology, psychology and neuroscience, in partnership with governmental, educational and technological entities”.
SOURCE: Correio do Minho | printed and online newspaper | Portugal