Abelardo Car Nava
I just got the document: “Guidelines for the First Ordinary Session of the School Technical Council and the Intensive Continuous Training Workshop for Teachers” For the 2022-2023 school year, through my social networks, I wrote the following: “It seems to me a success to move from a guide to a series of orientations for the construction of the School Technical Council by the teaching group itself. If the 2022 curriculum for Mexican basic education addresses teacher autonomy, the path that is beginning to be traced shows the possibility of achieving said autonomy in each of the schools. Now, I still think that little or nothing pays to consider the video of the Secretary of Education in these spaces, but, I hope, in future orientations it will no longer be included. In any case, from my perspective, the proposal is viable and pertinent, so once this day of work is over, hopefully there will be the possibility of assessing its development in schools”.
Ideas that of course I hold and have held throughout these days, and I will explain the reason for this, recommending that, later, the text could be read, for example: “The School Technical Council. Participation Dynamics and Development Possibilities” de Gómez (2018), with the purpose of achieving an approach with what is now known as the School Technical Council (CTE).
In principle, one should not lose sight of the fact that the idea of developing a CTE in schools has (and has had), among its main purposes, that institutions have a space in which concur various actors for decision-making and, therefore, a certain degree of autonomy Well, these actors are the protagonists and experts in the educational process that is experienced daily in their schools.
If we accept this idea, it would be necessary to consider what the concurrence of various actors in these spaces means, but also the autonomy that could be achieved in them. Therefore, in the first instance, it would be well worth asking oneself: why do these actors come together, why do they come together and what are the objectives of such coming together? And, secondly, what does autonomy mean, how is it fostered and how is it achieved within educational centers?
Said the above, words more words less, the attendance has to do with the attendance of the teachers, teachers, directors, supervisors, heads of sector and some other educational and non-educational figures (as long as the latter are considered by said actors depending the issues to be discussed) to address issues that are typical of school dynamics; obviously, the dialogue seems to be a fundamental piece in this process because, from the organization of the topics (work agenda), it is possible to accommodate the different perspectives, emanating from the knowledge and daily work of the participants, related to the teaching process and learning, student development, progress in study plans and programs, the various problems raised within the institution, but also the context in which it is located, among others. If we conceive that such an organization enables the exchange of knowledge acquired through experience so that, with this, agreements are reached and the decisions that are most favorable to the campus and, mainly, to the actors that attend it with the purpose of training, the idea is favorable, because it would be prioritizing reflection and analysis for the subsequent design and development of various activities aimed at promoting the educational process, whether individual or collective.
However, when such concurrence is used for purposes merely administrative and/or of organization of sociocultural events in the institutions such as the festivals of Mother’s Day, Teacher’s Day, and Children’s Day; or, to ensure compliance with certain policies and/or administrative or management provisions that, incomprehensibly, the Ministry of Public Education (SEP), through the states, sector heads, supervisors and managers request practically overnight from the morning, said concurrence fails to acquire the meaning indicated in the previous paragraph.
I do not deny that within the schools there should be a dialogue on these sociocultural, administrative or regulatory issues, however, I think that in the CTE should prevail, in addition to the dialogue on the diagnoses, identified problems, alternative solutions, evaluation and follow-up of intervention proposals, etc., other issues that are relevant for educational institutions and that are not necessarily part of what is involved in the development of a Continuous Improvement School Program (PEMC), but of the daily tasks that can be favored through the sharing teaching experiences in addressing the contents, behaviors and attitudes of students, the reaction of teachers to them, the use of teaching materials or technological resources, forms of evaluation and follow-up of students, in short, everything that that means and causes an improvement in student learning and the functioning of the educational establishment. Well, what I want to say is that, when the normative and administrative aspects are prioritized, the educational fact ceases to have the required relevance for the teaching group. What is the use of arriving at a CTE session with a quantity of information about the group diagnosis if the results of that diagnosis are not prioritized for dialogue, analysis, reflection, but, above all, for decision-making and subsequent implementation? march of a series of actions aimed at addressing or resolving it? What is the use of an indicative guide when there are so many other issues that, due to their importance, can be addressed in these CTE sessions? Why not assess the possibility that each group build your own CTE?
Certainly, there will be those who can say that everything depends on who or who are the subjects that can coordinate these spaces, however, one would have to ask ourselves, who coordinates these dialogues, how do they coordinate them, why do they coordinate them, why do they coordinate them and which ones? are the results of this whole process?
It makes sense, it is striking that, for a long time, the SEP has proposed that the CTEs be autonomous spaces where the teaching community participates, hence the questions I formulated about autonomy are once again important, but I would add one more: What does the Ministry of Education understand by autonomy when, particularly, starting in 2013, guides began to arrive at schools indicating what had to be done, how it had to be done and what were the products that should be obtained? So, in the name of the long-awaited educational quality, was autonomy raised without there being autonomy?
It is unknown to no one that the National Education System is characterized by having a completely vertical structure, that is, every “educational proposal” falls in a cascade that, when it reaches where it has to go, in this case to the schools, becomes a troubled river that has not quite found calm and shape, because the interpretations are so diverse that they foster an ambiguity of considerable magnitudes. In addition to this, it should not be neglected that each entity, each sector head office, each supervision or each school direction, with the purpose of showing compliance with certain administrative and even ideological provisions, mandated by their immediate superiors, require the delivery of an indeterminate number of products/evidence in each school year, and of which, unfortunately, are not fed back to the teaching groups. What is the case of requesting a certain number of pieces of evidence if they end up in physical or digital files without there being a feedback process that encourages the learning of the group of teachers?
Now, if, as I have stated, the transition from a guide to a series of orientations is a success that can favor autonomy, it should be considered that, as such, the latter implies participation and responsibility in the professional practice of each one of them. the actors involved because, from my perspective, freedom is not the same as licentiousness, therefore, it implies an enormous commitment from each one of the actors involved in this process so that, jointly, they make decisions based on the construction of a work agenda that allows, now, to consider the approach to certain issues that need to be dealt with within educational centers, without falling into the dilemma between what is a priority and what is urgent.
Of course, this does not mean that the SEP does not have much, but much to do to improve what was not working as it should, since, although it is true that through the recently issued guidelines it can be inferred that action is directed of the teaching community, it is also true that in terms of continuous training it has a whole issue ahead of it. It will never be the same to suggest that a conference be read or viewed, to the establishment of a continuous training proposal that goes beyond the implementation of a study plan. Therefore, the SEP could work so that these CTE sessions are not observed as a self-administered training course and yes as a space in which training gains meaning and relevance for education professionals who, by the way, some educational specialists or researchers continue to see as incapable of making decisions to build a CTE.
I conclude this series of ideas thinking that changes or transformations generally cause resistance or uncertainty in human beings; it is, so to speak, a natural process in human beings. I think that when we subjects get used to being told what to do and how to do what we are asked to do, we enter a zone in which, perhaps, indifference or conformity take away the possibility of finding ourselves. ourselves, but also, to find ourselves in others. For this reason, I insist that this transit can favor what, in some way, implicitly or explicitly, the teaching profession has repeatedly requested, that each teaching group build their CTE with their own work agendas, without losing sight of the objective that everyone has or should have: the education of millions of students in the Mexican Republic.
It is obvious, this transit will not take place overnight, that is clear to me, but this could be the starting point so that, jointly, the SEP is taken at its word and that autonomy is demanded As I have said, it will make sense if you act responsibly and with determined participation. Not for a study plan, but for the Mexico that we want and long for for girls, boys, adolescents and for ourselves.
Will the SEP be able to develop an investigation that allows us to know the different perceptions or assessments of the past CTE that caused so much noise and, of course, make its results known without bias or simulated data?
Gomez, LF (Coord) (2018). The school technical council. Participation dynamics and development possibilities.