Stanlislaw Dylak from Research on Teacher and Teacher Education was part of the Polish delegation at the International Summit on the Teaching Profession in Amsterdam. ScienceGuide spoke with him about possible themes for the Summit in New-Zealand.
Dylak, who also serves as a professor at the Adam Mickiewicz University, knows where the next teaching summit should focus on. “The learning society should get more attention, also on high level meetings like this. The society students and teachers create together on a school is very complex, but plays a vital role in the quality of education. Sharing our experiences with people from other countries could help improve them.”
The summit in Amsterdam focused on the peer-evaluation of teachers. An important theme in the international teaching community but Dylak wants to take the discussion one step further. “If you organize the learning society perfectly you don’t need evaluations, but when you organize a school like a factory, you need some strict quality assessments.”
Effective, efficient and passionate
“Being a good professional means several things, one has to be effective, efficient and passionate. This doesn’t only apply to individuals, but to organizations as well. Being a good professional means that you master the teaching theory and practice, but on top of that you need to have a heart for teaching.”
“Excellent teachers share another important skill, they are very responsive. Good teachers recognize the needs of students quickly and can adapt their education to the needs of a student”. Teachers need to be allowed to be responsive, and shouldn’t be controlled too much by bureaucracy, Dylak thinks. “The teaching profession has a large margin for ethics. Some professionals like bankers and politicians need to be controlled, but you shouldn’t control the ethics of a teacher.”
“Freedom is the most important ingredient for teacher’s quality. This freedom enables teachers to teach with passion and it therefore makes them better teachers. However, this can’t be included in all the quality assessments since there are no indicators for passion, it is impossible to measure. Passion is very interpersonal, as a teacher you should give what a student needs, and every student needs something else.”
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