Nederlands talent niet erg gedreven

Nieuws | de redactie
25 mei 2016 | “Onderwijsstelsels bloeien bij stevige evaluatie en zelfkritiek en een gedurige gedrevenheid naar verbeteringen en die kwaliteiten vind je in Nederland,” zegt de OECD in zijn review van het onderwijsbeleid. Maar rond leraarschap, selectie, motivatie en excellentie van jongeren kraakt men harde noten.

In veel opzichten blinkt het Nederlands onderwijs uit, stelt de OECD-review zonder omhaal van woorden. Men benadrukt de kracht van het beroepsonderwijs en de verbinding daarvan met het bedrijfsleven en de vormen van duaal onderwijs die daardoor zijn ontwikkeld. “Resultaten, in termen van taalbeheersing en rekenvaardigheid, zijn gemiddeld genomen erg goed en het onderwijsbestel beperkt zwakke basisvaardigheden onder tieners even doeltreffend als de Aziatische kampioenen daarin in Japan en Korea.”

De sterke balans van autonomie en kwaliteitsverantwoording, nog steeds dus vanuit de principiële visie van de HOAK-nota van 1985, legt het fundament hieronder en de structuur van sterke intermediaire instituties van de stakeholders bij het onderwijs zorgt voor “een levendig onderzoeks- en beleidsdebat.”

Maak van nadeel voordeel

Die kracht van het bestel maakt dat de OECD vooral impulsen wil geven voor dat zelfkritische debat en ‘incrementele’ stappen vooruit wil aanmoedigen naar ‘greater excellence’, omdat het daar opvallend regelmatig aan ontbreekt. Dat valt bijvoorbeeld op bij de relatief geringe kwaliteit van vroege en voorschoolse vorming, de vroege selectiviteit in PO en VO, de geringe motivatie onder jongeren, juist ook bij ‘top performers’, de professionaliteit en loopbaanontwikkeling bij leraren en lerarenopleidingen, het leiderschap in de school en de kwaliteit van schoolbesturen.

Dat er tekorten aan docenten zijn en de aanpak daarvan nog weinig samenhangend lijkt, komt duidelijk naar voren in de review. Het leraarschap moet als professie worden beschouwd en benaderd en veel minder onderwerp zijn van allerlei losse interventies. “This starts with effective arrangements to select talented individuals; strong initial teacher education; further continuous professional development linked to school goals; and collective learning and working, starting with quality induction programmes for starting teachers. This needs to be supported by a well-designed career structure that helps attract, retain and motivate teachers to give their best throughout their careers.“      

Maak van een nadeel vaker een voordeel, lijkt de OECD bijna Cruyffiaans aan te bevelen. Bijvoorbeeld ten aanzien van het MBO: “More than half the teachers are over 50 years of age. This is a challenge because highly experienced teachers will be lost and replacing them with good recruits will be difficult. However, it is also an opportunity to reshape and enhance the skills of the teaching workforce to ensure that it is ready to meet the challenges of a rapidly changing world.” Ton Heerts, aan de slag, dus!

Entreetoets werkt averechts

Datzelfde lerarentekort leidt tot extra scherpe kritiek op de entreetoetsen voor dit vakgebied. Die werken eerder remmend dan aanmoedigend en lijken nog te eenzijdig bovendien. “The projected teacher shortages suggest that entrance tests to the profession may be too demanding and do not take into account other criteria, such as non-cognitive skills, that may better reflect the complex nature of teaching. Teacher education institutions have recently started various initiatives around intake procedures and selection options. The evidence shows a wider range of selection criteria can be used effectively (Van der Rijst, Tigelaar and van Driel, 2014; European Commission, 2013). Finland, for example, selects secondary graduates based on exam results, a written test on assigned books on pedagogy, observations in school situations and interviews (Sahlberg, 2010).”

De conclusie is helder: “While making entry into teacher education increasingly selective is desirable, it needs to be blended with market realism to ensure an adequate number of recruits. It also needs to be based on a wider range of selection criteria, including non-cognitive competencies, to better reflect the complex nature of teaching.”

De salarissen van leraren verdienen daarbij aandacht. Andere loopbanen voor mensen met een HO-opleiding betalen vaak beter. “Teacher shortages remain a challenge, in particular in disadvantaged schools and for certain subjects. Given that many staff are approaching retirement, and the relatively low salaries compared to other tertiary educated individuals in the Netherlands, further action may be needed. The proposed further development of the career structure could serve as an opportunity to ensure both greater career and salary diversity.”

Jonge docent in de kou

Daarbij is de aandacht voor de vorming en begeleiding van jonge docenten onder de maat en de signalen uit hun kring worden blijkbaar niet echt serieus genomen. De teksten hierover zijn fors. “Recently trained teachers often report that they are unprepared to systematically assess students and differentiate their teaching. Nearly half of all school principals still allocate new teachers to combination classes (e.g. HAVO/VWO), where the capacity to teach classes with a wide range of attainment levels is particularly important.”

“In the Netherlands, 12% of newly qualified primary school teachers, and 22% of their secondary counterparts, leave teaching within a year. Research evidence shows that well designed induction programmes increase teacher retention and satisfaction and improve teaching quality. However, TALIS 2013 showed that less than half of Dutch secondary teachers had participated in formal or informal induction programmes, while in Japan and Singapore, this figure is eight out of ten.”

“Van der Boom, Vrielink and Vloet (2014) found that 28% of new teachers in Dutch primary schools received no supervision of any kind; this figure was 14% for new secondary school teachers. The support provided is often organisational rather than pedagogical, and temporary staff receive little support. Sector agreements now encourage and fund school boards to give guidance, including coaching, to new teachers, or an additional time budget of 40 hours a year to reduce the workload. However, national data show no rise in the percentage of starting primary teachers receiving induction and mentoring support.” 

Bijblijven, tsja….

Het les geven in een steeds meer diverse omgeving is een uitdaging die veel van de docenten vergt. Aandacht voor verscheidenheid in de lespraktijk is echter niet erg ontwikkeld, valt de OECD op. En het lijkt wel of men dit binnen het onderwijs zelf niet erg waarneemt. “The Inspectorate reports that in the classroom there is little evidence of teaching being tailored to differences between students: there is insufficient feedback to students and students are not encouraged to take an active role in their own learning. At the secondary level, the Inspectorate found that less than half of teachers differentiate their instruction between students. In primary education, VMBO, and the highest classes of VWO, more teachers display differentiated teaching skills. Teachers may not themselves recognise these weaknesses: in TALIS 2013 few teachers acknowledged that they need additional training in individualised teaching, and assessment and evaluation.”

Bijblijven in het vak via bijvoorbeeld het Lerarenfonds is desondanks niet zo’n hoge prioriteit. “A Teacher Development Fund offers schools up to EUR 75 000 and coaching for promising teacher-initiated innovations in teaching and learning. However, there are many barriers to participation that have to be overcome. In 2013, 38% of secondary teachers reported that professional development conflicts with their work schedule, 39% said that there is no relevant professional development offered, and 31% believed that there are no incentives for participation.”

Meer professionaliteit

De aanbevelingen zijn daarom stevig op dit terrein. “The effectiveness of team learning and collaboration for improving teaching and learning is well recognised, however, such practices are not well established in the Dutch school system. MoECS should therefore continue to step up its efforts to promote professional collaboration across the system. School leaders and boards play a pivotal role in establishing a learning culture within and beyond the school grounds. As in Finland, Germany, Northern Ireland and Singapore, the Netherlands should establish mandatory induction periods that allow starting teachers to receive systematic support.”

Van het lerarenregister is men tegen deze achtergrond dan ook niet erg onder de indruk. Het is allemaal nog weinig helder, merkt men op. “The register is expected to improve the status of teachers, support professional development and limit the use of unqualified staff. The registration system is still under development and its role has not yet been clearly defined.”

Weinig uitdaging of pit

Een opmerkelijk accent  in deze OECD-review is de zorg die er uit spreekt over de gebrekkige motivatie en inzet van juist  de getalenteerde jongeren in ons land. “There are growing concerns that some of the most promising students in the Netherlands are not reaching their full potential. Although the Netherlands has a high proportion of top-performers compared to other European countries, there are real challenges of motivation among all groups of Dutch students. Top-performers also lack perseverance and openness to problem solving, despite efforts by the Dutch government to improve the motivation and performance of the country’s most talented students.”

Ook al scoort de jeugd hier goed, het is minder dan men gelet op het niveau en de kwaliteit van het onderwijs zou verwachten. De vergelijkingen met relevante landen rijgt de OECD duidelijk met enige nadruk achter elkaar. “In mathematics: 19% of 15-year-old Dutch students score at proficiency level 5 or 6 on PISA 2012, more than the OECD average of less than 13%, but less than Singapore (40%), Korea (31%) and Japan (24%). In reading: almost 10% of students reach Level 5 or 6, more than the OECD average of 8%, but less than in Singapore (21%), Japan (18%), Korea (14%), New Zealand (14%), Canada (13%), Finland (13%), France (13%), Australia (12%) and Belgium (12%). In science: almost 12% of students reach Level 5 or 6, less than Singapore (23%), Japan (18%) and Finland (17%).”

Eigenlijk vinden de reviewers de jongeren in ons land een beetje laks en ongeïnteresseerd. “The Netherlands has one of the smallest shares of 15-year-old students who find learning mathematics interesting or enjoyable among the participating economies. PISA 2009 showed that almost 50% of Dutch 15-year-olds do not read for enjoyment at all, and only about 20% read for more than 30 minutes per day. Compared to other OECD countries, Dutch students are also less willing to work through problems that are difficult, they do not remain interested in the tasks that they start, and, more than in other countries, they are likely to shy away from complex problems.”

Het onderwijsbestel is daarbij geen slimme impuls voor meer ambitie en inzet. “The performance of the best students at the end of primary education decreases during secondary education if they are not immediately placed in homogenous pre-university education (VWO) classrooms or gymnasium schools. When the best students are placed in mixed classrooms they obtain lower results and are much more likely to repeat the grade and be down-tracked than their peers with equivalent cognitive skills test results.”

Meer ruimte voor meer ambitie

Hier moet men in Nederland zeer serieus naar kijken benadrukken de reviewers. “It is unclear the exact role that motivation, teaching practices or peer effects play in this process, but it is likely that all of these factors are interrelated. Given the inefficiencies caused, these should be carefully studied further within the Dutch context.”

Beleidsinitiatieven als rond het Sirius-programma prijst de OECD, maar er moet veel meer gebeuren.  “While these are all positive developments, there is room to further encourage the performance of each student. The main goal for the majority of Dutch students in each track is still to finish secondary school at that level. As entrance into higher tracks or higher (secondary) education in the Netherlands is mostly guaranteed simply by graduating, there is no real incentive for all students to exceed the minimum requirement.”

“In the current system, suboptimal performance can be penalised by grade repetition and down-streaming, while excellence is not sufficiently rewarded. More opportunities could be given to (potentially) strong performing students in each track to pursue promotion to higher tracks and/or follow subjects at a higher level. Entry into higher education could also be more competitive.”

De hiervoor al aangestipte versterking van de aandacht voor meer ‘differented teaching’ is daar direct mee verbonden. “To foster student motivation, teachers need to be able to respond to the different learning needs of all students, including higher performers or those with the potential to be a high performer. Providing students with a challenging and stimulating learning environment that fosters excellence calls for a flexible and relevant curriculum, which requires a solid understanding of the differences between students in the classroom. Further investments in differentiated teaching skills are much needed.”


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