BUILDING COMMUNITY LEARNING FROM THE BASE: WHAT COMPETENCES ARE NEEDED IN THE TRAINING OF FUTURE SECONDARY SCHOOLS’ TEACHERS?
The latest report “Education at a glance” recognizes the importance of Secondary Education and underlines "the acquisition of knowledge, skills and competencies needed in the global labour market that are becoming more and more sophisticated and that require the ability to respond to uncertainty and changing demands of the economy" (OECD, 2013). The secondary education teachers are suing, actually, an appropriate adjustment of skills that can meet these needs and are useful to their students. For the teaching staff, the initial training plays an important role and the professionals become an essential point in achieving the goals and objectives of secondary education students. In the Spanish case, in the last decade, there has been a growth of 22% according to OECD reports on the number of students enrolled in Secondary Education, data which is still somewhat lower than the OECD average (44%). This circumstance reflects high rates of school failure in our country, which is an issue to be changed undoubtedly. Consequently, secondary education teacher training has a prominent role, and indeed, for secondary education teachers an excellent scientific training in the subjects or areas of knowledge where they have graduated from college is very important. However, the training has to go beyond. The future teachers are also required a range of skills and competencies according to the complexity of teaching practice in today's classrooms. The teaching is constructed from models provided by theory and practice, knowledge of learning scenarios and a variety of teaching strategies and methodologies, teaching knowledge acquisition, planning and management of education, but also, through the collaborative development of models designed for the improvement and innovation of teaching. In this sense, the development of learning communities (Meirinhos and Osorio, 2009; Mingorance and Estebaranz, 2009) or practice communities (Wenger, 2001) responds to the social and technological complexity that surrounds us. They require the creation of educational contexts that transcend the boundaries of the traditional classroom. From this perspective, working together with other education agents is a must. Collaboration, in addition to the family, has to be supplied also by other education professionals (other teachers, pedagogues, psychologists, etc.). Additionally, advantage has to be taken out of other areas and community workers (the neighbourhood, the neighbourhood associations, the public library, etc.), fulfilling what Longworth (2003) reports as “city of learning”. In order to achieve it, future teacher need to be trained in a wide variety of skills (Tribó, 2008).
Based on these considerations, we aim to evaluate initial training programs for Secondary Education teachers in Spain by analysing the compulsory Master degree in Secondary Education. Moreover, we try to determine if it meets the necessary training for the development of learning communities as a useful tool for the development of quality learning and educational improvement of citizenship.