Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2021 Proceedings
Publication year: 2021
Page: 2885 (abstract only)
ISBN: 978-84-09-34549-6
ISSN: 2340-1095
doi: 10.21125/iceri.2021.0722
Conference name: 14th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 8-9 November, 2021
Location: Online Conference
During the last three years the offers of full-time jobs for life as mathematics secondary teachers in Spain has been extraordinary. Thousands and thousands of jobs were offered for the different regions across the country through the public access examination system. Nevertheless, a big percentage of jobs have gone uncovered. The examinees have not been able to pass the exam and the low success rate is concerning. In the regions of Valencian Community, Catalonia, Madrid and Castile-La Mancha between 30% and 50% of the posts offered went uncovered during the year 2021. Before 2010, the majority of mathematicians that came out of college saw secondary education teaching as one of the best work options. Ten years later, the increasing demand of many companies for mathematicians in Spain and their improved working conditions has affected significantly this situation. Most of the mathematicians don’t see teaching mathematics in high-school as a great job and prefer to seek other options in the private industrial or commercial sector. Hence, many examinees that take the exam do not have solid theoretical and practical basis in mathematics as they are engineers from different fields, architects or similar. Although many teachers take the exam, just a small percentage of them pass it. Moreover, the majority of the teachers have worked full-time in secondary education during the last years or recently. Hence, an analysis of this situation is necessary. In this research, the opinions of examinees, examiners and examination trainers were examined. To this purpose, the opinions of 10 teachers who took the public examination, 5 teachers who served as examiners and two teachers who trained and prepared the examinees were examined through qualitative content analysis techniques. Individual semi-structured interviews of approximately 5 minutes were conducted with each of the 17 teachers that participated in the study. Results suggest that examinees do not embrace the public access examination system as a fair process in which the best teachers are selected. The practical part of the exam (solving advanced mathematics problems) is regarded by the examinees as the major obstacle as only a very small number of examinees can pass that subpart of the exam. On the other hand, the examiners indicate that, from their point of view, there is an important lack of intensive study by the examinees. They state this because the theoretical subpart of the exams which examinees have plenty of time to prepare are many times far from being good or excellent. Finally, examination trainers state that maybe the examination system is not the most appropriate to select the best mathematics teachers, but it is very difficult to define an alternative system and that the current one is quite reliable in ensuring the proficiency of the majority of selected teachers through the process.
Mathematics teachers, public examination, secondary education.