Work and life of South American teachers in their context

Authored by: Menga Lüdke , Luiz Alberto Boing

Routledge International Handbook of Teacher and School Development

Print publication date:  December  2011
Online publication date:  June  2012

Print ISBN: 9780415669702
eBook ISBN: 9780203815564
Adobe ISBN: 9781136715976


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In the occidental world the teaching profession faces problems arising from the rapid growth of globalization, from the development of new technologies, from the emphasis on performativity measured by results and other factors that affect the life and work of individuals in all professions. South American countries, in general, have moved to an advanced stage of development in some regions, while others have remained the same or lagged behind in the absence of more favourable conditions. Additionally, one legacy of colonization is a tendency to be more familiar with European educational systems than with the cultures of the native Indians or Africans brought to work in the plantations and mines. Another aspect of contemporary challenges in teachers’ education is to equip them to work with descendents of these native Indians and Africans, whose cultures are essential to their identities and crucial also to the cultural mosaic of all South American nations. This chapter is in five parts. Section one provides a backdrop for the account by indicating socio-economic and educational data for the countries in the region. Section two extends the emerging picture by focusing on teachers’ work and career conditions. Initial teacher education and continuing professional development of teachers are the focus of section three. Section four focuses on professional and institutional culture. Section five concludes the chapter by focusing on the life and work of an individual teacher: the case of João, which illustrates the multiple challenges faced by teachers in South America.

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