Teachers for Slovakia: Tensions in the Profession

Branislav Pupala, Ondrej Kaščák, Michal Rehúš

Abstrakt


The Slovak teaching profession is in a difficult situation. There are signs that the country is facing a teaching staff shortage and that the demand for new teachers will continue to grow. The data indicate that some subjects are being taught by unqualified teachers on a fairly wide scale. Finding quick, simple solutions to these problems is a challenge because teaching is not considered an attractive profession, mainly because of teachers' low salaries and social status. We will illustrate related uncertainties and complications in the teaching profession by looking at two extremes of these trends in the teaching profession. On the one side, we have Teach for Slovakia, which has opened potential for new teaching qualification models. It is an example of inclusive education in the sense that it only works when differences among teachers are accepted and the focus is on teachers’ strong points and professional characteristics. On the other side, the introduction of national testing has made teachers accountable for student educational outcomes. Our qualitative interviews reveal that, in the (sometimes critical) views of teachers, accountability is now part of professionalism in Slovakia and is producing various tensions.

Klíčová slova


teachers in Slovakia; qualification levels; Teach for Slovakia; temporary teachers; teacher accountability for testing

https://doi.org/10.5817/SP2020-2-5

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