There is a renewed interest in improving the preparation of teachers in Latin American countries. First, the idea that the quality of a country’s education system depends in great part on its teachers. Second, an understanding of the correlation between the professional preparation of teachers and their practices in the classroom. And third, a belief that teachers’ practices have a significant effect on students’ academic performance and learning.
All the countries in the region agree that the state of teacher preparation is quite poor. Studies report that teachers are aware of their own poor preparation and of the poor performance of their students. Recent statistics show that 50% of the fourth grade children in Latin America are not able to report what they have just read, even though they are able to decode the word.
The reasons for the poor quality of teacher preparation are varied. One of them is the timing of the reform. That is, teachers with an inadequate preparation are asked to implement new curricula and use new methods. Another problem is that teaching is not selected as a profession; most students select the teaching profession because they see no other option. This self-selection brings to the field poorly prepared students who have no motivation or dedication.
We share this infographic that shows the current status of Latin American teachers and their impact on students: