The teacher protests that are currently taking place in Portugal have brought into the public debate a large set of sectoral challenges that have been piling up for several years. The exacerbation of these challenges by the pandemic had consequences that are still being felt today.
Pedro Freitas, a researcher from the Nova SBE Economics of Education Knowledge Center, has recently made appearences in different media channels to contribute to this public discussion. By considering the available data, he has pointed to possible paths that might lead to an improvement of teachers’ working conditions.
During these interviews, the researcher stressed that the current scarcity of teachers is going to get worse in the coming years, which brings urgency to the need, in the short to medium-term, to outline measures that are able to attract new professionals. There was also a focus on the shortcomings of the current recruitment and career evolution models and, though acknowledging the dificulties inherent to teacher evaluation, there was mention of the formative potential of an evaluation model that allows for a personalized distribution of pedagogical resources and teachers to their actual needs and dispostions.
Finally, the researcher stressed how important it is to remember the significant learning loss that occurred during the pandemic that hasn't yet been recovered, with emphasis on the fact that this loss will tend to increase inequalities between students of different socioeconomic statuses, which turns the defense of the public school into a particularly relevant issue.
Click here to watch the researcher's CNN interview, here to watch his participation on "Essencial", a program by Conceição Lino, and here to read his interview to "Comunidade Cultura e Arte" (only in Portuguese).