(The following post was originally posted on http://www.carlteglund.blogspot.com January 06 2006)
Recently, there have been a lot of discussions about authorization codes for teachers. I’m convinced of that this is, basically, a good idea. I want teachers holding an authorization code that you deserve after a performed degree at a University and moreover an adequate time for serving as a teacher.
In my opinion, there are two major reasons why. Both have to do with society in general and the first is the problem we are facing with the lack of teachers in the forthcoming years and secondly there is the reason of the growing fuzziness in school and worse results from students. I will try to explain them in more detail, for a greater understanding of why we need authorization codes for teachers.
Firstly, I want to tell you more about the worrying social change that is present today, but will strike us harder in a few years coming. In Sweden we have the fully normal social change for development countries. That is, growing economy, better equality between the sexes and because of that (mostly) we have a situation with a growing number of old people and comparably low numbers of young people. That is so, mostly because of that people nowadays rather committing themselves to go for their carrier rather then growing a family.
This has also of course also to do with a change in thoughts of the inhabitants in a new, modern, industrialized world that doesn’t care much about traditional values any longer, like family and so further.
This is of course a worrying change for Sweden’s future, and lays a heavy burden on the shoulders of the new generations, when a minority shall take care of a majority. Nowadays, a lot of teachers were born in the 40’s and are soon retiring. This means, that with a few years in a row, we’re soon facing a situation with a lack of teachers. This isn’t only because of our population issues, but also a question about the value of the teacher profession itself.
This profession isn’t really that appreciated as it should be. This is very well noticed if your discussing your future carrier plans and some people say “oh so your only aiming to be a teacher”, but also a matter of income, appreciation from the society and, the one as I see as the major point, status. We have an absolutely lunatic situation out there, where young people can study for five years only to see his carrier being blocked out with people with no graduation whatsoever. I would say that’s madness of worst kind.
You have to look for the whole society and realize that if it is like this, nobody wants to educate himself for a teacher, and if no one wants that society will start to crackle.
I want to advocate that if we take education seriously, as a community supporting institution, we have to look to the quality that actually being delivered to Swedish students and to make it as good as it possibly can get, we need well educated teachers. That’s logical sense. What sort of society will we end up in if we do not take this seriously and if even those who’s going to upbring our future generation not even are professionals in their occupation.
Shall we stop having authorisation codes for pilots and doctors as well? Why not take away driving licenses at the same time?
Secondly, we have in Sweden the worrying change of worse grades for students, especially in upper secondary school. Here, the situation is alarming with a lot of students that won’t complete their studies and can not apply for further studies on University level.
With an authorisation demand on our future teachers, we get rid of unauthorized teachers in Swedish schools and the result of the students will therefore be better. We can’t have a society that not bothers about education, where people with little or no basic knowledge’s at all function as teachers for our kids. If a teacher doesn’t have the adequate pedagogic background he won’t be able to control curtain important situations that can, and will, occur in school and it will be an irresponsible and insecure school even in the future.
I think this is a very important issue and a matter of course when it is a requirement for pilots and doctors to have authorisation codes to have the opportunity to practise their profession.
Why is that, that this is not the situation for teachers? Some will say that this is because teachers aren’t that important. And this is the background of their thinking, that this isn’t an important profession.
A student in a classroom today can be tomorrow’s next Hitler, Stalin or Saddam Hussein, and without a well-functioning school with good basic values and pedagogic security we won’t be able to prevent these students to cause problems in the future. What would the doctor or pilot be without a good and inspiring teacher in their primary and secondary school?
It is our duty to prevent terror actions within our society and inspire politicians, doctors and Nobel Prize winners even in the future.
Therefore, it is our duty to supply future society with professional teachers.