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School is where the core of learning happens for students, and in similar regards, it also should be for teachers. School principals need autonomy, training, and resources to lead their school and create an educational community dedicated to learning as well as developing cognitive and emotional growth for every child. Teacher’s professional development and school leadership are key elements of any effort to raise teaching quality.
This Declaration is the result of the second meeting of the Latin American Coalition for Teaching Excellence, which took place in Bogota, Colombia, in November 2019. The main objective is to present the vision and recommendations agreed upon during the discussion. It aims to present professional development and school leadership as two central elements to improve the quality of education and proposes a series of actions—ambitious but reasonable—to guide the debate and public policies that can result from these issues.
The recommendations of the members of the Latin American Coalition for Teaching Excellence in regard to the professional development for teachers are:
- Guide the design of professional development taking into account the pedagogical, didactic and classroom management needs of the teachers themselves at the school level.
- Have a framework of good practices for teacher training.
- Develop mentoring programs to support novel teachers.
- Organize the teacher’s schedule and responsibilities so that teachers have enough time to focus on their professional development.
- Establish rigorous monitoring and evaluation mechanisms to measure the impact and effects of teachers’ professional development.
School leadership is an essential element in providing teachers with the professional and pedagogical support they need and providing quality education. To achieve effective school leadership in Latin America, it is critical that the roles and responsibilities of principals are clearly defined.
In order to respond to the challenges and realize the vision of a strengthened, trained and prepared school leadership, to have excellence in teaching, the members of the Latin American Coalition for Teaching Excellence, propose that all Latin American countries must:
- Define standards of good management performance.
- Reformulate responsibilities and management burdens.
- Open opportunities for the professional development of directors.
- Outline a Director’s career path.
The Coalition is committed to disseminating and sharing this Declaration, meeting with relevant actors to promote the acceptance of the agreements and recommendations, and seeking areas of articulation and collaboration between the Coalition’s objectives and Ministerial efforts.
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