Training First-rate Teachers

˙ PREAL Blog

This post is also available in: Spanish

In a recent op-ed in El Tiempo, Guillermo Perry, former chief economist for Latin America at the World Bank, argues that the most important step to improving education in Colombia (and, by extension, in countries with similarly poor education performance throughout the region) is to improve teacher quality.

Noting that the teaching profession fails to attract  top-performing college graduates in Latin America, he asks, “Who among us would leave their children’s education in the hands of their worst classmates?”

Drawing from a study by Fundación Compartir, he lists four key steps that could be taken to improve the quality of teaching:

  1. Provide government grants to top-performing students who enter university-level teacher training programs and commit to teach at least three years in public schools.
  2. Improve and expand teacher training programs.
  3. Provide mentoring and regular evaluations of new teachers. Offer scholarships to the top performers to enable them to gain specialized training and later serve as tutors to future teachers.
  4. Increase teacher salaries so that they are competitive with careers that require similar levels of training and experience and offer bonuses to those who have stellar performance, agree to serve as mentors, or work in high-needs schools.

Read the complete article, “Maestros de primera” (in Spanish), here.